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Wonder by R. J. Palacio (ages 10& up)

This is one of those books that you know is going to be special from the very first page.  Starting middle school is hard, even harder for Auggie who’s been home schooled due to a rare genetic disorder that has given him a misshapen head and face that earned him nicknames like Freddy Krueger, he’s grown used to people adverting their eyes when they see him (I was terrified for him).  But Auggie feels normal inside, he is obsessed with Star Wars, loves his Dog, and is surrounded by an amazing family that I secretly want to be a part of. What follows is an extraordinary debut novel told from not only Auggie’s perspective but his sister & other people around him whose lives have changed from his attendance at school.  Both touching and funny this is a story about courage and friendship that will melt your heart.

 

--Shannon, Senior Children's Book Buyer for Books Inc.

For those of you who grew up reading the Theodosia or Nathaniel Fludd Series, it's no surprise that Robin LaFevers can write an amazing story. But say, by some mistake, you didn't read Theodosia. (Go ahead and do so now, we'll wait.) Then this debut YOUNG ADULT novel from Robin's gonna blow your mind.

You know, scratch that. Even if you DID grow up read Theodosia and Nathaniel Fludd, your mind's STILL gonna be blown. Why? Because Grave Mercy (book one of the His Fair Assassin trilogy) has all the crossbow weilding, dagger throwing, political skulduggery and murderous nuns (that's right, you heard me) you can handle. Fans of Kristin Cashore (Graceling, Fire), rejoice-- Grave Mercy is just the book to tide you over until Bitterblue comes out in May! 

Set in medieval Brittany, Grave Mercy features Ismae, a girl who escapes a brutal arranged marriage by joining a convent of assassins. And while tough female leads who kill dudes are a dime a dozen these days in YA (not that we're complaining-- bring on all the tough chicks!)Ismae sets herself apart with likeable vulnerability and fondness toward other characters. Her sense of empathy is not dulled by the fact that she has been thrust into an impossible situation, which serves as a brilliant counterpoint to the amount of killing she does.

So if you feel like reading something that's so fun it'll kill you (literally) pick up Grave Mercy. You're welcome.

 

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