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BOOK REVIEWS

This category contains 255 posts

WINK by Rob Harrell

I really enjoy Rob Harrell’s delightful Life of Zarf series so I was really excited to see he was coming out with a contemporary realistic fiction middle grade novel. Every new book by authors I enjoy comes with great excitement to discover what new treasures are in store and that small niggling fear that the … Continue reading

2021 MN STAR OF THE NORTH Nominees (Part 2)

I read fewer picture books than I did when my own children were in the target age group. However, I LOVE good picture books and I use them often when teaching theatre to students from pre-school through 12th grade. They are a fantastic tool for developing character, for discovering and building basic story structure and … Continue reading

2021 MN STAR OF THE NORTH Nominees (Part 1)

I read fewer picture books than I did when my own children were in the target age group. However, I LOVE good picture books and I use them often when teaching theatre to students from pre-school through 12th grade. They are a fantastic tool for developing character, for discovering and building basic story structure and … Continue reading

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB by Katherine Applegate

Bob (the dog that is Ivan the Gorilla’s best friend) now lives with Julia and her parents. He is able to visit Ivan and Ruby at the Zoological Park where they now reside. Bob and Julia go to the Park for a visit and a tornado hits–a precursor to Hurricane Gus. This sets the stage … Continue reading

STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! by Jessica Kim

Yumi is a middle-school-age Korean-American with immigrant parents. Yumi wants to do stand-up comedy but her parents believe she needs to concentrate on studying to pass a test and get a scholarship to an expensive private school with a good academic reputation (on the path to a good college and a career that is financially … Continue reading

PRAIRIE LOTUS by Linda Sue Park

Hanna is half-white and half-Chinese. (Her father is white and her mother was Chinese.) At the opening of the story Hanna and her father are moving from California to the Dakota Territory in the 1880’s after the death of her mother. Her father is a tailor and dry goods merchant and plans to open a … Continue reading

KING AND THE DRAGON FLIES by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender is a new discovery for me, and one for which I am grateful! King is a brilliantly developed character to whom a lot of middle grade readers will relate. Kingston James (King) is 12 years old. He is dealing with confusion and acceptance of his own sexuality at the same time he is … Continue reading

THE LIST OF THINGS THAT WILL NOT CHANGE by Rebecca Stead

Ever since I found out Rebecca Stead had a new book coming out in 2020 I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Published on April 7, 2020 I am thrilled that The List of Things That Will Not Change is everything I expect from Rebecca Stead’s work! It is insightful and tender at the same … Continue reading

BECAUSE OF THE RABBIT by Cynthia Lord…2021 MHL Nominee Division I

There are a lot of things to love about Because of the Rabbit! It is narrated by Emma, a 5th grader who is starting public school after having always been homeschooled. The story begins the night before Emma starts school. Her father is a Game Warden and she accompanies him on a call to rescue … Continue reading

POTATO PANTS! by Laurie Keller….2021 SOTN Nominee

Full of emotion and clever, wacky language, Potato Pants is a fun, sweet story. Potato wants to buy a pair of potato pants from Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants store, where they are on sale for one day and “once they’re gone, they’re gone.” Approaching the store, Potato sees that Eggplant is already there. (Yesterday Eggplant … Continue reading