40. The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle

            In this YA-level book Martin lives in suburbia, under the dome, with his parents and WonderBaby little sister.  His life is routine, with school and the morning vote, until he receives a modified bot dog for his birthday.  His dog seems to be able to access things that other pets can’t.  Martin finds a boy who has been missing for two years, then the lab coat woman comes to collect him.  Martin finds more and more strange things about his world than he ever imagined.  The last straw is when the stranger comes and collects all of the WonderBabies to go to a new special school just for them.  His little sister Cassie is gone and there is a question if she ever went to the new special school.  Martin decides he is going to go “outside”.  He knows the poison gas and blowing sand will probably kill him but he has to find out what happened to Cassie.  The strong social commentary evident in this novel may scare some with its plausibility.

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

39. The sweet, terrible, glorious year I truly, completely lost it by Lisa Shanahan

            This YA-level novel is set in Australia.  Gemma Stone’s sister is getting married to a family of war fanatics.  Her mother only cross-stitches fruit and is constantly cross-stitching.  Gemma is very repressed and feels that it is bad form to throw a birkett of any kind.  Then she falls for a boy who convinces her to try out for the school play.  The boy who likes her decides to follow suit and the chaos is in full tilt.  Throughout it all Gemma learns what it means to truly love someone, whether it is romantically or as a new in-law.  She also finds out that at the right moment a birkett may be just what is needed.  This story is surprisingly poignant while dealing with small town stereotypes in Australia.

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

38. Grimpow: The Invisible Road by Rafael Abalos

            This YA-level novel takes place in the 14th century during the Dark Ages and leads to the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment.  Grimpow is a young teenager who was born on an auspicious night.  It was always said that he would have the best of luck in life.  One winter morning Grimpow finds a dead man in the snow who has an important coded message and a curious rock.  Grimpow then begins a period of learning in a local monastery.  His time ends as he decides try and deliver the dead man’s message.  With the help of his rock and friends he makes along the way, Grimpow struggles to follow the Invisible Road past pursuit and convoluted riddles.  The pope and the king of France would like the power of the rock all to themselves, but Grimpow must find a way to bring the enlightenment of learning to all peoples.  It is unclear whether this is the first book in a series or whether it is a stand-alone novel.

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment