Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged young adult

Water Steps

Surprisingly, this story echoed my own fear of water, which I’ve harbored ever since I can remember. I have been plagued with nightmares about water in all forms. The main character, Kyna, has suffered from an almost-paralyzing dread of water since she was three. She was the sole survivor of a storm at sea that her family was involved in.  Adopted by the couple that rescued her, she slowly learns not only how to cope with water, but bits and pieces of her adopted family’s history.

Queer Youth Cultures

Queer youth are often absent from discussions about adolescents, popular culture, and even the queer community. Susan Driver, an advocate and expert on LGBTQ youth, puts together a thoughtful and diverse collection of work that gives voice to queer youth without pathologizing them.

Ten Things I Hate About Me

I was excited when the book Does My Head Look Big in This? came out a few years ago. In that book, author Randa Abdel-Fattah tells the story of Amal, a young Australian Muslim woman who decides to wear hijab and navigates the challenges of expressing her identity as an Australian Muslim.

Screen Your Stuff: A Fun, Funky Introduction to Silk-Screening Your Tees, Totes, Towels & More

Screen Your Stuff is an extremely basic introduction to silk-screening, aimed at young girls. Marion Levy and Veronique Georgelin share a rudimentary method that involves covering the screen with plastic laminate with shapes cut out of it.

Zodiac Girls: Discount Diva

Discount Diva is a fun book for pre-teens eager to read as a hobby. The main character in the book, Tori, who is a Tarus, comes from a poor family and longs to have the finer things in life. When Tori finds out she is a Zodiac Girl, she thinks her days of wearing secondhand clothing is over, but is it? In the age of technology, I know I find myself reading my horoscope to find out what my day, month, and year will be like. But it’s not that easy.

Throw like a Girl

After being asked what she wanted for her readers to take away from Throw Like a Girl, Jean Thompson answered that she hoped they appreciate the “transforming power of literature, how can it remove us from the everyday world and let us see with new eyes.” And this book does just that: it takes us away from the everyday world and then painfully drops us back with the suspicion that this fiction is actually very real. The horrors of normalcy and the tedium of

The Off Season

This book, the sequel to Murdock’s Dairy Queen, may be marketed for young adults, but it’s not the equivalent of Sweet Valley High or The Princess Diaries, as both the book and heroine D.J. Schwenk have their feet planted firmly in reality. D.J.

Take Off: American All-Girl Bands During WWII

To all naïve readers who still think Kathleen Hanna, Courtney Love or Liz Phair were doing anything new by boldly storming their way into previously male territory, may I suggest Tonya Bolden’s Take Off?

Me, Penelope

Writer Lisa Jahn-Clough presents a deteremined character named Penelope who deals with her life bit by bit and rants while finally facing her proverbial dragons. While finishing high school in her own way, Penelope attempts to accomplish feats she thinks necessary before heading into the college world. Her living situation with her mom Viv (who dates a younger man and detests being called "Mrs." at any point) and a college student, who only appears some of the time, seems to be the ultimate in any high school student's dream.

Zodiac Girls: Recipe for Rebellion

Cathy Hopkins has sold millions of books, most of them written for teenage girls. After reading her latest book, Zodiac Girls: Recipe for Rebellion, I credit her popularity with a tone that both accurately captures the anxieties of adolescent life, and also achieves a likeability of character that is the key to most of today’s popular literature. Formerly an art school student, rock singer, aromatherapist and teacher of meditation techniques, Hopkins has an edge to her, a wit and style only found in people who have lived life outside of the lines to a certain degree.


If the thought of being 13 again makes you more nauseous than nostalgic, Kickoff is not the book for you. However, if you feel free to channel your inner tween, read on. Donna King, also known as Jenny Oldfield, is the author of several children’s series novels, including the Horses of Half Moon Ranch.

Foreign Exposure: The Social Climber Abroad

Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser’s third book in the Social Climber series finds the 10th grade heroine, Miriam “Mimi” Schulman, spending a summer in Europe, continuing her high school journalistic exploits. The popularity of the series is evident in the relatable characters.