Author: Patricia Hruby Powell

“We Are All That’s Left” by Carro Arcos

The voice of Zara, an aspiring teenaged photographer in Rhode Island, alternates with the story of her mother, Nadja who survived the 1990s Yugoslav War in “We Are All That’s Left” (Philomel 2018), a novel by Carrie Arcos.   The

Writing Tip #1 Show-Don’t-Tell

Writing Tips Show-Don’t Tell By Patricia Hruby Powell Show-Don’t-Tell is a writer’s adage and a technique that allows readers to experience a text through their senses and emotions—which is how most of us want to experience text. We want to

“Moonrise” by Sarah Crossan

Joe Moon is seventeen and hasn’t seen his older brother Ed in ten years in “Moonrise” (Bloomsbury 2018) by Sarah Crossan. Joe is nearly penniless, but he leaves New York to go to Wakeling, Texas. Ed is on death row

“Orphan Monster Spy” by Matt Killeen

Sarah is fifteen, blue-eyed, blonde—and Jewish—living in 1939 Nazi Germany in “Orphan Monster Spy” (Viking 2018) by Matt Killeen. The story opens with Sarah’s mother being shot at a roadside checkpoint. Sarah, now an orphan with no identity papers, runs.

“Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World” by Pénélope Baglieu

In “Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World” (First Second 2017), author/illustrator Pénélope Baglieu rocks the stories of thirty ladies—in graphic novel form. Some of these ladies you may know, others you may not. How about Agnodice, born in fourth

“We Are Okay” by Nina LaCour

“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. LaCour begins Marin’s

“The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives” by Dashka Slater

“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. Using interviews, letters, videos, diaries, social media posts, and public records,

“I Have Lost My Way” by Gayle Forman

Three teens collide in Manhattan in “I Have Lost My Way” (2018) by Gayle Forman. Beautiful bi-racial Freya has been rising to fame as a singer when she inexplicably loses her voice. Harun is first generation American from Pakistan, Muslim—and

“Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green

“Turtles All the Way Down” (2017) by the acclaimed and very best selling young adult author, John Green, is the brilliant story of Aza Holmes who suffers acute anxiety. The plot is incidental, but compelling.   Sixteen year old Aza

“Bull” by David Elliott

I admit that myths don’t generally hold my attention. I skim them and never quite get to the end. But this? Oh, yes. In verse, David Elliott brilliantly casts the story of Theseus and the Minotaur in “Bull” (Houghton Mifflin

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