Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fall 2016 Roundup
One of the many really fun aspects of being part of Teen Librarian Toolbox is getting tons of books to consider for review. I try to mainly focus on books that deal with LGBTQIA+ characters, incorporate some kind of diversity, may fly under the radar, or are just exceptional books. I don’t spend a lot of time writing negative reviews unless it’s a book that is either really doing a disservice to a community/topic or is something that’s getting a lot of great press but my view differs. I figure we all have better things to do with our time than write about or read about a book that isn’t worth seeking out.
While I try to review a lot of the books that come my way, there are many that I get but choose not to review. I’d love to review everything, but between parenting, librarianing, TLTing and writing reviews for various journals, it’s just not possible. I end up passing all of the ARCs (both the ones I read and the ones I skip) along to my teen pals in the young adult book club and teen advisory board that I run through the public library. They then swap them back and forth and we talk about them in our meetings.
What follows are some titles from the 2016 Fall list from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. All annotations here are via WorldCat, Goodreads, or the publisher.
And hey, guess what? Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is offering 2 copies of GIRL ON A PLANE by Miriam Moss to give away to our readers. Head on over to the Rafflecopter to enter. You can also tweet this post or follow me (@CiteSomething) to enter, too. Contest runs 4/7 to 4/14 and winners will be notified via email. US entries only, please.
Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey (ISBN-13: 9780547330129 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 08/02/2016)
Pete Seeger, the iconic folk musician and multiple Grammy winner, discovered early in life that what he wanted to do was make music. His amazing career as singer, songwriter, and banjo player spanned seven decades, and included both low points (being charged with contempt of Congress) and highlights (receiving the Kennedy Center Honor from President Clinton). An activist and protester, Seeger crusaded for the rights of labor, the rights of people of color, and the First Amendment right to let his voice be heard, and launched the successful campaign to clean up the Hudson River. Archival photographs and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.
I am Drums by Mike Grosso (ISBN-13: 9780544707108 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 09/06/2016)
Sam knows she wants to be a drummer. But she doesn’t know how to afford a drum kit, or why budget cuts end her school’s music program, or why her parents argue so much, or even how to explain her dream to other people.
But drums sound all the time in Sam’s head, and she’d do just about anything to play them out loud—even lie to her family if she has to. Will the cost of chasing her dream be too high?
An exciting new voice in contemporary middle grade, Mike Grosso creates a determined heroine readers will identify with and cheer for.
Gutless by Cark Deuker (ISBN-13: 9780544649613 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:09/06/2016)
With good speed and good hands, wide receiver Brock Ripley should be a natural for the varsity team, but he shies away from physical contact. He also avoids provoking the star quarterback, Hunter Gates, well known for his bullying tactics. Hunter struggles on the field, causing him to act even more like the bully he is, lashing out at not only Brock but also Brock’s friend, the quiet and smart Richie Fang. Brock wants to stand up for Fang, but he is younger, smaller, and doesn’t want to cause problems. But when the bullying goes too far, will Brock be able to face his fears and prove to himself that he is brave enough?
Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss (ISBN-13: 9780544783997 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:09/13/2016)
After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert.
Demands are issued. If they are not met, the terrorists will blow up the plane, killing all hostages. The heat becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. All alone, Anna begins to face the possibility that she may never see her family again.
Inspired by true events in the author’s life, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror with courage and resilience. Includes Q&A with the author.
Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis (ISBN-13: 9780544785069 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)
Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard.
Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.
Girls Like Me by Lola StVil (ISBN-13: 9780544706743 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)
Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school. When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn’t want to tell him who she is. But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails.
Girls Like Me is a fun and fresh poetic take on teen angst, social media and online anonymity, and high school romance.
Hercufleas by Sam Gayton (ISBN-13: 9780544636200 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)
To protect her village from a giant, Greta recruits a champion: Hercufleas! He may be tiny, but this young flea is certain he’s destined for greatness. Being a hero is harder than it seems, though, and Hercufleas and Greta face unexpected choices—and consequences—in their desperate attempts to save the village, and each other.
Big heroes come in small packages in a superbly imagined tale that is part comedic adventure, part poignant coming-of-age epic, and wholly original.
Speed of Life by J.M. Kelly (ISBN-13: 9780544747821 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/11/2016)
Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It’s not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they’re scraping by.
Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies—and gets in—new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.
Isabella for Real by Margie Palatini (ISBN-13: 9780544148468 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:10/11/2016)
When Isabella Antonelli becomes an overnight YouTube sensation in a documentary detailing her REAL, non-royal Italian American family, she needs to figure out a way to tell everyone at her fancy new school the truth about her family—or come up with some better lies.
Brimming with offbeat humor, Isabella for Real sets the scene for an eccentric, multi-generational family drama that will have readers laughing out loud and giving Isabella’s performance a standing ovation.
Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef (ISBN-13: 978-0544535800 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 11/08/2016)
Most people know Florence Nightingale was a compassionate and legendary nurse, but they don’t know her full story. This riveting biography explores the exceptional life of a woman who defied the stifling conventions of Victorian society to pursue what was considered an undesirable vocation. She is best known for her work during the Crimean War, when she vastly improved gruesome and deadly conditions and made nightly rounds to visit patients, becoming known around the world as the Lady with the Lamp. Her tireless and inspiring work continued after the war, and her modern methods in nursing became the defining standards still used today. Includes notes, bibliography, and index.
Filed under: New YA
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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