“Charm & Strange” Stephanie Kuehn

Rated 5 stars ***** 2013. St. Martin’s Griffin. 213 pp. Winner of the 2014 William C. Morris YA Debut Author Award.

Charm&StrangeWho is Win? Who is Drew? Win is the present, while Drew is the past.

Win changed his name, avoided making friends, exiled himself from his family, and has lived in a boarding school for years. Now, at the age of 16, Drew is catching up to him.

Through flashbacks, readers get insight into Drew’s 9-year-old self. He looks up to his kind 14-year-old brother Keith and loves his 7-year-old fun-loving sister Siobhan. Little by little, readers notice their behavior beginning to change as Drew becomes angry enough to hurt himself and others, while Keith turned bitter and mean, and Siobhan became fearful.

Drew’s anger and confusion is still within Win who believes he has a wolf within himself and will change with the right full moon. Torturing himself with past memories, unable to deal with the past while unable to live in the present, Win is at the end of his rope. It takes the help of two classmates who look beyond their own needs to show Win there is light at the end of his tunnel.

Kuehn’s debut novel is deep, strong, powerful and will make her readers think long and hard. It will be remembered long after its pages are closed, and was an excellent choice for the 2014 Morris Award.

Recommended for ages 14 and older.

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Author: Mrs. Mac

As a School Librarian, I was Co-Chair of REFORMA's (The National Association to Promote Library Services to the Latinos and Spanish Speaking) CAYASC (Children & Young Adult Services Committee) for 2 yrs. As Co-Chair, I was in charge of all things YA. I have been a member of YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) for many years, and have worked as a school librarian for many years. When I'm not blogging, I like to read, run, race and sing - not necessarily in that order. My blog reviews books I enjoyed (or didn't enjoy), which leaves you to ask yourself "Should I Read it or Not?"

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