Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top 5 in 2011, so far: Lisa's Gems in the Rough

Lisa is the person that you want to be friends with because she always knows what books are flying under the radar, but are totally worth checking out. If you want the inside look at what you don't want to miss this year, you want to check out Lisa's list.

Lisa’s Top 5 YA of the first half of 2011

1.    The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
After track-star Jessica loses her leg in an accident she learns a lot about anger, friendship, and hope. Beautiful passages about running, a believable range of emotions, and terrific characters made this one of my favorites!

2.    Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell
This light, fun read is about Janie Gorman, a goat-milking teen, trying to navigate her way through her freshman year of high school. Janie's back-to-earth blogger mom, her type A activist friend, her new bass-playing guy friend named Monster, and some senior citizens who played an important role in the civil-rights movement all help Janie learn to "live large."

3.    Orchards by Holly Thompson
This novel-in-verse beautifully captures Kana’s reflections and sorrow as she visits relatives in Japan after her 8th-grade friend hangs herself in the orchard.

4.    Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
This hilarious tale includes beauty queens crashing on a desert island, reality TV pirates, corporate greed and corruption, battle and romance. What more do you need?

5.    Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian
Two friends head off in search of their dreams, one to an elite tennis camp, and the other to a prestigious dance school. The difficulties and triumphs they encounter change their friendship and their dreams. Lovely tale of friendship and an insider’s view of competitive camps.

Some Younger YA Favorites:
1.    The Boy in the Dress by David Williams
Twelve-year-old Dennis loves playing soccer and wearing dresses. His gently told story expanded my world.

2.    The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
Laugh-out-loud historical fiction with a spunky, yet sensitive girl whose family deals with the loss of their farm.

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