Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.
Summer of '69 by Todd Strasser. 376 p. Candlewick Press, April 9, 2019. 9780763695262.
Publisher synopsis: With his girlfriend, Robin, away in Canada, eighteen-year-old Lucas Baker’s only plans for the summer are to mellow out with his friends, smoke weed, drop a tab or two, and head out in his microbus for a three-day happening called the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. But life veers dramatically off track when he suddenly finds himself in danger of being drafted and sent to fight in Vietnam. If that isn’t heavy enough, there’s also the free-loving (and undeniably alluring) Tinsley, who seems determined to test Lucas’s resolve to stay faithful to Robin; a frighteningly bad trip at a Led Zeppelin concert; a run-in with an angry motorcycle gang; parents who appear headed for a divorce; and a friend on the front lines in ’Nam who’s in mortal danger of not making it back. As the pressures grow, it’s not long before Lucas finds himself knocked so far down, it’s starting to look like up to him. When tuning in, turning on, and dropping out is no longer enough, what else is there?
Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew. 280 p. Candlewick Press, August, 2019. 97801536202632.
Publisher synopsis: If you leave home, is your heart left behind?
Darya Ivanova is looking forward to September. She has looked after her little sister, Nika, since she was a baby. Now Nika is starting school. Maybe Darya can find a job with her own tidy desk. Perhaps even a boyfriend. But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Darya's life plans are fractured. Stalled. She is afraid. What if she never knows real love? What if she never finds somewhere she belongs?
If only she could get to Moscow. There, Darya could escape. There, she could become someone else . . .
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner. 352 p. Candlewick Press, April 16, 2019. 97807636536297563.
Publisher synopsis: In a novel in two voices, a popular teen and an artistic loner forge an unlikely bond — and create an entire universe — via texts. But how long before the real world invades Starworld?
Sam Jones and Zoe Miller have one thing in common: they both want an escape from reality. Loner Sam flies under the radar at school and walks on eggshells at home to manage her mom’s obsessive-compulsive disorder, wondering how she can ever leave to pursue her dream of studying aerospace engineering. Popular, people-pleasing Zoe puts up walls so no one can see her true self: the girl who was abandoned as an infant, whose adoptive mother has cancer, and whose disabled brother is being sent away to live in a facility. When an unexpected encounter results in the girls’ exchanging phone numbers, they forge a connection through text messages that expands into a private universe they call Starworld. In Starworld, they find hilarious adventures, kindness and understanding, and the magic of being seen for who they really are. But when Sam’s feelings for Zoe turn into something more, will the universe they’ve built survive the inevitable explosion?
Pride: a Pride and Prejudice remix by Ibi Zoboi. Unabridged audiobook on 5 compact discs. 6.5 hours. Performed by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperAudio, September 18, 2018. 9781982554163.
Publisher synopsis: Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.
Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.
When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.
But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.
In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
The Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz. Unabridged audiobook on one MP3-CD. 3 hours. Read by Bahni Turpin. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, May, 2018. 9781543687958.
Publisher synopsis: Tash didn't want to go to camp, didn't want to spend the summer with a bunch of strangers, didn't want to be separated from the only two people she has ever been able to count on: her uncle Kevin, who saved her from foster care, and Cap'n Jackie, who lives next door. Camp turns out to be pretty fun, actually, but when Tash returns home, Cap'n Jackie is gone. And Tash needs her — the made-up stories of dolphin-dragons, the warm cookies that made everything all right after a fight, the key Cap'n Jackie always insisted had magic in it. The Captain always said all Tash had to do was hold it tight and the magic would come. Was it true? Could the key bring Cap'n Jackie back? In a heartfelt and stunningly written story, Pat Schmatz introduces readers to a tenacious, fiercely loyal girl struggling to let go of the fantasies and fears of her childhood . . . and say yes to everything that lies ahead.
Failing Up: how to take risks, aim higher and never stop learning by Leslie Odom, Jr. Unabridged audiobook on one MP3-CD. 3 hours, 35 minutes. Performed by the author. Brilliance Audio, August, 2018. 9781978651180.
Publisher synopsis: Leslie Odom Jr. burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor.
With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?
These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you're graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.
If you leave a comment, I will definitely stop by and try to comment back - unless commenters have to sign onto Discus or whatever that's called. But I will check out your stack!