New teen books tackle hot topics

It’s kids’ books week!

Several new teen books take on hot topics like bullying, popularity and more.

In National Book Award Finalist Adele Griffin’s “Loud Awake and Lost” a teenage girl recovering from a horrific car accident must come to terms to her memory loss – and forgetting about the boy in the car with her who didn’t survive the crash.

Ember has spent six months recovering from a car crash that left her physically and mentally scarred and with a lot of head trauma. Her doctors believe she may recover part of the memories that were lost in the crash, and as Ember tries to get back to her old life she learns that she had been undergoing a metamorphasis before the crash – a change in friends, a focus away from dancing and possibly even a new boyfriend. Who was she becoming? Is she going back to who she was before the crash or becoming someone new? And who was the boy in the car with her? As she tries to investigate her past, a boy named Kai captures her attention, but is he all he seems?

This is a tense story, full of twists, including the ending one which I never saw coming. It’s an all-night page turner as readers devour Ember’s story.

“Loud Awake and Lost” is published by Alfred A. Knopf. It is $16.99.

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A teen sets out to get revenge on the boy who attacked her cousin in “Premeditated” by Josin L. McQuein.

Dinah’s switched schools, went to live with her aunt and uncle and changed her look to fit in with the wealthy kids at the school. She’s trying to look as innocent as possible. For Dinah’s mission is to find Brooks Walden – a boy whose attack left her cousin Claire, suicidal and dying. Dinah wants to make Brooks pay any way possible. But as she goes on her undercover mission, she soon learns that he doesn’t seem like a bad person or one who would hurt a younger girl. Is Brooks who needs to pay? Should Dinah be punishing anyone?

This is a hard look at revenge with plenty of suspense and twists.

“Premeditated” is published by Delacorte Press. It is $17.99.

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Bullying is tackled in “Season of the Witch” by Mariah Fredericks.

Toni is being targeted by the popular Chloe at school and at home – through texts, phone calls and even fights. Chloe and her friends are determined to ruin Toni’s repuation, thanks to an incident between Toni and Chloe’s boyfriend, Oliver. As the threats escalate, Toni doesn’t know where to turn – until Cassandra shows up. Cassandra claims to be able to cast spells on people and thinks a little magic revenge is in order. Can Toni take her power back? Is magic real or even really the answer? And what is in Cassandra’s past, making her act the way she does?

The ‘magic’ element is secondary to the trials the two girls have to overcome in their lives and are worth discussing with kids.

“Season of the Witch” is published by Schwarts and Wade. It is $16.99.

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Friendship and family is the subjec of Kristen Tracy’s “Too Cool for This School.”

Lane enjoys her life at middle school until her offbeat cousin comes for a long visit. Mint’s eccentric ways actually make her quite popular with the students, surprising Lane and her friends. Ava, Lane’s best friend, gets jealous of all the attention and comes up with a way to get back at Mint and ruin her at the school. Lane doesn’t want to hurt her cousin, but she doesn’t want to ruin her own standing at school either. What should she do? The subjects of family and friends loyalty and bullying are addressed well in this middle-grade book.

“Too Cool for This School” is published by Delacorte Press. It is $16.99.

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