Synopses & Reviews
Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.
Mandy Kalinowski understands what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she's sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It's harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?
As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy--or as difficult--as it seems.
Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about the many roads that can lead us home.
"Seventeen-year-old Jill was dealt a shattering blow when her father died unexpectedly. Since then, Jill and her mother have been distant, like 'twin planets orbiting the same universe of grief but never quite making contact.' Now her mother plans to fill the void by adopting a baby. As far as Jill is concerned, the plan is 'lunatic,' but Mandy, the pregnant teen giving up her child, is relieved. She thinks she's finally found a way to escape her emotionally abusive mother and her mother's sexually abusive boyfriend by coming to live with Jill and her mother during the final weeks of her pregnancy. Alternating between the perspectives of Jill and Mandy, National Book Award finalist Zarr (Story of a Girl) crafts intimate and authentic portraits of two vulnerable teens struggling to cope with uncertain futures. Independent and aggressive, Jill has little in common with Mandy, who's sheltered yet very observant, but they form a sisterly bond as they face personal crises. Their slow, cautious efforts to build trust and better understand the meaning of family are expressed with the deepest compassion and kindness. Ages 12 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Video gamer and daredevil dirt bike rider Arlo Santiago is recruited by the U.S. military at White Sands to pilot drone missions in Pakistan. When the game becomes all too real, how will Arlo reconcile his duty with the violent death that haunts his family?
Seventeen year-old dirt-bike-riding daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family. Adios, Nirvana author Conrad Wesselhoeft, takes readers from the skies over war-torn Pakistan to the dusty arroyos of New Mexico's outback in this young adult novel about daring to live in the wake of unbearable loss.
After seeing her house destroyed, Blue suffers acute memory loss. She decides to head back to her childhood home, unsure of where it is, who she is, or what's waiting for her when she gets there.
All dead. No one survived. All dead. This morbid chant haunts seventeen-year-old Blue as she trudges through the countryside with just the clothes on her back, heading to her childhood home on the ocean. Something absolutely awful has happened, she knows it, but she doesnt know what. She cant even remember her name, so she calls herself Blue. This gripping survival story—peppered with flashbacks to bittersweet times with her boyfriend, Jake—strips life down to its bare bones. Blue learns, with the help of a seemingly magical stray dog and kind people along the road, that the important thing is to live.
About the Author
Lisa Jahn-Clough has written and illustrated a number of books for young children, including Alicia Has a Bad Day, My Friend and I, Missing Molly, Simon and Molly Plus Hester, and On the Hill, as well as her debut young adult novel Country Girl, City Girl. She is the chair of the illustration program at Maine College of Art and also teaches at the Vermont College Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives in Portland, Maine.