Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb.
Ah, Steampunk. Tried to explain it to a group of teachers at my workshop this week and don't think I was that successful. Reeve is the master of this genre, with The Hungry City Chronicles and Larklight. Fever Crumb concerns a young girl in a futuristic London that feels like the 1800s. She was abandoned as a baby and raised by a group of engineers. She goes to work for an archaeologist who is working on a site, and she has odd memories of it, although she has never been there. There are enough gadgets (paper spy boys are fun!) to qualify it for Steampunk, and a lot of action and intrigue. Definitely buying. Interestingly, I thought this author's Here Lies Arthur was reminiscent of Rosemary Sutcliffe, and he lists her as one of his favorite authors on his web site. But what's with this awful cover? (See bottom for the much better, British cover.) It looks a lot like the one below.
Lynch, Janet. Addicted to Her.
Can't believe I didn't blog this author's Messed Up, because it was a riveting tale of a boy whose foster care arrangements go wrong, and he has to survive on his own. Used to making bad choices and not caring about the consequences, he begins to realize that bad choices could mean starving. Very popular. Addicted to Her is also good, but unfortunately has some rather graphicmaking out and too many descriptions of how hot the girl is, so I will pass. From the publisher: "After falling obsessively in love, high school wrestler Rafael Montoya must choose between a reckless young woman and responsibilities to his family and future."
Gray, Keith. Ostrich Boys.
This sat on my son's desk for weeks before I finally had to repossess it. He, like I, will read almost anything and he couldn't get into it. I blame the cover. It's not a bad story-- three boys are trying to come to terms with their friend Ross' death and decide to steal his ashes and take them to Ross, Scotland, where the friend had always wanted to go. This is, of course, a bit dark, since there is also a concern that the friend committed suicide, and it is very British as well. I liked it, but I think that it would be a hard sell in my library. Wouldn't mind seeing a copy of this author's Creepers.
This is a much better cover. I bet anything the skull is shiny.