CONGRATULATIONS TO MATT DE LA PEÑA!

mattHis young adult novel, The Living, was just named a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. The Pura Belpré Awards celebrate Latino/Latina writers and illustrators whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. Ryan W. of our SC Teen Book Crew recently reviewed it calling it, “One of the best adventure novels I’ve ever read.” Read that review.

Salvage Review

salvage cover

 

Salvage, by Alexandra Duncan is set in a world hundreds of years in the future where earth isn’t the only inhabited planet. Due to catastrophic flooding on Earth, many humans fled to other planets, beginning the space age. Many colonists also fled into deep space to mine the mineral rich asteroids and planets. On the ships out in deep space males rule and women are treated as objects. Ava, the main character, is a young women living on one of the spaceships. She longs to have kids and can’t wait to marry her crush but right when she thinks everything’s perfect, it all goes wrong. Facing death, she flees from her ship to earth where she sees how humans actually live.

 

Duncan really swept me away with Salvage!  Normally YA books don’t approach the topic of gender equality but Duncan showed how real the situations are for mistreated women and how what we see isn’t always the truth. The best part of the book was how the author showed everything through Ava’s eyes so realistically; I could imagine myself right there with her. Salvage gave me everything I expected in a sci-fi thriller and more, showing that everyone is equal no matter how different they seem.

 

For fans of Ender’s Game, and other sci-fi thrillers, Salvage is where it’s at!

 

Matt de la Peña on ‘Tough Teens,’ reading, and writing

mattOne of our favorite authors has written a blog for NPR about books changing lives. We love it! Just wanted to share it with you as well.

Even more surprisingly, though, when I turned the last page I found myself on the verge of tears. I was shocked. How could black and white on a page make me feel so emotional? I was a tough kid from a tougher family. I hadn’t shed a tear since elementary school. And here I was, choked up. From a book.
-Matt de la Peña, Sometimes The ‘Tough Teen’ Is Quietly Writing Stories

Matt talks with passion about literature in his own life and the lives around him. We’d love to hear any stories you’d like to share about books and reading and the changes they bring. And don’t miss Ryan W.’s review of Matt’s new book The Living.

The Living – Great Adventure Novel – On Bookshelves Now

The Living

The Living by Matt de la Pena, was surprisingly one of the best adventure novels I’ve ever read. Most adventure novels are just adrenaline and action but The Living was more than that. The story deals with social barriers, unreturned love and corruption while still providing suspense and excitement.

Shy is a character that starts out looking normal and kind of bland but as the story goes on, and his life is destroyed, Shy shows that he’s a survivor at heart.

The plotline of The Living starts off a little slow but as the story progresses it gets deeper and reveals the darker sides of people. Once I got into The Living I just couldn’t put it down! The witness of a suicide pulls you in and I loved how de la Pena unfolds each disaster in a totally new way.  He makes you think the worst is over when there’s more to come. One of my favorite parts of the book dealt with Shy’s crush, Carmen. He really likes her but she doesn’t know it. She’s engaged to be married but it’s clear that she and Shy share a deep connection. What I like most though, is the fact that their relationship isn’t the focus of the story.  The Living is mostly about Shy’s story with Carmen as a side character. However, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t like to see more of Carmen in the next book! It’ll be cool to see how their world and relationship unfolds in the sequel!

If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games and other mysterious thrillers, The Living is the book for you!