On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in September

by vkovenmatasy

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new September releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.


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Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Summary: Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia–an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions. Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash–a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Why We’re Excited: I read an ARC of Jane, Unlimited (thanks, Netgalley!), so I’m in a position to tell you that this is an incredibly weird book. A really great book! But when you take Jane Eyre as your inspiration and turn it into a choose-your-own-adventure style narrative where what you’re actually choosing is different genres… yeah, it gets really weird really fast. I enjoyed it tremendously; Cashore has been on my list of writers to watch ever since I read Graceling, and she more than lives up to her reputation. If a mash-up of Bronte, Vonnegut, and your favorite action movie sounds appealing to you, you’re in for an awesome read.


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Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough

Summary: Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed–Alexander Hamilton comes alive in this exciting biography. He was born out of wedlock on a small island in the West Indies and orphaned as a teenager. From those inauspicious circumstances, he rose to a position of power and influence in colonial America. Discover this founding father’s incredible true story: his brilliant scholarship and military career; his groundbreaking and enduring policy, which shapes American government today; his salacious and scandalous personal life; his heartrending end. Richly informed by Hamilton’s own writing, with archival artwork and new illustrations, this is an in-depth biography of an extraordinary man.

Why We’re Excited: The Hamilton juggernaut rolls on! (See also, in the Young Adult market alone: The Duel, Alex and Eliza, and coming in January, Hamilton and Peggy!) It’s really neat to see all the passion (and all the books) surrounding a dude who used to be, pre-Lin Manuel Miranda, one of the least cool Founding Fathers. And if you feel like doing some background reading on the beloved musical but don’t feel like plowing through all 818 pages of the Ron Chernow biography that inspired it all, Martha Brockenbrough has got your back.


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Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older

Summary: In addition to the ordinary problems of a Puerto Rican teenager in Brooklyn, Sierra Santiago is working on developing her shadowshaping skills, and she is beginning to think she may need all the skill she can summon. It seems that when she channeled hundreds of spirits through herself in order to defeat Wick she woke up something very powerful and very unfriendly… and put her family and friends at risk.

Why We’re Excited: It took over two years, but the sequel to Shadowshaper is finally here! And look, look, look at that beautiful cover. Everybody get geared up for more magical adventures in Brooklyn!


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Too Shattered For Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Summary: “Little” McCardell is doing all he can just to keep it together after the disappearance of his grandfather “Big” and the arrest of his older brother, JT. He’s looking out for his younger cousin, trying to stay afloat in school, working in the town graveyard for extra cash, and in his spare time he’s pining after Rowan–the girl JT was dating until he got locked up. When the cops turn up asking questions about Big, Little doesn’t want to get involved in the investigation–he’s already got enough to deal with–but he has no choice. Especially not after the sheriff’s deputy catches him hunting deer out of season and threatens to prosecute unless he cooperates. Soon Little finds himself drowning in secrets, beholden to the sheriff, to JT, to Rowan, and to Big’s memory, with no clear way out that doesn’t betray at least one of them. And when Little’s deepest secret is revealed, there’s no telling how it could shatter their lives.

Why We’re Excited: Peter Hoffmeister’s YA debut, This Is the Part Where You Laugh, was a critical darling, with positive reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, a Perfect Ten from VOYA, and an entry on the Best Fiction for Young Adults lists from YALSA. And books that handle rural poverty well are rare — for an avowed northern city-rat like me, it’s like a window into a completely different world, so I value the ones I find.


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Warcross by Marie Lu

Summary: When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Why We’re Excited: Uh, it’s a new series from Marie Lu? To this day I still get kids evangelizing to me about Legend.


icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.


*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.