Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell

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?

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'We Are Okay' worthy of recognition

"We Are Okay" (Dutton 2017) by Nina LaCour is the winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. This gorgeously written brief story centers on Marin and her survival of grief.

Patricia Hruby Powell: 'The 57 Bus' will spark discussion

"The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives" (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017) is nonfiction brilliantly pieced together by journalist Dashka Slater.

Patricia Hruby Powell | A chance meeting in Manhattan

Three teens collide in Manhattan in "I Have Lost My Way" (2018) by Gayle Forman. Beautiful biracial Freya has been rising to fame as a singer when she inexplicably loses her voice. Harun is first-generation American from Pakistan, Muslim — and gay — running away in order to keep his secret. Nathaniel arrives in New York from Washington state with only a backpack and a desperate plan.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Green's book shows it's OK to be not OK

"Turtles All the Way Down" (2017) by acclaimed and bestselling young adult author John Green is the brilliant story of Aza Holmes, who suffers acute anxiety. The plot is incidental but compelling.

Patricia Hruby Powell | If you have a sister, read this story

"Gem & Dixie" (Balzer & Bray 2017) by Sara Zarr is a story of two sisters who were once close but are now growing apart.

Gem, the older sister, has always taken care of Dixie, because their mother couldn't even put food on the table and their father was absent. Now that they're teens, Dixie is street smart and popular; Gem is friendless and still trying to care for her family.