mstamireads has written 327 posts for mstamireads

CILLA LEE-JENKINS: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire is a lovely new addition to characters like Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby.  Given Cilla’s Chinese-American heritage she also provides a nice counterpart to books like Carolyn Marsden’s The Gold-Threaded Dress and The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin for slightly older readers. Cilla is 8-1/2 … Continue reading

HIPPOS ARE HUGE by Jonathan London Illustrated by Matthew Trueman…MN Star of the North nominee

Hippos Are Huge is a fantastic nonfiction picture book about hippos.  Matthew Trueman’s illustration are large and captivating on each page.  They have the effect of making the hippos seem adorable in a way similar to illustrator Charles Fuge’s work and yet they never lose the realism that keeps the book squarely in the nonfiction … Continue reading

YOURS SINCERELY, GIRAFFE by Megumi Iwasa Illustrated by Jun Takabatake

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is a brilliantly crafted short chapter book for young readers by Japanese author Megumi Iwasa.  Her clear text combined with Jun Takabatake’s line drawings are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s work in books like Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back and A Giraffe and a Half. Giraffe lives on the African savanna.  He is … Continue reading

LOST.FOUND. by Marsha Diane Arnold. Illustrated by Matthew Cordell…MN Star of the North nominee

Bear begins the story with a scarf. He loses it. Beaver finds it, wraps it into a turban.  It snags on a tree branch and is lost.  Again.  Only to be found by many different animals including raccoons, mice, squirrels and a fox.  Each animal finds a new use for the scarf and the story comes … Continue reading

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill…2017 Newbery Medal

The Girl Who Drank the Moon had been on my To-Read List for almost a year when I heard early this spring that it had won the 2017 Newbery Medal.  I was thrilled to see a local (MN) author again take the prize and I nudged it farther up my list. It took me longer … Continue reading

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley…LOVELACE nominee 2017-18

I originally read The War That Saved My Life two years ago when it was first published in 2015 and so I am excited to see it show up on the Lovelace nominee list for 2017-18! The War That Saved My Life is Ava’s story.  When we meet Ava she is nine years old, living … Continue reading

FORGET ME NOT by Ellie Terry

I just finished Forget Me Not, read it in one sitting and couldn’t wait to share it! Forget Me Not is a brilliant debut from new author Ellie Terry.  The story is written from the perspectives of Calliope (Calli), a young girl who loves astronomy, has moved to new towns (and schools)many more times than … Continue reading

UNDER THE EGG by Laura Mars Fitzgerald…2017-18 LOVELACE nominee

Theodora Tenpenny is the 13-year-old protagonist of Under the Egg.  When we first meet Theo she is trying to keep her household together after the unexpected death of her grandfather, Jack.  Her mother is in her own world, rarely leaves the house, working continuously on algebraic equations in her room and has no realistic abilities … Continue reading


The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones is the newest addition from one of my favorite authors:  Wendelin Van Draanen.  Lincoln is 11 years old.  He and his mother have fled their home and his mother’s abusive boyfriend.  Lincoln now finds himself in a school where his southern accent and mannerisms often make him a target … Continue reading

OLLIE’S ODYSSEY by William Joyce

Ollie’s Odyssey is a beautiful story in the tradition of The Velveteen Rabbit, told in William Joyce’s typical sweet, inspiring style.  When Billy is born, the doctors are worried about his heart.  As they wait for more information from the doctors Billy’s mother sews him a special toy–a cross between a teddy bear and a … Continue reading