The Truth Project by Dante Medema
Quill Tree Books / Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 30, 2020
High school senior Cordelia has her senior writing project all planned: she’ll take a DNA test just like her sister did, and write about identity and her family history. She also manages to get paired with her childhood crush, Kodiak, on the project. But when her genealogy results come in, Cordelia learns her father is not who she thought — which sends her spiraling as her plan for her senior year completely changes.
This free verse novel has a lot of white space on the page and reads quickly. Poems are short and spaced out. Additional storytelling comes in the form of text messages and emails, adding some variety while keeping things fast-paced. The writing is clear, and the plot is straightforward. The search for identity is a familiar theme with strong emotional appeal to teens, and many teens will relate to Delia’s sense of being out-of-place even among the people who know her best.
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Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley
HarperTeen / HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
After Liv’s brother Jonah accidentally shoots
himself with his best friend’s father’s gun, he requires 24/7 medical care to
live. A hospital bed in the living room becomes their new normal, as the family
navigates grief and forgiveness.
Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, May 22 Edition
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They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, art by Harmony Becker
Top Shelf Productions / IDW Publishing
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, tells of his family’s forced removal from their home and detention in internment camps in this graphic memoir. The drawings show the grim realities of their lives even as the text tells the story from George’s perspective as a five year old whose parents undertook heroic efforts to shelter him from their dire circumstances. George’s parents largely succeeded in protecting him from the harsh truth that they were prisoners and he still has some fond memories games, treats, and friendships in the camps. When the camps closed, the Takei family began an even more precarious existence as they struggled to rebuild their lives in a world that viewed them with suspicion and hostility. Interspersed throughout the book are depictions of milestone events in Takei’s life that demonstrated how the residual effects of a childhood spent as an “alien enemy” impacted his personal relationships, his career, and his activism.
Continue reading Quick Picks (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, March 3 Edition