February 23, 2016 Debuts

Seventh grader Jeremy Miner has a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. 475 of them to be exact. That’s how many girls attend his school, St. Edith’s Academy.

Jeremy is the only boy left after the school’s brief experiment in co-education. And he needs to get out. But his mother—a teacher at the school—won’t let him transfer, so Jeremy takes matters into his own hands: he’s going to get expelled.

Together with his best friend Claudia, Jeremy unleashes a series of hilarious pranks in hopes that he’ll get kicked out with minimal damage to his permanent record. But when his stunts start to backfire, Jeremy has to decide how far he’s willing to go and whom he’s willing to knock down to get out the door.

"Jeremy's self-deprecating, sardonic humor and Claudia's ample self-confidence generate some authentically funny episodes as Malone's story addresses individuality, conformity, and finding friendship."
-- Publisher's Weekly
"This is a completely thought-out world, and the author uses it to explore class issues, family dynamics, gender roles, and preteen friendship. Most impressively, the author doesn't shortchange any of these explorations, nor does she turn the book into a sermon. This is a funny, emotional book that will quickly become a favorite to many a reader, regardless of age."
-- Kirkus starred review

Ever since twelve-year-old Charlie Price's mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who's completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that's anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.

Just when Charlie thinks things can't get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically—missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.

Imogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive!

There's hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect... at first. But something doesn't feel right. Whenever Charlie returns to the real world, things are different, and not in a good way. And Imogen wants to spend more and more time on the other side. It's almost as if she wants to leave the real world for good. If Charlie doesn't uncover the truth, he could lose himself, the true memory of their mother, and Imogen... forever.

"Maschari’s writing, particularly in the realistic sections, will make readers pause. Beautifully crafted sentences read almost as if they were poetry. Maschari also excels at character development; Charlie’s anger, pain, and love make him an entirely believable character, and the evolution of the “mother” in the parallel world is frightening. Tough issues are tackled, and sensitive readers may want to read and process the book with a grown-up. Happily, adults will enjoy the story as much as middle graders. "
-- School Library Journal starred review

My review: I had a chance to read an ARC of THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE, and I absolutely loved it! 

It's wonderfully tense and creepy with building action that dragged me in and didn't let up, but the whole thing is built around a truly beautiful, heart-breaking, and important story about a family's grief, about memories and loss, about children and parents and finding ways to live after the death of a loved one. 

Highly recommended. It's a truly lovely book, and I think a lot of kids and families who need it will find something reassuring and hopeful in these pages.


"Statistically speaking, girls like me don't come back when guys like Donald Jessup take us."

Julia knows she beat the odds. She escaped the kidnapper who hunted her in the woods for two terrifying nights that she can't fully remember. Now it's one year later, and a dead girl turns up in those same woods. The terrible memories resurface, leaving Julia in a stupor at awkward moments-in front of gorgeous Kellan MacDougall, for example.

At least Julia's not alone. Her best friend, Liv, was in the woods, too. When Julia got caught, Liv ran away. Is Liv's guilt over leaving Julia the reason she's starving herself? Is hooking up with Shane Cuthbert, an addict with an explosive temper, Liv's way of punishing herself for not having Julia's back? As the devastating truth about Liv becomes clear, Julia realizes the one person she thinks she knows best-Liv-is the person she knows least of all. And that after the woods was just the beginning.

"Savage offers up a mystery wrapped in a psychological breakthrough tied with the bow of lyrical language. The characters are engaging beyond their habitation of an intricately woven plot and supply readers with the motivation to care beyond the simple solving of the mystery. A riveting exploration of what it's like when the enemy is much closer than you suspect."
--Kirkus starred review
"A remarkable, engrossing debut about what it means to be a survivor and the many ways to take control of your own destiny."
--Booklist, starred review