Books: 5 Great New Books

Dragons! Lip gloss! Death! There's life in teen books after Harry Potter

SMALL STEPS

LOUIS SACHAR

Maybe you remember a guy named Armpit from Sachar's last book, Holes? Big, muscular, convicted of assault? You get to know him a lot better in Small Steps. He's out of juvie and trying to go straight as a landscaper-slash-high-school student. Unfortunately his buddy X-Ray (another Holes alum) gets him back into trouble over a ticket-scalping scheme. And when a chance meeting gets Armpit mixed up with a teen pop superstar (the tickets were for her concert), things get complicated. It's a fairy-tale setup, but Sachar gives his characters real emotions and real problems, and the result is...

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