Monday, April 23, 2018
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; Violence PG; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic & the occult PG; GLBT content G; adult themes (epidemic disease) PG; overall rating PG.
Liz's comments: This fantasy novel by first-time author Cotter has plenty of action and LOL moments. Hand it to boys who are looking for an action-packed story with magic (and who are tired of girls being the main character in all the latest fantasy novels).
Liz's comments: On-page sexual content (pictures too!), although "tasteful", render this better for HS, even though critics seem to think it's good for 7th grade and up. It's the rare MS student who would wade through this one.
June Cleaver's ratings: not applicable to non-fiction (although there's plenty of strong language in this one, so hand out an "R" rating for that).
Liz's comments: There really is something for every struggle in this compilation, from body image shaming to civil rights to GLBT issues. In general, it is appropriate for HS readers, not because MS readers wouldn't be able to understand it, but because younger readers tend to think more on a personal level and less on a societal or global scale. I'll keep it on hand in my MS library, though, and hand it to kids who are looking for encouragement about specific issues--you don't need to read the whole thing to get something out of an essay that targets your personal need. On a side note, author Rose Brock worked with the contributors to donate the proceeds from this book to favorite charities--$40,000 so far. Hopeful!
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG-13; Violence PG; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG-13; Magic & the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (death of a parent, foster care, parental over-expectations, alcoholism, and others, yikes!) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: Word-wise, this is not a difficult book, and it will speak to a lot of different people. Recommended reading for teens looking for a ray of hope, and for kids on the affluenza end of the spectrum as well.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence PG; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse G; Magic & the occult PG; GLBT content G; adult themes (parental abandonment; death of a parent; chronic illness) PG; overall rating PG.
Liz's comments: Here's a very imaginative story by debut author Easley. Hand it to your 4th-7th grade fantasy fans, and just get ready to tell them they'll have to wait for the sequel! Cuz...it's clearly being set up for Book 2. So be warned.
The story: Will's brother Shawn is dead, and Will knows the Rules: Don't cry. Don't snitch. DO get revenge. He's in the elevator, a gun stuffed down the back of his jeans, ready to make Riggs pay--but there are seven floors between here and the street, and at every floor, someone gets on: someone Will has known in the past, but who's dead now. Each ghost reminds Will just how it all went down, forcing him to wonder if there needs to be...a change to the rules.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language R; Violence PG-13; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG-13; Magic & the occult PG (cuz...ghosts...); GLBT content G; adult themes (gang and revenge killings) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: I keep feeling it isn't fair that someone ALWAYS does amazing work, yet here we are. It's another timely and telling story by Jason Reynolds. Dang, Jason. Don't you ever get tired of all those starred reviews? (Seriously, though...this story is eye opening, thought-provoking, and required for all libraries serving teens. Despite the "F" bomb and some other language, kids of all kinds should read this book.)
June Cleaver's ratings: Language: G; Violence G; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse G; Magic & the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (lying) PG; overall rating G.
Liz's comments: The sequel to "Ungifted" is its worthy successor and has a bunch of LOL moments. Both are great for reluctant readers and anyone in grades 4-7 who wants to root for a likeable regular kid, or shake their heads at the cluelessness of the super-gifted. Not exactly a stand-alone, but there's enough explanation that reading book one is not a requirement.