Traci J. Cothran

About Traci J. Cothran

When she's not reading YA lit and mysteries, publishing pro Traci Cothran can be found promoting her adopted city of Detroit, listening to her favorite audiobook narrators, watching Doctor Who, and running 5Ks in costume - all while not being quite as geeky as that sounds.

March 29, 2015

Painless and Inspiring: New YA from S. A. Harazin

Have you had your fill of painful coming-of-age books about teens? Then try out Painless by S. A. Harazin, whose main character, David Hart, has a rare medical condition called CIPA (congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis) that doesn’t allow him to feel physical pain.

March 22, 2015

Lost + Portnoy's Complaint + Teens = Grasshopper Jungle

If you squished together the TV show “Lost,” the spilled seed in Portnoy’s Complaint, and the adulation of teens and librarians into one big ball of a book, I’m pretty sure you’d get Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. Oh wait, there are six-foot insects, too.

March 15, 2015

Welcome to Camp Merrie-Seymour: The Alex Crow

Incredible, twisted and funny: A boy clown, the melting man and Camp Merrie-Seymour. Plus a reanimated crow named Alex, all in The Alex Crow, new from Andrew Smith.

March 8, 2015

Oft-Overlooked Women's History: Melanie Crowder's Audacity

Perfect for Women’s History Month, Melanie Crowder’s Audacity is a novel inspired by the life of immigrant-turned-activist Clara Lemlich Shavelson – and like the match on its cover, it starts out quietly before building up to a loud and bright blaze.

March 1, 2015

Newbery Medal Winner The Crossover by Kwame Alexander: Not Just for Kids

The most coveted award in children’s literature – the Newbery Medal – is announced each January, and in 2015 it was presented to Kwame Alexander for his novel, The Crossover. The Crossover is a book about basketball, love, and family – not necessarily in that order.

February 15, 2015

A Book for Everyone: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Although Brown Girl Dreaming is a book for kids ages ten and up, it is a marvel to adults as well.

February 8, 2015

A Unique Malcolm X Re-Telling from His Daughter

Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, provides young adults with a unique telling of a leader’s story every young adult should know.

February 6, 2015

Fact Meets Fiction in Almost Famous Women

Almost Famous Women is a delightful little gem, comprised of more than a dozen stories. In each, author Megan Mayhew Bergman plucks a real woman from the past and then unleashes her imagination

February 1, 2015

From the Author of If I Stay: Gayle Forman's I Was Here

In Gayle Forman’s new YA novel, I Was Here, the author of If I Stay addresses loss and the repercussions of it.

January 25, 2015

A New Voice in YA Fiction: Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary

John Green dared to write frankly about terminally ill kids in his beautiful young adult book The Fault in Our Stars, and many others have followed in his path – most recently, Julie Murphy. But this story has a twist.

January 18, 2015

Music, Grief, and Growing Up: Love Letters to the Dead

This novel is mesmerizing, lovely, and ultimately hopeful, as its heroine moves toward a giant revelation and acceptance.

January 11, 2015

The Breakfast Club for the YA Set, Courtesy of Liz Czukas

Chloe’s working this Christmas Eve, wearing her work-mandated GoodFoods holiday T-shirt, and ready for any kind of crazy – except for the one that actually happens.

January 4, 2015

Are You There God? It's Me, Gabi.

It’s tempting to call Gabi: A Girl in Pieces the Latina Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret; there are definite similarities, but the moniker is too limiting.

December 28, 2014

A Romp Through Hell: The Devil's Intern

Donna Hosie’s latest young adult novel, The Devil’s Intern, puts a new spin on the concept of the afterlife.

December 21, 2014

A Mad Max-esque Thrill from Ryan Graudin

Ryan Graudin’s Mad Max-esque YA novel, The Walled City, is one heck of a ride.