Flyaway

If they saved the swan together, could she then save her friend?In a heartbeat, in a wingbeat, it happens. Isla’s father falls. They’re racing across the fields, following the swans flying in to winter at the lake like they do every year, when something goes wrong. And before she can even catch her breath, they’re in the back of an ambulance, she’s holding his hand.At the hospital, upset and scared, Isla meets Harry. Unlike the boys at school, he doesn’t laugh when she tells him about her love of birds. He listens. But what is he doing there?As Isla struggles with her father’s frailty and the new feelings she has for Harry, she’s determined to help the only way she knows how. Outside the hospital windows, Isla watches a lone whooper swan struggling to fly. If only she could save the lost bird, would that somehow heal her dad, and cure Harry, and make everything good again?

This Thing Called the Future

Khosi lives with her beloved grandmother Gogo, her little sister Zi, and her weekend mother in a matchbox house on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In that shantytown, it seems like somebody is dying all the time. Billboards everywhere warn of the disease of the day. Her Gogo goes to a traditional healer when there is trouble, but her mother, who works in another city and is wasting away before their eyes, refuses even to go to the doctor. She is afraid and Khosi doesn’t know what it is that makes the blood come up from her choking lungs. Witchcraft? A curse? AIDS? Can Khosi take her to the doctor? Gogo asks. No, says Mama, Khosi must stay in school. Only education will save Khosi and Zi from the poverty and ignorance of the old Zulu ways.School, though, is not bad. There is a boy her own age there, Little Man Ncobo, and she loves the color of his skin, so much darker than her own, and his blue-black lips, but he mocks her when a witch’s curse, her mother’s wasting sorrow, and a neighbor’s accusations send her and Gogo scrambling off to the sangoma’s hut in search of a healing potion.J.L. Powers holds an MA in African history from State University of New York-Albany and Stanford University. She won a Fulbright-Hays grant to study Zulu in South Africa, and served as a visiting scholar in Stanford’s African Studies Department. This is her second novel for young adults.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 2

Faerie Path #5: The Enchanted Quest

Far from the Realm of Faerie, a quest to save immortality . . . A deadly plague is sweeping through Faerie, and no one is immune to its bite. Now, with the guidance of the Dream Weaver, Tania, Rathina, and a mortal ally, Connor, must head off to find the Divine Harper—the only one who can help Tania renew the Faerie Covenant of Immortality. Their quest will soon take them outside the borders of Faerie, to hostile and unwelcoming lands beyond. On their travels, Tania and her companions encounter danger at every turn as they battle pirates, contend with mysterious and mystical beings, and try to outwit those under the sinister grip of the Dark Arts. But when Tania’s beloved Edric appears, it looks as if they have help at last. Or do they? As tensions and dangers rise, Tania is forced to question everything and everyone around her in order to decide if she is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her loved ones.

Jack Tumor

Hector is being hectored by an unlikely bully: a talking brain tumor. And it’s not just a talking brain tumor. It’s a know-it-all, pain-in-the-arse, jibber-jabbering brain tumor that names itself Jack, and insists on coaching Hector through life even as it’s threatening to take his life away. It’s a pretty good coach, actually. With Jack in control of Hector’s speech and brain chemicals, Hector suddenly finds himself with a cool haircut, a new fashion sense, and tactics for snogging previously unattainable hottie Uma Upshaw. But when Jack begins to force increasingly questionable decisions and behavior, Hector has to find a way to turn the tables – before it’s too late for both of them. Delightfully twisted, desperately funny, and deeply moving, this novel is also the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize in the United Kingdom.