YA – Just Our Luck

Walton, Julia. Just Our Luck. Random House. 2020,  978-0-399-55092-8. $17.99. 272 p. Grades 9-12.

Leonidas –Leo- quirky knitter and sensitive photographer, has been successful staying under the radar for most of his high school years. Then Drake Gibbons a wise-cracking, hyperactive jock punches him, and their consequences are enduring each others’ company in the counselor’s office until they become amicable. Leo’s mother died years ago and now with his Greek grandmother Yia Yia’s death, the silence in their Greek household is deafening and the relationship between him and his father even more distant. When his father insists his gentle son take a martial arts course to improve his pugilistic skills, Leo gets scared off and signs up for a yoga master certification course. Turns out, the person taking his registration is Evey Paros, from another Greek family who just happened to have cursed Leo’s many generations ago. Though she seems aloof, Evey has her own agenda. She’s been wronged by the biggest, richest, most popular dude at school, Jordan Swansea. After their breakup, Jordan sent out nude pictures of Evey over social media. She enlists Leo as her assistant in wreaking revenge. What ensues is a light romance with a touch of humor. Leo unexpectedly finds love, friends, and self confidence. A bonus is that Evey, too, finds a powerful alternative to thwarting Jordan besides sophomoric pranks.

Realistic Fiction          Bernadette Cooke, SD Philadelphia

THOUGHTS: Librarians should be aware this quick read has a lot of curses and little diversity (Drake’s girlfriend Jenn seems to be Latinx). However, the characters are humorous, and the plot discusses generalized anxiety, a condition today’s teens may recognize. Both Leo and Evey also have an interest in writing, and Leo delivers his first-person narrative in journal format. Pull for reluctant readers.

Yoga (for all ages)

yogaforyou

Rissman, Rebecca. Yoga for You. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2015. $25.49 ea. 64p. Gr. 4 and up.

Calm Girl: Yoga for Stress Relief. 978-1-4914-2121-5.

Fit Girl: Yoga for Fitness and Flexibility. 978-1-4914-2120-8.

Smart Girl: Yoga for Brain Power. 978-1-4914-2119-2.

Strong Girl: Yoga for Building Strength. 978-1-4914-2122-2.

Although recommended for grades 4-8, Yoga for You is a great series for all students and their families.  Each title in the series focuses on yoga for specific results: stress relief, strength, fitness and flexibility, and mental alertness.  Titles are broken down into sections about how one’s feeling, the history of yoga, lifestyle changes, and the yoga poses themselves.  All yoga poses are two-page spreads with step-by-step instructions and pop-out boxes with modifications to help increase the benefit of yoga.  THOUGHTS:  This is a must-have series for all schools (I have it both in print and eBook).  I love this series and have used it myself and with my family for family yoga.  It’s fun for the adults and kids. Plus, the interactive eBooks are great for phys. ed. classes.

Exercise; Fitness      Erin Parkinson, Lincoln JSHS, Ellwood City