H T under them in the best way possible with a
knockout ending. —Caitlin Kling
A List of Cages.
By Robin Roe.
Jan. 2017. 320p. Hyperion, $17.99 (9781484763803).
Fourteen-year-old Julian is a damaged boy,
taciturn and withdrawn, painfully shy and
still bereft from the death of his parents when
he was a child. A poor student with illegible
handwriting, he is often the
subject of teachers’ scorn and
classmates’ teasing. As a result, he regularly skips classes
to hide in a secret room he
has found. His home life is
even worse: he is the ward
of his uncle by marriage, a
cold, distant, dangerous man
who often punishes Julian cruelly, whipping
him with a switch and lacerating the skin on
his torso. Things begin to gradually change
when he encounters Adam, a teenager who
had once been Julian’s foster brother before the
uncle took custody. Adam, who had ADHD as
a child, is still a restless but exuberant, happy
presence, beloved by fellow students and teachers alike. When he unofficially adopts Julian,
he brings light into the boy’s hitherto dark existence, though danger still lurks. The two boys
tell their respective, affecting stories in first-person voices that perfectly reflect their characters
and rive the story’s compelling action. Roe’s
debut may lack subtlety, but it makes up for
it with memorable characters and high drama. A page-turner with a lot of compassion.
Of Fire and Stars.
By Audrey Coulthurst.
Nov. 2016. 400p. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99
(9780062433251). Gr. 8–11.
Princess Dennaleia has always been destined
to marry the prince of nearby Mynaria. She
knows that it will mean hiding some parts of
herself: Denna has a magical Affinity for fire,
and in Mynaria, magic is feared and forbidden. But she doesn’t count on being taught
to ride the formidable Mynarian warhorses by
Princess Amaranthine (aka Mare), the barbed,
very unprincesslike sister of Denna’s betrothed.
Mare wants nothing to do with Denna, preferring to train horses instead of princesses,
but when a sudden assassination throws the
kingdom into chaos and fingers are pointed
at a rebel group of the magically gifted, the
two are thrown together as they search for the
truth, and their antipathy turns to friendship
and then something more. High-fantasy novels
with LGBT love stories at their center are few
and far between, and this is done in a lovely
fashion; Mare and Denna’s relationship blossoms naturally against a high-stakes backdrop
and a fully realized world. A worthy debut that
succeeds as both an adventure and a romance.
By Molly Booth.
Nov. 2016. 352p. Hyperion, $17.99 (9781484752746).
Sophomore Emma, recently introduced to
theater, is excited to learn more as the drama
club’s assistant stage manager for a produc-
tion of Hamlet. Her theater-maven best friend
Lulu is gunning for the role of Hamlet—
so what if she’s a girl?—and Emma has a
serious crush on student director Brandon.
But then Emma suddenly finds herself run-
ning the whole show, she and Lulu have a
massive fight, and Brandon actually starts
to seem like a piece of work. Worse, the
show is a disaster: brevity may be the soul
of wit, but Brandon’s version is five hours
long. Then Emma falls through a trap-
door into seventeenth-century London,
behind the scenes of the original Ham-
let. As she travels back and forth in time
between the two productions, she learns
more than she ever thought possible about
theater and being herself. Emma is an easy-
to-root-for heroine whose struggles will
resonate with teens, drama geeks or oth-
erwise, and her forays into Shakespeare’s
London add insight into gender identity
in the theater. A fun, imaginative debut.
Don’t miss these exciting debuts
from Candlewick Press!
HC: 978-0-7636-7208-9 • $14.99 ($21.00 CAN)
by JUANA MEDINA
★ Booklist ★ School Library Journal
HC: 978-0-7636-7076-4 • $14.99 ($21.00 CAN)
by RICHARD HA YNES
illustrated by S TEPHEN GILPIN
HC: 978-0-7636-8972-8 • $17.99
by HELENA COGGAN
HC: 978-0-7636-8719-9 • $16.99 ($23.00 CAN)
by RAFI MI T TLEFEHLD T
HC: 978-0-7636-8156-2 • $17.99 ($24.00 CAN)
by AURELIA WILLS
HC: 978-0-7636-8205-7 • $16.99 ($23.00 CAN)
by PAULA GARNER
★ School Library Journal
Debuts_Booklist_rev.indd 1 9/26/16 3:07PM
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