Category: Young Adult & Middle Grade

Amethyst, the Shallows | Critical Book Review

Fear and heartbreak, potent emotions that often lead to self-isolation, take center stage in Kellye Abernathy’s Amethyst, the Shallows. In this lively and emotionally honest exploration, Abernathy weaves a tale that goes beyond grief, delving into the complexities of love and human connection. Lessons in Loss The narrative introduces young audiences to various forms of…

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Gifts of the Shavtal (Talisman) | Critical Book Review

Gifts of the Shavtal (Talisman) by Toni Yap takes Young Adult fantasy to a whole new level, injecting a serious undertone that sets it apart from the usual magical escapades. This isn’t your typical fairy-fluff adventure; Yap weaves a captivating narrative with a protagonist harboring a shocking secret. Georgina’s Struggle Unveiled Meet Georgina Trabeck, the…

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Just Like Click | Critical Book Review

Sandy Grubb’s debut novel, “Just Like Click,” published by Fitzroy Books, unfolds an endearing tale of a young protagonist, Nick Townley. This middle-grade fiction, spanning 188 pages, invites readers to join Nick on his courageous journey, reviewed by Audrey Davis. A Brave Quest for Connection More than an ordinary 11-year-old, Nick is a curious and…

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The Brothers Dragon | Critical Book Review

In J.F. Baker’s “The Brothers Dragon,” the tale unfolds as two young brothers escape war-torn London to embark on a perilous journey into a realm teeming with dragons, pirates, and closely guarded family mysteries. A Fantastical Escape from War’s Grasp Set against the backdrop of World War Two, the story introduces eleven-year-old Luke and seven-year-old…

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Vandella: Resilience | Critical Book Review

In the realm of M. Ch. Landa’s Vandella: Resilience, a dark fantasy weaves an intricate tale of defiance, friendship, and resilience against the backdrop of Nazi Germany. The narrative unfolds through the eyes of Peach Niemeyer, a spirited young woman caught in the tranquility of the German countryside, presenting a profound exploration of morality amid…

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Santa Claus: The Beginning | Critical Book Review

Love, happiness, and reindeer games! Terry Broxson’s Santa Claus: The Beginning offers a unique take on the beloved figure of children’s dreams. A Who, Not a What “Santa is not a what. Santia is a who, and Santa is you. You’ll be known as Santa Claus. It’s a name which means to give freely and…

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The Dragon Garden | Critical Book Review

In Resa Nelson’s The Dragon Garden, we follow the journey of eleven-year-old Pingzi Po, an extraordinary demon queller, and her grumpy guardian, Benzel, as they navigate a kingdom filled with mystical challenges. The duo’s unique dynamic forms a captivating centerpiece, injecting a delightful blend of fun and sweetness into the narrative. Breaking Gender Barriers Pingzi,…

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Tetherless | Critical Book Review

In the speculative realm of YA fiction, C.K. O’Donnell’s “Tetherless” casts a gripping narrative where lies intertwine with betrayal. Lindsay Crandall delves into the depths of this indie mystery, dissecting its dystopian allure set against the backdrop of a not-so-distant future. Life in Eureka: Hardships and Deception In the desolation of Eureka, California, a post-coronavirus…

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Smash the World’s Shell | Critical Book Review

Smash the World’s Shell presents a narrative that delves into the complexities of coexistence between a young dragon and a human girl. In this indie fantasy novel, Daniel Fliederbaum crafts a tale of friendship that challenges societal norms and transforms the world. The Unveiling of Friendship’s Power The story revolves around Ellen and Shard, bridging…

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Magically Better Me! | Critical Book Review

In Barry Shin’s “Magically Better Me,” an unexpected insect takes center stage, delivering a dose of positivity in a collection of feel-good short stories. However, as enchanting as the premise may be, there’s a bit more to uncover beneath the surface. A Journey through Change and Positivity Shin weaves two tales, “Tiny Beliefs” and the…

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