Kiss My Math : Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, by Danica McKellar (335 pages) – This is a user-friendly guide to algebra (or pre-algebra, but I think we just have algebra here). It’s written by Danica McKellar, who is not only a math genius but also an actress from the telly.
Love You Two, by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (298 pages) – Pina reads an email from her mother that she shouldn’t have seen, and quickly her life – which was pretty idyllic – unravels. She runs away to stay with her uncle in another city, and discovers another, unexpected world.
Jackdaw Summer, by David Almond (219 pages) – David Almond is an award-winning UK writer, whose YA books are critically acclaimed. This one seems to get lots of good reviews. Its blurb isn’t easily summarised, however, so I can’t go into details. Involves feral children.
The Big Splash, by Jack D. Ferraiolo (277 pages) – Matt Stevens is a seventh-grade private eye who has reluctantly taken a job from Vincent “Vinny Biggs” Biggio, kingpin of the school. The book is written like a hard-boiled detective story; it’s endlessly entertaining.
First sentences: ‘He approached me as I made my way into the caf for lunch. He was small and wiry, with a face that would’ve been more at home on a rodent.‘
Jack Flint and the Spellbinder’s Curse, by Joe Donnelly (328 pages) – This follows on from Jack Flint and the Redthorn Sword. Jack and his friends must battle to save the land of Eirinn from an eternal winter, all the while searching for his father.
First sentence: ‘Corriwen Redthorn had vanished.‘
Out of my Depth, by Helen Bailey (291 pages) – Synopsis swiped from Amazon (I’m lazy): ‘Electra’s totally out of her depth. Freak Boy’s dad wants to know whether he’s being bullied. Sorrel’s interrogating Electra about Lucy’s private life. Even her dad is cross-examining her about her mum’s love-life, over his Deep Pan Super Supreme. And all Electra can think is, How far can you get a piece of melted cheese to stretch without it breaking?’
First sentence: ‘Dad puts down his knife and fork and leans across the table towards me.‘
Love (And Other Uses for Duct Tape), by Carrie Jones (284 pages) – This is the follow-up to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend. Belle is in her last few months of High School and all her friends keep changing who they are. And to make matters worse her seizures are returning.
First sentences: ‘“So.” Em flips back her hair, slams herself into the seat next to me at the cafeteria. “How’s the problem?”‘
Soulless, by Christopher Golden (310 pages) – Three mediums attempt to contact the dead on live television, and instead of the usual TV seance, they awaken all the dead in and around Manhatten. The dead ain’t the friendly kind, either. ‘A cozy horror tale’, according to Amazon.
First sentence: ‘Curtains of punishing rain fell upon the sea of dark umbrellas populating the Manhatten sidewalks, commuters hurrying to get to work on time.‘
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, by E. L. Konisburg (227 pages) – Amedeo and William find themselves working on a garage sale for Amedeo’s neighbour, eccentric Mrs Zender, whose every possession has a story. One item – a painting – has a story about a secret going back to Nazi Germany.
First sentence: ‘In the late afternoon on the second Friday in September, Amedeo Kaplan stepped down from the school bus into a cloud of winged insects.‘
Surf Sisters, by Laurine Croasdale (226 pages)
A Perfect Ten, by Chris Higgins (266 pages)