Archive for the 'For the Gals' Category

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Early Auden is referred to as the “strangest of boys” and at 13 years old he is rather special. He sees things navigatingearlyand experiences things in a unique way that allows him to step out of the limitations of what is acceptable and “normal” behavior. Early takes his new friend Jack Baker on a fast paced adventure that will keep the reader thoroughly intrigued. Set at the end of World War II in a boarding school in Maine, the boys go on a quest of sorts traveling the land and sea looking to solve the puzzle of a mythical tale.

I love this book because it allows the reader to believe that which is unbelievable without taking the route of corny and sappy.

I recommend Navigating Early for grades 5-8.

Mrs. Sayan
YA Librarian

ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell

I’m noeleanort a big fan of romances but I absolutely loved this book. It is a  love story, but not a sunny one. The characters are not gorgeous, they are not  perfect and they are not annoyingly rich and entitled.  Without giving too much away, what I truly  loved is the way the author allows you to slowly unravel the insecurities and  deep dark troubles of the characters as they get to know one another. This book  is in no way light hearted, yet it is full of hope for the possibilities that could unfold. Both Eleanor and Park have stayed with me long after I put down this book. I guarantee anyone who is a  fan of quirky love stories will include Eleanor and Park  amongst their favorites. This is a must read and is recommended for those in grades 9 and up.

Mrs. Sayan

Young Adult Librarian

DIZZY by Cathy Cassidy

Dizzy looks forward to only one day every year: her birthday. Not because of the presents she gets, or the parties she has, but because of a letter. This letter is not a normal letter, even if it might be to someone else. This letter is from her mom, her mom that she hasn’t seen in 8 years. But this year is unusual. One day, she comes back to school and she sees a complete stranger in her house talking to her dad. The stranger also says she is her mom. Dizzy is thrilled and even happier when her mom, aka Storm, wants her to travel with her. She thinks Storm convinced her dad into traveling and sets off to the life of a hippie. While at a festival, her mom leaves Dizzy with one of her friends and goes off to her boyfriend. Storm isn’t the mom she thought she would be. But at the festival she meets Finn, who she shares a first kiss with. She also meets Mouse, a boy who is like a little brother to her. The hippie-traveler life is fun, but she does miss her other life.
This book was really interesting, so I recommend Dizzy for girls in 6th-8th grade.
Cynthia Johnson
W.T. Clarke Middle School
8th Grade

MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Imagine you and some classmates are trapped in a superstore during what seems like the end of the world. When a massive hailstorm diverts their schoolbuses into the local Greenway, that is exactly what happens to narrator Dean and 13 of his classmates. Trapped inside the store, the fourteen are cut off from the outside world. The hailstorm is followed by a giant earthquake and a chemical weapons spill at a nearby government facility. It is up to Dean and the other high schoolers to take charge and take care of the others – 2 middle schoolers and six “little kids”
Set in the not too distant future, Monument 14, is an unnerving realistic story about what seems like the end of the world. The students try to survive while making sense of the disasters surrounding them. Will they survive? Will they be able to get help? Will the students be able to co-exist even though they are all from different social groups?
Monument 14 is a great read for both boys and girls. I would recommend it to students grade 9 and up due to some violence and other mature situations.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian


Every few years, Willa Havisham and her mother, Stella Havisham, pack their bags and move, right when Willa starts to get used to the place. Willa has a few wishes: to make friends, to find true love, and her biggest wish- to find a great dad who both she and her mother will like. So far, her wishes never seem to come true.
But, when they move to Stella’s hometown, Cape Cod, all of Willa’s wishes start to come true. She befriends a girl named Tina, and adores a classmate, Joseph Francis Kennelly, and best of all, finds someone who is capable of being a perfect dad and husband. Suddenly it seems as if her wishes stop coming true! Can she reverse it so the wedding planner can plan her own wedding? Or will Willa and her mom have to take out the suitcases and move again?
The Wedding Planner’s Daughter was funny and romantic. I recommend it to 6th-8th graders.
Cynthia Johnson
Clarke Middle School
8th grade

TRY NOT TO BREATHE by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Sixteen year old Ryan was just released from the hospital after treatment for a suicide attempt. He has few friends, except for the friends he made while hospitalized. Along comes Nicki, a local girl who talks to him about his depression and suicide attempt as a friend rather than viewing him as the “local loser” like most of the other neighborhood kids. Nicki’s father killed himself too, a fact Ryan finds out while accompanying Nicki to local psychics in an attempt to contact her father. What are Nicki’s motives in befriending Ryan? Is she being honest with him?
Ryan spends a lot of time standing under the local waterfall in order to feel alive. Others think it is strange and his mother would probably never let him out of her sight again if she knew about it. Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard is a well written story about a teen’s mental illness and his struggle to fit back in to the world he tried to escape from.
I recommend Try Not to Breathe to teens grade 9 and up.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian


Robyn Hunter has been assigned to do community service at an animal shelter as punishment for breaking a store window during an animal rights protest. The problem is, she is afraid of dogs. She arrives at the shelter to find that one of the other volunteers is Nick D’Angelo a boy that she had turned in for stealing money several years ago. Soon, Nick is arrested for a different crime, but Robyn doesn’t think he is guilty. She sets out to prove that Nick didn’t do it.
Last Chance by Norah McClintock is the story of how Robyn overcomes her fears – both of dogs and of Nick. She is a smart girl who gets to the bottom of the mystery of Nicks alleged crime faster than her police office father or her criminal defense attorney mother.
I recommend Last Chance for teens and tweens grade 6 and up.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian
East Meadow Public Library

PAST PERFECT by Leila Sales

All’s fair in love and war, right? This book has plenty of both. Chelsea works summers as a historic interpreter at the Essex Historical Colonial Village. This summer her ex-boyfriend Ezra is working there too. She’s unsure how she will be able to get over him when she meets Dan, an interpreter from the Civil War reenactment village down the road. But she can’t really see Dan either because Essex is at war with the Civil War village and she would be considered a traitor!
Although the premise of this book may seem a little odd, it is a very entertaining read. It is well written, providing a lot of detail on the world of historical reenactment ( A world I knew nothing about). Chelsea is an excellent narrator who will keep you laughing through the book.
I recommend Past Perfect to students in grade 8 and up
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian
East Meadow Public Library


Nothing in Jill MacSweeney’s life is normal. Her father has died. Her on-again off-again relationship with her boyfriend is on the rocks. And her mother has decided to adopt a baby! When Mandy Kalinowski, the teen girl pregnant with Jill’s soon-to be sibling arrives at the MacSweeney house, Jill suspects she is hiding something. Jill enlists new friend, co-worker and love interest Ravi to help her find out Mandy’s secrets.
Told in alternating chapters by Jill and Mandy, How to Save a Life is a compelling story of two girls trying to make sense of the curveballs that life has thrown at them. It has all the components of a great book: humor, drama, well drawn characters and a great ending.
I recommend How to Save a Life to teens grade 9 and up.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian

SOMEBODY, PLEASE TELL ME WHO I AM by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Ben Bright, a promising high school senior, with a talent for singing and acting, a fiance, and a loving family suprises everyone when he enlists in the Army. He is shipped out to Iraq, where his convoy comes under attack and Ben suffers a traumatic brain injury. When he wakes up from his coma, he doesn’t know who he is or what happened. He doesn’t even recognize his family.
Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am is the powerful story of Ben’s journey to regain his life when he returns home. Although nothing will be the same as before, Ben struggles to remember his former life and put the pieces back together
Not just a war story, I recommend this book to all readers grade 8 and up.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian
East Meadow Public Library