Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The world has conquered disease, hunger, war, and death.  To deal with the challenges of immortality and crowding on the planet, only scythes can take lives.  Scythes can glean people from the population. Honorable Scythe Faraday has taken on two apprentices, Citra and Rowan.  This is unprecedented!  If they fail their apprenticeship, it could mean the end of their lives. There are those is Scythedom that would do anything to see them fail. Scythes must follow The Scythe Commandments, but there are some up-and-coming scythes that are challenging these edicts and pushing the limits of their power. This clash of old ways and new ways will not be beneficial for H.S. Faraday’s apprentices!

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Mr. Charles gave Ghost (Castle Crenshaw) a copy of the Guinness World Records and told him that someday he can be the greatest at something.  Ghost is a fast runner.  His survival has depended on that, but his speed gets noticed when Ghost challenges one of the fastest runners on the local Defenders track team.  Coach notices this young man in high tops and jeans matching his best stride for stride.  Coach recruits Ghost to become a member of the team, but will Ghost be able to commit to the hard work of training, staying out of trouble, and keeping his grades up at school?

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner

Minamoto Yoshitsune is perhaps the most famous of all Japanese samurai.  To quote the author, Pamela S. Turner, “More than three hundred years have passed since Basho inked his poem (about Yoshitsune). Yet Yoshitsune’s life and his quest for glory have been remembered and reimagined across the centuries, from medieval songs, Noh dramas, Kabuki plays, and Bunraku puppetry to modern novels, short stories, poems, movies, manga, anime, visual novels, and video games.”(p. 163) Turner’s biography paints a picture of Yoshitsune’s harsh beginnings and his determination to become a great samurai warrior.  He was smart and daring, and he became a samurai legend against many obstacles.

The Reunion (Mediator Series #3) by Meg Cabot

Suze’s best friend from Brooklyn, Gina visits during spring break.  Suze’s step-brothers, Brad and Jake are attracted to Gina and Gina is attracted to them.  Suze finds this very confusing. Then the RLS Angels (four teenage ghosts from a nearby high school killed in a car accident) start harassing a student from Junipero Serra Mission Academy.  Suze has her hands full with this mediation.

The Ninth Key (Mediator Series #2) by Meg Cabot

Suze is approached by a screaming ghost needing to get a message to Red.  Father Dominic, the principal at Junipero Serra Mission Academy and fellow mediator, is desperately trying to get Suze to be more gentle with the ghosts and less combative.  Suze often finds most ghosts annoying and doesn’t listen carefully to their needs.  This fault puts Suze in a very dangerous situation with a serial killer in The Ninth Key.

The Mediator (Shadowland) by Meg Cabot

Susannah (Suze) Simon’s mom has remarried and moved from New York City to Carmel, California.  Suze leaves Brooklyn to join her television journalist mom, her stepfather, and three stepbrothers in Carmel.  Suze is your normal every day sixteen-year-old girl except for one thing.  She’s a mediator.  She can see ghosts, and it’s her job to help them find their way to wherever ghosts go.  Sometimes she needs to get a little rough with the stubborn ones.  Suze also has to keep this mediator business on the down low, so her family and friends don’t think she’s weird.  This is her chance to get a fresh start in California.  The Mediator is a series.  Shadowland, the first book in the series, introduces Suze to her new surroundings which besides her new school Junipero Serra Mission Academy, new family situation, and new friends includes Jesse, a fine-looking ghost that hangs around her house, and the recently deceased Heather Chambers.  Heather hangs out at school and is one angry, vengeful ghost.  Suze will have to use all her mediator skills to get Heather to crossover.

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

The year is 1241. Sweet Dolssa flees Tolosa accused of heresy by Father Lucien.  Father Lucien tracks his heretic with determination.  Botille, a young matchmaker from Bajas, discovers Dolssa near death along the river.  Feeling the call to protect Dolssa, Botille with the help of a few others, assists and hides the young girl.  Botille and her sisters nurse Dolssa back to life, and care for her as she regains her strength.  Harboring a heretic brings the penalty of death.  Father Lucien searches doggedly for Dolssa for he wants nothing more than to burn this dangerous heretic at the stake.  Unexplainable events start to happen in Bajas, and word of the young girl’s miracles spread throughout the region. Dolssa’s passion will change the lives she touches forever.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

Katherine Bateson along with her brother, Robbie, and sister, Ame, are sent to school at Rookskill Castle in Scotland from London, England.  Their parents want them out of the city, safe away from the London Blitz. But there’s something very creepy about Lady Eleanor and the Rookskill Castle boarding school. Who are the mysterious children Kat notices around the grounds but not in her classes?  Could one of her teachers be a Nazi spy? When her classmates start to disappear, Kat is determined to discover the secrets of Rookskill Castle.

 

Ten Days A Mad Woman by Deborah Noyes

Ten Days a Mad Woman follows the life of Elizabeth Jane “Pink” Cochran beginning in 1887 when she left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at age twenty-three to make her name in journalism in New York City.  At this time there were very few women newspaper reports in the journalism field.  Through her drive and daring Elizabeth Jane “Pink” Cochran evolves into the famous reporter Nellie Bly.  Nellie Bly becomes the most famous female reporter of her time.  Ten Days a Mad Woman is an entertaining biography with additional input about the time period featured in bright blue text boxes throughout Nellie’s story.  

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Sunderly family has left the comforts of their home in Kent, England to accompany Reverend Erasmus Sunderly to the island of Vane where he has been commissioned to assist on an archeological dig. Set during Victorian times when women have few rights, Reverend Sunderly’s young daughter Frances lives a double life. Frances is intrigued by science. She fancies herself a scientist and is extremely observant of her surroundings. Because she goes unnoticed, she learns many secrets.  She has discovered that not everything about her family is what it seems to be.  These secrets lead to her father’s death. His death was not accidental, nor was it a suicide.  Frances is determined to seek justice for her father, and in doing so will learn even more dangerous secrets about her father and his work.