YA Book Reviews

Want to submit a book review? Contact Katie Rybakova at rybakovae@thomas.edu with the subject line: Book Review. 

As middle level educators, we know the necessity of building a literacy rich environment for our young readers. As we build reader identity, we build lifelong readership skills. This is a new page published in Summer 2017 that we want to build into a source where teachers, students, and educational stakeholders can find and select their next great young adult literature read! Follow Katie on her Goodreads page too!

Books with characters who have disabilities 

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Amazing book about a young girl with cerebral palsy. Really touching and honest–doesn’t make the disability look “easy” or “curable” like some YAL with characters who are disabled. Definitely something that children, parents, and teachers should read.



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Great novel for a 6th-7th grade classroom. Definitely a tear jerker, but what YAL novel isn’t? Great moral, nice to see a narrator/main character who has a handicap but is not prevented from many tasks.



Graphic novels

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Fantastic read! I loved the multicultural focus and the inclusion of cystic fibrosis. This could be a great middle school level text to discuss both of these themes, perhaps even use some cross disciplinary texts as well. A heart warming story that will make you tear up!



Coming-of-age novels 

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FANTASTIC read. All the great coming of age themes– friendship, adjustment to MS, leadership, burnout, the necessity of support/teamwork. It takes a bit to “believe” the characters at first, but an easy ready to get hooked on. I am so glad that Brianna Justice represents a powerful 6th grade student. This will make you laugh, tear up, and smile. What a great read!



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Unbelievably great book. Unique, poetic, great moral. I love that this goes beyond the typical YA romance novel. Heartbreaking yet poetic ending, and incredibly written. You’ll definitely hug your pet after this one.



YA Humor 

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Probably best for 4th-6th grade, I think the illustrations are fabulous and really make the story what it is! Very clever and I loved the pranks!