Showing posts with the label Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review: Wayward Creatures

Wayward Creatures by Dayna Lorentz Clarion Books (imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 2022 Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Shirley Reva Vernick Buy at Twelve-year-old Gabe feels unmoored by the stress of his father’s unemployment and the shifting friendships of junior high. He acts out by setting off fireworks in the park, accidentally causing a forest fire that destroys acres of public land. When Gabe enters a restorative justice program, he gets the chance to repair some of the damage he has caused. It’s through this program that he gets to know and help Rill, a young coyote who was seriously injured in the fire. Told in the alternating first-person voices of Gabe and Rill, this story agilely explores relationship dynamics, community, self-empowerment, and ecology. Lorentz imbues her faced-paced story with relatable characters who possess both humor and heart. Hard truths about consequences and responsibility are balanced by uplifting messages of personal transformat

Review: Some Other Now

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Category: Young Adult Reviewer: Cheryl Fox Strausberg Buy at Jessi Rumfield has never felt at home in her own family. Her mother has debilitating depression and her father spends most of his time tending to her and largely ignoring Jessi. It’s no wonder that when Rowan Cohen - Jessi’s best friend - pseudo-adopts her into his family, she feels closer to Rowan’s mother Mel and her two boys, instead of her own parents. After admitting her long-standing crush on Rowan’s older brother Luke, and having that crush reciprocated, Luke and Jessi start a whirlwind romance, no easy feat for a high school senior and a college freshman. However, her happiness is short-lived; On one fateful night, everything goes spectacularly wrong and results in fatal consequences. A year later, Jessi is trying to fill her time to avoid dealing with her problems but it only gets worse when Luke returns home from college a

Review: A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Meira Drazin A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan is about sixth-graders Sara and Elizabeth who bridge their outward differences to team up for cooking club and ultimately for friendship. Sara has just joined the large local Poplar Springs Middle School after having gone to a small mosque school her whole life. Looking to earn extra money and supplement her Pakistani cuisine catering business, Sara’s mom Mrs. Hameed becomes the new after-school cooking club teacher, specializing in Southeast Asian food. Elizabeth, enamored by food as well as the practical aspects of cooking for her family when her British mother’s expertise is opening a tin and buying microwavable hot pockets, excitedly takes the after-school club with her best friend Maddy, who promptly ditches her for a new cool best friend. Prickly Sara, who has to sit in the class anyway as she waits for her mom, agrees to be