Young Adult Books | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It
Favorite

Young Adult Books 

Dreamsleeves

Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Scholastic Books, 2012, $16.99

It's a good thing 12-year-old Aislinn's name means "dream" in Gaelic, because without her passion for "wide-awake" dreams, she'd have no life at all. As summer arrives, her beloved Nana is away, her mother's pregnant again, and her alcoholic father's become increasingly abusive. Her best friend Maizey takes up with snobby Sue-Ellen, and her father won't let her see the boy she likes. People shouldn't wear their hearts on their sleeve, her Nana has cautioned, but Aislinn decides dreams are different, wearing hers in the literal sense—in writing, on paper. You need other people to make dreams come true, she learns, but can anyone make her father stop drinking? This heartfelt, semiautobiographical tale is by the Troy-based author of the Wedding Planner's Daughter series.

—Susan Krawitz

In Trouble

Ellen Levine

Carolrhoda Books, 2011, $17.95

Caldecott winner Levine courageously tackles a storyline made all too timely by the Republican War on Women. It's the McCarthy era; high school junior Jamie's father is fresh out of jail. She's plagued by nightmares, and best friend Elaine is using her as a cover to see her forbidden-fruit boyfriend. Finally admitting she's pregnant, Elaine lurches from denial to deluded motherhood fantasies, squelched when her boyfriend deserts and her parents insist on adoption. But Elaine's not the only girl facing a heartbreaking choice, and Levine pulls no punches in depicting the terror of negotiating an illegal abortion. Sensitive and multilayered, In Trouble makes two things painfully clear: There's no easy solution to an unwanted pregnancy, and avoiding the issue won't help.

—Nina Shengold

Plunked

Michael Northrop

Scholastic Press, 2012, $16.99

Jack Mogens is a happy-go-lucky star player with Little League baseball team the Tall Pine Braves, riding high until he gets plunked in the head by a stray pitch and promptly loses his mojo. This is where Red Hook author Northrop shines, offering lots of interior detail to complement the superficial aspects of a seemingly carefree young jock's life. Jack descends into a spiral of secret anxiety, experiencing stress so intense that he lies to everyone, claiming a hand injury, and ducks out of a game. He seriously considers quitting baseball. Lucky for Jack, he's got great parents, a gruff-but-lovable coach, and a best friend, who all understand him a lot better than he thinks they do.

—Robert Burke Warren

The Beginning Of After

Jennifer Castle

Harper Collins, 2011, $17.99

In the instant of a police officer's word, Laurel's identity changes forever, from bright, secure suburban teen to survivor of a front-page tragedy. Her entire nuclear family has been killed during a heartbreakingly mundane trip to the ice cream shop. The devastation, anguish, and upheaval and the sometimes fumbling efforts of the community to rally to her side make for a painful and riveting read. Laurel is an engaging and courageous heroine, and spending time with her as she struggles along the rutted gravel road to recovery—stumbling sometimes, always getting back up, learning forgiveness and survival—makes this debut novel by Dutchess County writer Castle a rich experience. Reading with Nova Ren Suma & Kim Purcell at Inquiring Minds, New Paltz 6/15, at 7pm.

—Anne Pyburn

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Color & Japanese Papermaking and Tatiana Ginsberg @ Women's Studio Workshop

Color & Japanese Papermaking and Tatiana Ginsberg

Mon., Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. — Through Aug. 25. Explore your fascination with Japanese paper and color in...
Visual Poetry with Laimah Osman @ Women's Studio Workshop

Visual Poetry with Laimah Osman

Mon., Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. — Through Aug. 25. Learn how to work visually with words. Break the...

View all of today's events

Latest in Books & Authors

  • Book Review: The Dark Dark: Stories
  • Book Review: The Dark Dark: Stories

    Carolyn Quimby reviews Samantha Hunt's The Dark Dark: Stories.
    • Aug 1, 2017
  • Jonathan Lerner: Memoirs of a Revolution
  • Jonathan Lerner: Memoirs of a Revolution

    Sparrow interviews ex-Weatherman Jonathan Lerner about his new memoir detailing his days as a young, gay activist in the clandestine radical group the Weather Underground in the 1960s and '70s.
    • Aug 1, 2017
  • Short Takes: August 2017
  • Short Takes: August 2017

    Short reviews of Hudson Valley Wine: A History of Taste & Terroir, Who Did You Say the Father Was?, Mad Monk: Improper Parables, The Suffragents, and Savage Joy.
    • Aug 1, 2017
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets