Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell

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.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Readers of all ages will enjoy murder mystery

High school student Simon created an app called "About That," which outs his classmates of every mistake they commit — big and small. So everyone is afraid of him, and, well, he doesn't have a lot of friends in Karen M. McManus' debut novel, "One of Us Is Lying" (Delacorte 2017).

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.

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