Xiomara Batista has to be tough. She'd rather use her fists than her words when it comes to defending herself and her twin brother, Xavier.
Under the strict rule of her fiercely Catholic mother, Xiomara writes furiously in her prized leather notebook, panting the pages with the words of her heart and soul.
When she begins to develop feelings for Aman, the danger of being with a boy she knows her mother would disapprove of is stressful yet tempting for a girl desperate to connect with someone and have her voice heard. Then Xioamara is asked to join a slam poetry event and a whirlwind of events occur, propelling her into a new phase of her life.
This is a phenomenal novel, Xiomara is a brilliant and strong lead character that defends her family and rebels against them like any teen would. Set in Harlem, the novel has a beautiful rhythm that would sit perfectly next to Sarah Crossan, Kwame Alexander and Jason Reynolds. I'm going to really enjoy getting the students in our high school turned on to this amazing novel, don't miss it!
I recommend it for ages 15 and up!
Will's brother Shawn has just been murdered.
Will tucks a gun into the waistband of his jeans and sets off to exact revenge. In Will's neighbourhood, revenge is part of the rules of surviving.
As he rides the elevator to the lobby of his building, he's joined by a man who looks eerily familiar.
The man strikes up a conversation and to Will's horror, he realises that it's Buck. This wouldn't be odd except for the fact that Will knows Buck is dead.
Then the doors open and in walks Dani, a girl who Will knew when he was eight years old. A girl he saw get hit by a stray bullet and die in front of him.
Fearing he's losing it, Will doesn't know what to do with the information the ghosts are telling him as he makes his way down the floors of the building.
As more ghosts from his past enter the elevator, Will learns some surprising and disturbing truths about his family.
Told in gritty verse, Long Way Down is a powerful story about family, revenge and making ultimate choices. It's an important book for teens to read and will be a part of our Year 9 boys books club in the Library. Amazing, don't miss it!
Josh and Jordan
12 year-old twins
Their basketball skills
Would make a church-goer sin
Sound of leather on pine
It's their favourite song
Till Jordan meets a girl
Then it's gone baby gone
Their father's a star
Played professional ball
Their mother's a principal
Watchin' kids in the hall
Nothing but net
Their game can't be beat
Till pop's heart shows signs
Of leavin' the kitchen for the heat
The big game is looming
Second half's a life-changer
You're crazy if you miss
The Crossover by K. Alexander