A Million Ways Home by Dianna Winget
Poppy's grandmother has had a stroke and while she is hospitalized, Poppy is sent to the foster care center. After witnessing a crime, she is in danger herself and goes to stay in a safer place. Helping at the pet center gives her a purpose, but there are complications. The story is good if quite painful at times. I felt that the writing was weak occasionally. Not my favorite but OK 4th+

If I ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Starting seventh grade for Lewis is painful--he's poor, a top student, and most of all--a Native American. It's 1975 and Lewis is ostracized in the worst ways and bullied by the school top dog. Then George shows up--he's a military son, top student, white, and a Beatles fan like Lewis. This is about bullying but more about the clash of cultures. Like "Part-time Indian" a bit. Very good. YA for language, beatings,

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

The Magnificent 12: the Key by Michael Grant
The five have gone to Scotland to find the key to Vargran and pick up a few more of the twelve. Mack has to press through all of his phobias and overcome some nasty evil things including Princess Risky again. On to Paris where they move the Eiffel Tower. Back home the golum is growing up--literally. He's a big boy. And he's making decisions. Grant's writing often becomes silly: "enlightened puissance was an easily exhausted resource: like the patience of a boy who finds himself in a Claire's story, or a girl who finds herself in a discussion of belching, or a reader forced to wade through an overly long simile." p228. I enjoyed this one.

45 Pounds (More or less) by K.A. Barson
Ann is 16 and wears a size 17. Her mother is a size 6 and always perfect in every way. When her aunt asks her to be in her wedding (to her life partner), Ann decides to lose 45 pounds in less than three months. The story isn't so much about the diet plans as the growth in understanding about friends and family. Quite good. YA for drinking, etc.

Strike Three, You're Dead by Josh Berk
Lenny and the Mikes solve the mystery of sudden death on the mound of the Phillies. This is heavy on the sarcastic dialogue but it works. Lenny loves baseball, or actually the thought of announcing baseball. When a new, young pitcher dies in the middle of a game, Lenny and his friends Mike and Other Mike set out to figure out what happened. There's a funny public librarian--always good for a story. 4th+ Good.

Monument 14, Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
The 14 are divided and losing members quickly. Half of the group has taken off for DIA on a bus and the others are left in the Greenway hoping for rescue. There is a sex scene that occurs because of being overwhelmed by the nerve gas, but it was not overly explicit. Still lots of violence and scary situations (like driving past Murphy Creek on Gun Club Rd), but there is a satisfying resolution at the end. More to come. YA for sex and violence.

The No1 Car Spotter and the Firebird by Atinuke
In a very small village in Nigeria next to a road between cities, this is a collection of stories about a young boy who is talented at identifying oncoming cars by their sounds. He's also a gifted problem solver. Great voice, setting and characters. Very short. Excellent. 2nd +

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman
wow. This is a great series. And the finish was not disappointing. Difficult emotionally at times to read, but the thought behind it was amazing. We follow the characters in chapters for each one. So many stories but tightly tied together. Conner and Risa, Camus, Starkey, Argent and Grace, Lev(whose identity literally changes multiple times) and the Statue of Liberty. Interspersed with actual news items about euthanasia, printable organs, etc. Excellent. YA for where do I begin....

Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano
The Internment Chronicles Book One. Morgan Stockhour lives on Internment, a floating city utopia above The Land. The murder of a school girl throws their small kingdom into a state of fear and suspicion. Morgan trusts her family and close friend, Pen, as well as her betrothed Basil, but the land she has known all of her life is shaky. The writing was a bit stilted for me and it took awhile to get into this story. There are random world words for things we know but Destefano is no JK Rowling. I guess it’s OK, but not my fav. I will read the sequel. Maybe. YA for violence and abortions, etc. Mild romance.

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Alyssa Gardner hears insects and flowers talk. Her mother is institutionalized. Something is very wrong ever since Alice Liddell, her great-great-great grandmother inspired Lewis Carroll. Maybe Wonderland isn’t so whimsical. In fact, the political intrigue, creepy magical creatures, and confusing passion involving a winged man make this almost too intense for middle school. The kissing scenes are pretty hair-raising, and the bad creatures are literally nightmarish. Pretty well-written although at times it felt a bit like Twilight—I love Jeb. I desire Morpheus. Oh the conflict. Definitely for mature readers. YA 8th.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Sophronia Temminnick seems like a lost cause in the steampunk version of Victorian England until she is recruited for a unique finishing school for agents of a secret sort. This is light and intriguing. Somewhere between Bloody Jack and The Gallagher Girls. I enjoyed it after the darkness of Splintered. YA for light romance. Very good.

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
sequel to above. I liked this one too. More intrigue and political complications. Great names like
Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, Mrs. Barnaclegoose, Bandersnoot...

The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Kate O’Hare and Nick Fox are solving a major case again. This time Nick is being framed for large thefts but Kate knows it’s not him. It gets complicated really quickly. The bad guy is really bad—I’m not usually a fan of scary sociopaths, even when I know the heroes obviously can’t die. This one is solved in a very clever way and seems a bit more Evanovichy. More gut feelings and banter. I like it. Adult. (for sure)

Magic can be murder by Vivian VandeVelde
Nola tries not to draw attention to herself and her mother, but they are witches and it’s difficult. When Nola witnesses a murder while scrying, she has to clear her trail. Somehow she just gets drawn deeper and deeper into the murder and the handsome and kind investigator. Not too scary, but too many references to men being attracted to girls to not be YA.