Nick and Kenny are brothers, and they're also best friends. Their mum isn't around and their dad is doing his best to make up for being a pretty sloppy father.
When the boys find an injured rook, Kenny is determined to nurse it back to health. Meanwhile, Nick has bigger problems to worry about.
He's being bullied by a boy at school and to make matters worse, Nick's in love with the bully's sister.
Desperate to find some courage to ask her out on a date or even speak to her in the hall, Nick decides to stand up to her brother once and for all. This is a decision that will change Nick's life drastically.
Rook is a fast-paced and powerful read about family, willpower and standing up for yourself. I am really excited to find some students in the Library who tell me they "hate reading" because this is one that will change their minds. Don't miss it! I recommend it for ages 14 and up!
Zélie lives in constant fear. In a land where magic users, or maji, are hunted and disposed of, she knows all too well the dangers that surround her.
Majis have been driven to extinction under the authority of a tyrannical king.
The king's daughter Amari, however, decides that her father's ways are wrong and sets out on her own. This angers the king who puts a price on her head.
In a chance meeting, Amari and Zélie meet as Amari is on the run. Together they flee with Zélie's brother.
Chased by Amari's brother, Inan, the three go from one nail-biting adventure to the next as Zélie discovers that she may be the key to bringing magic back to the land.
Filled with thrills, Indiana Jones-style adventure and truly original characters, I can't recommend this book enough.
If you're looking for strong female characters with complex histories and troubled pasts with tons of great fight scenes, a strong fantasy plot and a ton of grit, this is the book for you.
I will be buying quite a few copies of this to keep our teens happy. Highly recommended!
I'm really excited to announce the launch of the #OHYABOOKCLUB - a monthly Twitter-based YA book club where we'll discuss YA, vote on a book to read each month and take part in some great giveaways!
Our first meeting will be on Thurs 29 March at 8:00 PM GMT.
We'll be voting on a YA book to read over April and I'll also be giving away 2 signed copies of Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard !
All you need to do to take part is follow #OHYABOOKCLUB and join in the discussion, hope to see you there!
It's 1982. Mary is an orphan at Thornhill Institute for Children. She has selective mutism and spends all of her time in her room, writing in her diary and reading The Secret Garden.
She's also hiding. Hiding from a ferocious bully who makes her life at Thornhill a living hell. To cope, Mary spends even more time in her room making dolls. The dolls represent the friends she wished she had and also the people that she doesn't particularly like.
As more and more children find homes, Mary finds herself alone with the bully, who embarks upon a psychological torture that will bring Mary to the brink.
It's 2016. Ella's new home overlooks the ruins of Thornhill. She's intrigued by its dilapidated appearance and overgrown lawns. Lonely and bored, she decides to sneak under the "No Trespassing" signs and find out everything she can about this mysterious building.
Creepy and taught with a building foreboding, Thornhill is a must read for any horror or mystery fan. Mary's section is told through diary entries while Ella's is told entirely through illustrations. Each section is broken by black pages which only adds to the dark, empty feeling you get when you entre an abandoned building with a dark past. I recommend Thornhill for ages 12 and up!
Jess is a juvenile delinquent with a penchant for shoplifting. Her home life is the stuff of nightmares. Her step father beats her mother and forces Jess to record the incidents. Jess' brother Liam fled the home a year ago and her mother has seemingly resigned herself to her fate.
After being caught shoplifting, Jess is given a community service sentence, primarily picking up rubbish with other youths in a nearby park.
It is there that she meets Nicu, a Romanian immigrant who has problems of his own. Nicu is scheduled to be in an arranged marriage and only has a few weeks before he must return to Romania for the ceremony.
Both teens feel trapped, lost and hopeless. Together they try to eek out some semblance of normalcy.
It doesn't come without a cost, through. Once Nicu is enrolled in Jess' high school, he is at the hands of merciless, racist teens who target him on a daily basis. Jess is at first able to turn a blind eye but soon stands up for Nicu. These actions will have disastrous consequences for both of them.
As the clock ticks for Nicu with his impending marriage and for Jess with her stepfather's actions becoming more and more brutal, both teens will find themselves backed against a wall that neither of them should have to endure.
A really harrowing and sad read, once again Crossan has created a beautiful story through prose. I loved Briand Conaghan's When Mr. Dog Bites and he does not disappoint here either. I recommend this novel to ages 14 and up!
Wing has always lived under the radar. Her brother Marcus is always the one in the limelight. He's charming, funny and a high school football star with a promising professional sports career looming on the horizon.
Wing seems resigned to the fact that she's always going to be on the side lines, never quite fitting in and secretly harbouring a crush on Marcus' best friend Aaron.
Then a tragedy strikes the family (I won't spoil it here) and Wing is forced to find something inside of herself that can take her mind off the psychological torment her family is going through.
She finds her strength in running. To everyone's surprise, even her own, she's really, really fast. Wing focuses on running to ease her pain, but it's not enough.
On top of the tragedy, her mother can no longer pay the bills, meaning the bank is threatening to take the home away. Desperate, Wing decides to use her new found running skills to good use: a nationwide competition looking for a spokesperson for a brand of awesome running shoes.
As the clock ticks towards the competition, Wing is unsure if she can handle the pressure surrounding her and her family.
Wing Jones is an emotional glimpse into family tragedy and the guilt that can accompany it. I really enjoyed watching Wing's confidence grow through her running and how it helped her cope with the tragedy and her overall social skills.
I think people need to find something, at least one thing in life that they can latch onto to help them through tough times or just times of insecurity. Wing Jones is about finding that thing and going all in, never giving in and not letting the bastards get you down as they say.
I highly recommend this book for ages 13 and up!
Far off the north western coast of Scotland lies a handful of remote islands called St. Kilda.
In the 18th century these islands were inhabited by fowlers, people whose job it was to harvest the many species of sea birds that live there.
Every year a handful of boys are brought to an even more remote island, called the Warrior Stac. They are dropped off and left for two or three weeks. The idea is that when they return they will be men, hardened by the island's merciless ways. The boys will have to fend for themselves, harvest birds for food, find shelter and survive on their own for a little while.
Three weeks go by and nobody picks the boys up. They aren't too concerned. Then another week goes by, and another. Then they lose count.
When one of the boys falls, hits his head and has a vision of the end of the world, fear begins to set in.
Has the world ended on their little island home a few miles away? Have the angels of heaven forgotten about them?
With no trees on the island and winter approaching, building a raft that can get them home is out of the question. As the weather deteriorates and the boys' morale plummets, Quill must try to keep himself sane along with his fellow castaways.
Desperation soon turns to anger, and there is in-fighting amongst the boys. There are three adults with them, one of them falls into a deep depression and does little to nothing to stop the fear. The other becomes a religious zealot, forcing the boys to choose between their god and their survival.
Where the World Ends is a truly harrowing tale of survival and hope. Told beautifully from Quill's perspective, it digs to the bone of the psychological trauma that one would most certainly experience when faced with the unthinkable. This is a book you will fly through, you just have to know what happens to these boys.
With lots of twists and turns and beautiful passages, I can't recommend it enough.