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Contemporary Realistic Fiction

This category contains 154 posts

GENESIS BEGINS AGAIN by Alicia D. Williams

After finishing Genesis Begins Again I wanted to live with the experience of reading it for a day or two before I wrote a review. I have now had the opportunity to do just that. Genesis is thirteen years old.  We first meet her as she is coming home from school–bringing friends with her for … Continue reading

EXTRAORDINARY BIRDS by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

December Lee Morgan is eleven years old.  She has been placed in numerous foster homes over the past three years. December is convinced that the scars on her back are from where her wings once existed–and where they will break free from her human body again, returning her to her rightful form as a bird.  … Continue reading

THE LOSERS CLUB by Andrew Clements…a 2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I know it will be unpopular for me to make this first admission: Andrew Clements’ books are really hit or miss for me.  I know that younger readers enjoy them–his work is sought after in school libraries all the time–but they just don’t usually hit the mark for me. Sometimes I find them too affectedly … Continue reading

A TIME TO DANCE by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman was a 4.5/5 star read for me! After reading Venkatraman’s most recent work–the middle grade novel The Bridge Home–I was curious about her backlist.  A Time to Dance was originally published in 2014.  The main character is Veda Venkat, a young, Indian girl who is extremely talented and skilled … Continue reading

OPERATION FROG EFFECT by Sarah Scheerger

Operation Frog Effect was a delightful surprise for me.  I picked it up after having read about it on Goodreads and seeing the title come up in our Mock Newbery Group. I was put off by the juvenile nature of the cover, which conflicted with reviews I had read regarding its content.  I am extremely … Continue reading

GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION by Jake Burt…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division II

After finishing Greetings from Witness Protection I find myself stewing in irritation.  This is why: parts of the story are extremely well crafted, but the parts that fall flat do so in a way that detracts from the best parts of the book; as a result, the whole thing never completely came together for me. … Continue reading

SAVE ME A SEAT by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I originally read Save Me a Seat when it was published in 2016.  I rated it 5 stars then. When I saw it was a Lovelace nominee this year, I was curious to see if I would feel the same after rereading it.  Save Me a Seat was just as fantastic the second time as the … Continue reading

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevado

Having read Elizabeth Acevado’s With the Fire on High, I was excited to go back and read The Poet X.  I was not disappointed.  Acevado creates some of the strongest, most completely developed young female characters I have ever encountered.  Xiomara Batista from The Poet X is no exception. Xiomara’s mother is extremely religious and has raised … Continue reading

PIECING ME TOGETHER by Renee Watson…a 2020 LOVELACE nominee Division II

Jade is an extraordinarily talented African-American teenage artist about to begin her junior year at St. Francis High School in Portland, Oregon.  St. Francis is a private high school in a nicer neighborhood than the one in which Jade lives with her mother and uncle; its students are mostly white. Jade agreed to attend St. … Continue reading

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Linda Mullaly Hunt

Shouting at the Rain is an okay story. It won’t shoot to the top of my Recommendations list for middle grade readers the way Hunt’s other works, Fish in a Tree and  One of the Murphys did.  This one was a 3.5/5 star read for me. Delsie lives with her Grammy on Cape Cod.  When we meet … Continue reading

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