Brand new and not-to-be-missed reads from the Young Adult collection
Home is not a country. Safia Elhillo
This challenging book is written in the form of verse. Teenage Nima is the daughter of a muslim immigrant being raised post 9/11 in suburban America by a single mother. Nima's mother moved to America in the hope of making a better life for her and her daughter following the death of her husband. However Nima, despite being born in America, finds herself treated as an outsider. Not only does she face usual teenage insecurity she also has to deal with bullying because of her accent, her appearance, her religion and her social standing. Nima begins to withdraw from the world around her and imagines what life would have been like had her father still been alive and her family had remained in their home country.
This is where the story takes an unexpected twist as Nima is able to magically travel back in time to experience for herself how life was for her parents in the time leading up to her mother's decision to emigrate. She ponders tampering with the past in order to change the future for her family but will this really solve her problem of not belonging?
This is a beautifully-written book that powerfully illustrates the bond between a mother and daughter.
How to pack for the end of the world. Michelle Falkoff
Despite the title this is not an apocalyptic novel but rather a story about friendships and coping with life's challenges. After an attack on her local synagogue Amina is suffering anxiety about the world ending. When she starts a new school she connects with other students who, through various experiences of their own, have similar fears. Together they form a club called the 'Eucalyptus Society' in which they challenge each other with survival based games and activities. However the closeness of these new friendships is threatened when anonymous pranks are targeted at group members. Questions arise as to whether someone within the group is responsible for these humiliating antics.
This is a very light read and while the story might lack some depth it is still enjoyable.
Bookishly ever after. Lucy Powrie
This is the third book in the Paper and Hearts Society trilogy. The story is told from Ed's perspective. Ed has started a new part time job at Woolf and Wilde Bookshop which he is very excited about. But life becomes rather stressful as he has to learn his new job, cope with his mum's decision to start dating and deal with his dad's criticism of him. With all this going on he struggles to make friends with his new work colleague, Hannah. She, in turn, is outspoken, an absolute bookworm and obsessed with guinea pigs. For Ed it is an emotional roller coaster. Thankfully he has his book club friends to turn to for help and advice.
This is a story about friendship that will make you laugh, cringe and feel sad. It is a wonderful conclusion to this series.