Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

“The views expressed are of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions.”

For more information about YAR, please email Dora Ho at dorah2005@gmail.com


Monday, July 27, 2015

Orbiting Jupiter

General YA Fiction

VG/A Schmidt, Gary.  Orbiting Jupiter.  Clarion, 2015.  192p.  978-0544462229.  17.99


When Jack’s parents decide to foster 8th grader Joseph they know that he has had a rough past. Even though Jack’s friends all think he should stay away from Joseph, Jack befriends him anyway and they watch out for each other. Joseph is not a bad kid, he’s been through a lot in his short 14 years including fathering a child with a young girl that he loved. Jack and his family promise to help Joseph find his baby daughter, Jupiter. You can’t help but fall in love with Joseph, Jack and Jack’s parents (plus some of the teachers) in this book. Kleenex are necessary. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Secrets We Keep

High School Fiction

F/A  Leaver, Trisha. The Secrets We Keep.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.  304p.  978-0374300463. 17.99


When identical twins Maddy and Ella are involved in a deadly car accident, Ella was driving Maddy’s car. When she wakes up in the hospital, everyone thinks that she is Maddy and that Ella died in the crash. Ella is confused and doesn’t bother to correct anyone, instead she decides that she will just be Maddy from now on, thinking that everyone loved her more anyway. Little does she know that Maddy has some secrets that even Ella didn’t know about. But how long can Ella pretend to be someone that clearly she is not? The premise is frustrating because it’s so unlikely that she could keep up the fa├žade (and why would she want to), but the writing is decent. Teens will love it, even if it’s not exactly plausible. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch