Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell | A devastating story sprinkled with humor

Charlie Bobo is an oversized 12-year-old boy, the son of sharecroppers living in 1858 South Carolina in "The Journey of Little Charlie" (Scholastic 2018) by three-time Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis.

Because Curtis is African American and has always written black characters, I was taken aback when Little Charlie bartered with the sheriff.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Youths will love book written for adults

Sy Montgomery, author of "How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018), shows that humans who love other species learn love, forgiveness and grief, among other necessary human traits.

The award-winning author writes for both children and adults and is a naturalist and adventurer. This is an adult book that young adults will love.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Spooky story will keep you turning pages

Felix and Lee Vickery, 13-year-old twin boys, live in "The House in Poplar Wood" (Chronicle Books 2018) by K. E. Ormsbee.

The book opens with, "The last day of October was creeping into Poplar House. It came through fissures in the gables and mite-sized holes in the floorboards, bringing with it the scent of burnt oak branches."

Patricia Hruby Powell | Loyalty, love prevail in funny story

Ronney, 15, takes care of his little sister, Mina. He repairs the damaged wall, reseals the driveway and has the carpet changed because it's soaked in blood. Why?

His depressed father rarely gets out of his bedroom or even his pajamas, since he lost his job, and attempted suicide.

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Hiding' is perfect for thoughtful readers

A lovesick teen wandering his neighborhood finds himself in his ex-girlfriend Laura's backyard. He slips into her basement and is trapped there overnight due to the alarm system, in "Hiding" (Clarion 2018) by Henry Turner.

The next morning, the family members leave but the maid arrives. And there's a large dog in the house. He's got time to think.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Book sparks discussion on military service

When Jake Liddell returns home wounded from a tour of duty in the Middle East, everyone says he's a hero. Jake says, "My body may have returned home, but my brain is still wired for war." He needs pills to sleep. His grandfather, a war hero called The General, is already urging Jake back to the battlefield. Jake awaits — and questions — the Silver Star he will be awarded.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Author offers powerful story of survival

The voice of Zara, an aspiring teen photographer in Rhode Island, alternates with the story of her mother, Nadja who survived the 1990s Yugoslav war in "We Are All That's Left" (Philomel, 2018), a novel by Carrie Arcos.

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Moonrise' offers emotional ride

Joe Moon is 17 and hasn't seen his older brother Ed in 10 years in "Moonrise" (Bloomsbury 2018) by Sarah Crossan. Joe is nearly penniless, but he leaves New York to go to Wakeling, Texas. Ed is on death row, and his execution date is set.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Author delivers high-tension, high-stakes story

Sarah is 15, blue-eyed, blonde — and Jewish — living in 1939 Nazi Germany in "Orphan Monster Spy" (Viking 2018) by Matt Killeen. The story opens with Sarah's mother being shot at a roadside checkpoint. Sarah, now an orphan with no identity papers, runs. Her former gymnastics training helps her scale walls and skirt roofs. She meets a man with an unidentifiable accent.

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Brazen' puts spotlight on rebellious ladies

In "Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World" (First Second 2017), author/illustrator Penelope Baglieu rocks the stories of 30 ladies — in graphic novel form. Some of these ladies you may know, others you may not.

How about Agnodice, born in fourth-century Greece, who disguised herself as a man to study medicine and became the first female gynecologist? How brazen is that?