All Better Now.
By Emily Wing Smith.
Mar. 2016. 304p. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525426240).
920. Gr. 8–11.
YA author Smith has written an engross-
Clarina Nichols: Frontier Crusader for
ing memoir about her life on the outside
and how she found her way in. From an
early age, Smith was identified as “challeng-
ing” because of her volatile temperament,
obsession with proving her intelligence, and
anxiety about pleasing adults. She also suf-
fered physical ailments, which exacerbated
her behavioral issues, landing her in and
out of psychological treatment programs all
through her childhood. The tragedy is that
she grew up feeling in need of fixing; the ac-
cidental discovery of a brain tumor should
have provided her an “excuse for being the
weird girl,” but instead it was another com-
plication, not a fix. Smith, a gifted storyteller,
writes about her experiences with candor. As
painful as her experiences are, her story is full
of hope. While not every reader can say that
they have been damaged by something so
drastic, every reader can understand Smith’s
feelings of ostracism and self-doubt and will
applaud her overall resiliency. —Kara Dean
By Diane Eickhoff.
Mar. 2016. 260p. illus. Quindaro, $17.95
(9780966925883). 920. Gr. 7–10.
Outside Vermont, Kansas, and Ukiah,
California, few people have heard of Clarina
Howard Nichols, even though she was just as
involved in the women’s rights movement as
more iconic figures such as Susan B. Anthony. Here Eickhoff adapts her well-received
adult biography of Nichols, Revolutionary
Heart (2006), for younger readers. Nichols
grew up with parents who valued her education and saw firsthand the injustice most
women faced in the nineteenth century.
After her first marriage, she cemented her
Escape to Virginia: From Nazi Germany
desire to change the plight of women, but it
was in her second marriage that she received
the encouragement, platform, and experi-
ence to become actively involved in the
fight for women’s rights. Eickhoff keeps the
sentences short and direct, and with pages
festooned with photos of key players and
historic documents, young readers learning
about the suffrage movement in the U.S. will
find plenty to keep them engaged. Though
it’s not as flashy as other accounts of the
period, its subject is unique and will satisfy
students looking for something outside typi-
cal report topics. —Suanne Roush
to Thalhimer’s Farm.
By Robert H. Gillette.
Feb. 2016. 256p. illus. History, $19.99 (9781626199125).
920. Gr. 9–12.
Gillette tells the story of two German
Jewish teens who escaped Nazi persecution
in part thanks to Gross Breesen, an agricultural project begun early in Hitler’s rise to
power, which was designed to train future
farmers. Werner “Töpper” Angress and Eva
Jacobsohn both had to leave the program
early, since their families were fleeing Germany, but both found their way to the farm,
in Virginia. The farm was purchased and
set up by department-store owner Robert
Thalhimer as a haven for the Gross Breesen
refugees. Gillette calls his narrative “creative
history”—though his account is not fictionalized, he nonetheless strives to make it read
like a novel. Mostly, he succeeds: Gillette is
an excellent storyteller, and the details he
uses so illustratively are from primary sources, such as letters, diaries, photos, and other
personal narratives. Although Eva sometimes
seems too good to be true, overall, this is an
engrossing and informative study of a less
familiar corner of a much-covered period.
Ample source notes make this a solid choice
for student research. —Donna Scanlon
Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our
By Nikki Tate.
Feb. 2016. 48p. illus. Orca/Footprints, $19.95
(9781459805828); e-book (9781459805842). 582.16.
This celebration of the roles trees have in
a variety of ecosystems unfolds according to
their interplay with the elements of earth, air,
water, and fire. Beautiful and intriguing color photos from a broad array of sources and
diverse locations give readers ample visual
details of a wide variety of species and tree
habitats around the globe. Although Tate’s
primary goal is emphasizing how each of
the four elements are pivotal to forest health
and survival, as well as how trees and forests
are a crucial part of the world’s ecosystems,
she also champions the sheer wonder of
trees, thanks to her infectious, enthusiastic
tone. Inset boxes contribute additional facts
and practical, interesting projects, though
some—such as creating a Japanese-style fish
Black River Falls. By Jeff Hirsch. Clarion, $17.99 (9780544390997). July.
Hirsch, known for the big-scale apocalyptic adventures The Eleventh Plague (2011) and
The Darkest Path (2013), returns with this stand-alone tale about that beloved YA chestnut: a horrific virus. This particular bug robs people of memories, a potentially poignant
twist, though don’t fret—there’s evil corporate baddies on the rampage, too. A social-media “survival kit” ought to keep this in front of Hirsch’s core readers.
The Haters. By Jesse Andrews. Abrams/Amulet, $18.95 (9781419720789). Apr.
Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had a slowish start (unfairly overshadowed by
2012’s other cancer-related YA book), but the celebrated movie adaptation made it a belated best-seller. The author’s sophomore effort involves a trio of odd-duck jazz-campers
who decide to take their act on the road, thus commencing the “Summer of Hate” tour.
If it’s as fun as Me and Earl, expect less hate, more love.
Lady Midnight. By Cassandra Clare. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $24.99
Clare reliably hits the best-seller list with her Shadowhunter epics, and, with a TV series
on air, demand has never been higher. This new series follows Emma, a demon-hunting
teen in LA who’s trying to navigate a treacherous world of monsters and her own complex
emotions. The stakes will be high, the action intense, and forbidden love is inevitable.
The Most Important Thing: Stories about Sons, Fathers, and Grandfathers. By Avi.
Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763681111). Apr.
The indefatigable award winner presents stories about seven different boys and the
men in their families. Avi’s scope is promised to be broad, taking on at-home fathers,
missing fathers, close-knit families, blown-apart families—you name it. Emotion, too,
should run the gamut, making this an odds-on favorite for young and old readers alike.
The Outliers. By Kimberly McCreight. Harper, $18.99 (9780062359094). May.
McCreight’s had quite a career so far, racking up wild praise and big sales for her adult
suspense novels Reconstructing Amelia (2013) and Where They Found Her (2015). Her YA
trilogy, which has already sold film rights, begins with Wylie, whose trouble-prone friend,
Cassie, is missing and yet still sending Wylie cryptic text-message clues. Wylie’s path will
be dark, no doubt, and twisty, for sure.
HIGH-DEMAND HOT LIST FOR YOUTH
Look for reviews of these high-demand titles in forthcoming issues of
Booklist. —Daniel Kraus