Anticipation…it's making us wait

Cindy: We try not to tease our readers with blog posts about books that won’t pub for months, but sometimes we get our hands on some real gems very early and want to alert you to watch for them. We’ll be posting longer reviews and comments about these books closer to publication, but here’s a taste of two such books.

youYou by Charles Benoit (HarperTeen, Sept. 2010) features Kyle Chase, a high school slacker narrating the events of high school and home life in a detached second-person voice that will make you turn the pages in one sitting as each missed opportunity, wrong choice, or path not taken sets Kyle’s course. While it is a book that will appeal to many teen boys who have never found a book that speaks to them, it should also be read by middle and high school teachers who want a peek inside that seemingly indifferent kid in the hoodie occupying space in their classes. Parents will also be given moments of pause. Lest you think it will be a relentlessly grim read, let me reassure you that there is plenty of sarcastic humor included too. I’m reminded of Gail Giles’ brilliant Shattering Glass, David Klass’ captivating You Don’t Know Me, and Laurie Halse Anderson’s sarcastic, witty, and troubled narrator Melinda from Speak., but Benoit has written something wholly unique. This is a book that teens will have to talk about. (Gr. 9-12)

54625890Lynn: Deborah Wiles has an extraordinary new book titled Countdown (Scholastic, May 2010) that is getting lots of raves from those of us lucky enough to read it early. Put this middle grade novel on your MUST read list. Set in 1962 in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, duck and cover practices and the nascent Civil Rights Movement, it is also a heart-felt story of family, friendship and growing up. Included within the book are period photographs, newspaper articles, song titles and lyrics, cartoons, speeches and short biographies arranged in thought-provoking ways. There is already much argument about whether this meets the Newbery charge. I adored this book so you will be hearing much more from me later. (Gr. 4-7)

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

2 Comments on "Anticipation…it's making us wait"

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  1. edspicer@mac.com' Ed Spicer says:

    I can see how you compare YOU to SHATTERING GLASS etc, but what comes to my mind is Cormier. This is a gut wrenching book that has, as you mention, some very funny writing as well.

    And, as you know, count me as one who believes that COUNTDOWN has nothing to fear from Newbery criteria.

  2. Ed, Cormier is an apt comparison for YOU. It’s chilling and it’s an incredible character study. Good point.–Cindy

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