Elevate Difference

Reviews by Melanie Goodman

Melanie Goodman

Melanie Goodman is a captionist at Cornell University by day, and a freelance writer and book blogger by night. If she’s not reading or writing, you can probably find her playing with her endlessly energetic Weimaraner puppy. Feel free to check out her blog at www.reclusivebibliophile.com.

The Latte Rebellion

Asha Jamison’s classmates are quick to categorize her. She is called both a “towelhead” and “barely Asian.” Asha and her best friend Carey have a harder time describing their own ethnicities. Asha is part Indian, part Mexican, and part Irish, while Carey is half Chinese and half Caucasian. When they begin describing themselves as lattes—a mix of coffee and milk—they start brainstorming ways to distribute their idea to other multiethnic teens and coffee lovers.

Arcadia Falls

Meg Rosenthal needs a fresh start after the death of her husband. She gave up her career as an artist when her daughter Sally was born, but when she is left with virtually nothing except for a barely functional car, she finds a job teaching folklore and English at a small boarding school for young artists in upstate New York. Sally, now a teenager and a promising artist herself, is admitted to the Arcadia School where her mother will work.


School is let out early because of a massive blizzard. Everyone is supposed to get home before the weather gets worse. But Scotty Weems and his friends decide to stay after for a couple hours to work on a shop project, figuring that one of their parents will be able to pick them up on the way home from work. This turns out to be a really bad (and really deadly) decision. Along with several other students and one teacher, they are trapped in the school by the snow. And it keeps coming. And coming. It doesn’t take long before this becomes a survival story.

The Mockingbirds

I don’t know how many times I can say a book is one of the best I’ve read this year and maintain any credibility; we’ve still got quite a few months left in 2010, so I guess we’ll find out. The thing is, I’m pretty convinced that this is a golden age for YA, and Daisy Whitney’s The Mockingbirds really is a phenomenal debut novel–one of the best I’ve read this year. Last summer, I took a Children’s Lit class at Cal State University, Northridge.