Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell: Welcome to the world of ice skating

"Spinning" (First Second 2017) is Tillie Walden's graphic novel memoir about living the disciplined life of a competitive skater. The story follows Tillie from a very young age to 18 and a move from one skating program in New Jersey to a less elite program in Texas, giving the reader a somewhat varied look at this competitive world.

Patricia Hruby Powell: Story addresses gun violence

Fifteen-year-old Will is burning to avenge his brother's murder in "Long Way Down" (Simon & Schuster 2017) by Jason Reynolds. Most of the novel, in searing verse, covers about one minute of Will's life.

Will knows the rules of the hood: "No crying. No snitching./And always get revenge." And those rules? "They weren't meant to be broken./ They were meant for the broken/ to follow."

Patricia Hruby Powell: Contrasts between two cultures

Desi, a smart nerd and president of her senior class, has never had a boyfriend in "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" (FSG 2017) by Maurene Goo. Desi's attempts at flirtation are so disastrous that her two closest friends, Wes and Fiona, call them "flailures" — flirtation and failure. Get it?

Patricia Hruby Powell: Author deserving of award

"Far from the Tree" (HarperTeen 2017) by Robin Benway is a story of biological teen siblings, living separate lives, who find each other.

The book opens with Grace, 16 years old, who is giving up her own baby for adoption, just as her mother had given her up. Grace has gone through an agency and carefully chosen the family who will give Peach — as she calls the baby — a good life.

Patricia Hruby Powell: A novel for the girl who needs to be empowered

By its name, "What Girls Are Made Of" (Carolrhoda Lab 2017) by Elana K. Arnold might be a women's health book like "Our Body, Ourselves." But it's a novel. However, it could serve as a woman's health guide.

Patricia Hruby Powell: 'Distant Near' loaded with great characters

Starting with the matriarch, Ranee Das, in the 1960s, we experience three generations of Bengali women as they assimilate, having moved from India to Ghana to London to New York and beyond, in Mitali Perkins' "You Bring the Distant Near" (2017).

Patricia Hruby Powell: A heartbreaker that's up for the National Book Award

Ibi Zoboi does not shy away from the ecstasy of first love or the horrific violence of Detroit's west side in "American Street" (Balzer & Bray 2017).

Teenager Fabiola Toussaint is on her way to Detroit from Haiti to find a better life, when her mother is detained by U.S. immigration on their New York stop.

Patricia Hruby Powell: 'Genuine Fraud' not a ripoff of 'Mr. Ripley'

Two girls — two orphans. Both are pretty. They kind of look alike. One is an heiress. One is a liar. The book starts with Chapter Eighteen. "Begin here," you're instructed. The book works from the end to the beginning in E. Lockhart's thriller "Genuine Fraud" (Delacorte 2017).

Patricia Hruby Powell: Siblings reunite, take on challenges in 'Forest World'

Cuban-American poet Margarita Engle tells the story of a pre-teen sister and brother reunited in Cuba in "Forest World" (Atheneum 2017).

Patricia Hruby Powell: Trans author delivers brave, important work

Eighteen-year-old Amanda moves away from Georgia, where she's been living with her mother, to Lambertville, Tenn., to live with her father. She needs a new start. Why? In Georgia, having been born a boy, she was Andrew, called "faggot" and had repeatedly been beaten up. Life was unbearable. And dangerous.