The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen


When Conner, a nobleman and regent to King Eckbert of Carthya, rounds up orphans, Sage, Roden, Tobias and Latamer from around the kingdom, the boys have no idea what he has in store for them. Conner has a plan to save the kingdom of Carthya.  He plans to pass one of these orphans off as the missing and presumed dead Prince Jaron.  Conner pits the boys against each other.  The boys have a short amount of time to learn how to act like a royal. To lose this contest means certain death; after all Conner cannot have witnesses to speak out against his treasonous plan.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ill Give You the Sun_

Jude and Noah are twins. They share an intense empathetic connection and are very close at age thirteen.  Jude is reckless, rebellious and communicates with the ghost of Grandma Sweetwine while Noah is awkward, isolated and thinks and feels in color. Both are artistically talented, and their mother has hopes of the twins going to California School of the Arts for high school. But at sixteen, events in their lives have divided and changed them. They are not themselves and the twins barely tolerate each other.

Told with alternating narrators, each twin narrates their tale. Noah describing their lives at thirteen and Jude picking up the story three years later. I’ll Give You the Sun is the 2015 Printz Award winner for excellence in Young Adult Literature.  (mature read)

Paper Towns by John Green

papertownsWhen Quentin (Q) and Margo were nine they shared an event.  One that would bond them together. Flash forward. Now they are finishing up their senior year of high school, still living next door to each other.  They run in different circles; Q with the brains including his best friends Radar and Ben.  Q worships beautiful Margo Roth Spiegelman. He follows her every move but from afar.  Margo runs with the popular crowd. And some members of her crowd are not kind to Q and his friends.  So Q is caught completely off-guard when Margo taps on his bedroom window one night with a plan of revenge.  Q, who’s not the biggest risk taker, follows Margo out the window and embarks on a memorable night.  When Q returns to school the next day Margo is missing. Margo has left clues, and Q is
obsessed with finding Margo.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Gacigalupi

drowned cities_The Drowned Cities is a companion novel to Ship Breaker.

Set in a future war-torn America, refugees Mahlia and Mouse have escaped the Drowned Cities where they have made a better life with Doctor Mahfouz.  Mouse rescued Mahlia from the violence of the soldier boys but not before they managed to take her right hand.  Doctor Mahfouz has healed Mahlia and she is learning how to doctor from him.  A chance encounter with Tool, the half-man introduced in Ship Breaker, sends their lives into chaos.  Mahlia, who has always made choices based on survival, will have to make decisions which pit her survival instinct against her heart.  The circumstances of war keep this book moving and provide a thrilling backdrop for Mahlia and Mouse’s story.

The One by Kiera Cass

the one_The One is Book 3 of the Selection series.   Four girls are left in the Elite.  After certain events, America questions whether she can trust Maxon’s character. Is he a man who could bring about change for her beloved country or will he falter? Maxon, fearing that he will be rejected by America and still needing to select Illea’s princess and a wife, starts seeking the company of the other Elite.  Southern rebels continue to step up their aggression with constant attacks on the palace and the Elite’s families.  America is called upon by others who value her character and spirit. After a visit home and some guidance from her loving father, America realizes what she must do.

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Elite_The Elite is the second book in The Selection series.  Prince Maxon, who is seeking a wife and princess for Illea, has pared down the eligible young ladies from 35 to six.  These are the Elite.  America, still confused about her feelings for Max and her feelings for her first love, Aspen, continues to compete for her chance to be princess.  Competition for Max’s heart, puts the Elite on an emotional roller coaster.  Some girls form strong bonds, while others use antagonistic methods to beat their competition and win Max’s attention. Meanwhile, Northern and Southern rebels continue to attack the castle. America must find ways to curb her impulsive behavior and improve her public appeal in this stressful situation to keep from being eliminated.

The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson

The Dying Breath_Cameryn Mahoney’s ex is back with a vengeance. Cammie, who works with her dad, the county coroner in Silverton, Colorado, has just been called to a case where she discovers evidence that Kyle O’Neil, her former boyfriend and sociopathic killer is back in town and after Cammie.  Cammie is a gifted forensic scientist who is being mentored by Durango’s medical examiner, Dr. Moore. Dr. Moore with Cammie’s help is able to tie Kyle to several other murders in the area and the evidence emphasizes how dangerous he really is.  Kyle is determined to get to Cammie any way he can.

The Dying Breath is the fourth book in A Forensic Mystery series.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer


ScarletScarlet’s grandmother is missing.  She hasn’t returned to the farm and Scarlet knows she was abducted. Then her father shows up.  He is frantic. His body shows signs of obvious torture and he rips apart the farmhouse searching for something. As he describes those who held him captive,  Scarlet knows she must question Wolf, a street fighter seen in town to get information about who has her grandmother.

Meanwhile, Cinder, locked away in a New Beijing prison, must find away to escape before Emperor Kai turns her over to Lunar Queen Levana. Cinder must work quickly as Queen Levana continues to move forward with her evil plan of dominating the Earth.

Scarlet, the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles series, is two great adventures.

Your Water Footprint by Stephen Leahy

Your Water Footprint

California is in the middle of a drought.  Hopefully you are more conscious of how you use water now and make efforts not to waste water.  Have you ever wondered how much water we use?  Stephen Leahy’s Your Water Footprint uses infographics and text to present interesting facts on how we use water from manufacturing products to daily personal use.  The book provides water-saving tips. Leahy provides his sources and references as well.  The photographs and graphics make this book visually appealing and fun to browse through.

To This Day by Shane Koyczan

To This Day_Shane Koyczan’s To This Day is powerful.  Powerful in its words against bullying and powerful in its images.  This poetry book grew out of a concept from the To This Day animated video by Shane that went viral in 2013. The illustrations in this book were created by different artists and each illustrator is credited in the book. Resources are also provided in the book and on the To This Day website. If you are interested in spoken word poetry, click on the link to navigate to the website and listen to Koyczan’s powerful performance.