Missing Clarissa | A Review by Heather Matthews

Title: Missing Clarissa Author: Ripley Jones Publisher: Wednesday Books (imprint of Macmillan) Publication date: March 7, 2023 Recent YAL trends have been following what seems to be a new and nontraditional American pastime of indulging in true crime podcasts. Novels like Sadie (Summers, 2018), I Hope You’re Listening (Ryan, 2020), and A Good Girl’s GuideContinue reading “Missing Clarissa | A Review by Heather Matthews”

The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak | Review

This book is so beautiful and interesting. I loved it! Aside from understanding and feeling at home in the book’s setting of rural Ohio – both the landscape and cultural norms featured in the text, the way that Barzak depicts the collective trauma of a rural town pulled at something that I haven’t engaged withContinue reading “The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak | Review”

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt | Review

It was almost dawn when we went outside, Joseph and me. The peaks to the west were lit up and spilling some of the light down their sides onto our fields, all harvested and turned and ready for the long winter. You could smell the cold air and the wood smoke…Everywhere in the gray yard,Continue reading “Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt | Review”

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender | Review

Water Island is supposed to be part of the United States Virgin Islands, but we were never sainted like Saint Thomas or Saint John or Saint Croix, and so everyone forgets we exist. People have forgotten about Water Island since the days when there were slaves. Since no one remembered Water Island was right thereContinue reading “Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender | Review”

Muted by Tami Charles | Review

Back in Brooklyn,/the Lafleurs were inseparable./Me, Ma, Gwen, and you, Papi./We had a big family,/tons of friends,/music in every bodega,/every corner,/ya know,/actual civilization.//But then y’all got scared…/of them city streets,/of the cost of living.//But the cost of living/was much higher here./For me.//In those mountains,/with the three of you always gone… Denver’s family left Brooklyn forContinue reading “Muted by Tami Charles | Review”

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas | Review

I took the long way on my bike, just to remind myself how much I hated where I lived. I know most teenagers probably say that about where they grew up, especially if it’s a small town like this one. And they probably mean that their hometown is slow and boring and that nothing everContinue reading “The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas | Review”

Clown in a Cornfield: A Review by Jesse Bair

Title: Clown in a Cornfield Author: Adam Cesare Publisher: Harper Teen Published: August 2020 As is characteristic of gothic tales, Adam Cesare’s novel weaves a story that confronts its readers with what many wish to avoid. A reality all too real for educators today as information has become politicized and even the mentioning of systemicContinue reading “Clown in a Cornfield: A Review by Jesse Bair”

New Year, New Feature | A Call for Rural YA/MG Book Reviews

Although I didn’t do a formal year in review this year (I’ll probably do one in June for the site’s anniversary), I’m always looking at what our guest contributors, YA authors, and I have been accomplishing through various Literacy In Place facets. Because I started this site with the intention of helping pre- and in-serviceContinue reading “New Year, New Feature | A Call for Rural YA/MG Book Reviews”