YA Grab Bag: Magic, Power and Modern Love

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Have you been finding it difficult to read during the pandemic? I know it might not be wise to reveal – but I have! That said, I turned all the pages of these four titles in the past nine weeks at home. Thanks to the availability of digital collections, each title is available at your fingertips. Hurricane Child offers magical realism in an island setting while I, Claudia retells I, Claudius (1934) with the backdrop of a California prep school. Permanent Record and Redwood and Ponytail are very different stories, but both offer takes on falling in love with someone globally or locally famous, respectively.

Hurricane Child

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl–and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

I, Claudia

Over the course of her high school years, awkward Claudia McCarthy finds herself unwittingly drawn into the dark side of her school’s student government, with dire consequences. A retelling of the novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby or as eBook on Hoopla.

Permanent Record

College dropout Pablo Neruda Rind works the graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn and is up to his eyes in credit card and student loan debt. Leanna Smart is a pop juggernaut who graduated from child stardom to become an international icon. Despite coming from different worlds, the two meet at 5:00 a.m. in the dead of winter and turn to each other as they discover who they are and who they want to be. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby or as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Redwood and Ponytail

Told in verse in two voices, with a chorus of fellow students, this is a story of two girls, opposites in many ways, who are drawn to each other; Kate appears to be a stereotypical cheerleader with a sleek ponytail and a perfectly polished persona, Tam is tall, athletic and frequently mistaken for a boy, but their deepening friendship inevitably changes and reveals them in ways they did not anticipate. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby, as eBook on Overdrive/Libby or as eBook on Hoopla.