Broken in pieces
Jake broke Fifteen Bones in an accident and now he leads a broken life, targeted by a gang and starved almost to death — by his own, anorexic choice. Once he made comedy videos with Isaac (son of the slightly non-kosher Rabbi Kaufman) but now Jake’s alone — until he meets Robin, the girl who will rescue or destroy him. R. J. Morgan’s debut novel (Scholastic, £6.99) creates a shattering, disorientating, wholly absorbing world. Age 14 up.
Grandpa’s top drawer holds crayons. His second drawer contains old toys, which help his grandchild imagine him as a boy. The third drawer is locked. But, one day, his grandchild discovers the key. Grandpa’s Third Draw
er, by Judy Tal Kopelman (University of Nebraska Press, £9.99), moves from bright pictures of felt tips, model cars and memorabilia to the third drawer’s striped pyjamas and yellow star. In turning the pages, the reader painfully enacts the child’s discovery. Age eight up (parents should preview).
Tolkien meets Tolstoy in the fantasy world of Ruin
and Rising (Orion, £8.99), the last in the atmospheric Grisha trilogy by Jerusalem- born Leigh Bardugo. Saintly Alina must find the firebird, the weapon that will help her confront her arch-enemy, the Darkling, for their last battle. Expect flashes of superpowered light, transformations, gallantry and romance. Age 12 up.
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor (Bloomsbury, £6.99) is reminiscent of Emma Donoghue’s Room. Sky has grown up on Island, with just her mum, stepdad and stepbrother River. Shelter, Ocean and Rocks are the boundaries of her world. Now 16, Sky is beginning to look at River in a newly romantic light. But when the teens are rescued and taken to California, Sky has to relearn everything, from how to use a WC instead of Bathroom Tree, to the purpose of money, to the awful truth of how she came to be on the island and the consequences for her relationship with River. Star-crossed love story with a social conscience. Age 12 up. This weekend,
Neil Gaiman i s reading from his eerie shaggy-dog story, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, at the Barbican, London and Usher Hall, Edinburgh, accompanied by Eddie Campbell’s visuals from the book (Headline, £12.99) and music by The Four-Play String Quartet. Next weekend (July 12-13), Meg Rosoff and Sarra Manning are among speakers at YA Lit Con, the young adult literature convention at London’s Earl’s Court. Ticket details at www.childrenslaureate.org.uk/yalc