This category contains 71 posts

DOLL BONES by Holly Black….2016-17 LOVELACE nominee Division II

Doll Bones was not the story I expected it to be, based on my impressions of the cover art, the author’s reputation, the title and the book description blurb.  Unfortunately, once I started reading, it seemed to me that the author didn’t know what kind of story she wanted to tell.  Is this a story … Continue reading

ZOMBIE BASEBALL BEATDOWN by Paolo Bacigalupi…2015-16 LOVELACE Nominee Division II

Zombie Baseball Beatdown was not the book I expected it to be. The cover art indicates silly, slapstick-y zombie zaniness.  There is definitely humor sprinkled throughout, provided primarily by the sarcastic one-liners from Joe (a secondary character).  The majority of the novel, however, centers on themes of corruption and immigration law. Rabi, Miguel and Joe … Continue reading

BLAST OFF! ALIEN IN MY POCKET #1 by Nate Ball…2015-16 LOVELACE Nominee Division I

We meet Zack, the main character, after he has fallen asleep at his desk studying for the first science quiz of his 4th Grade career.  He spots a shooting star and quickly wishes: 1) to make the travel baseball team 2) to get better grades; and 3) to avoid detention all year After making his … Continue reading

LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver

The best word I have for Liesl & Po is “lovely.”  I loved the story.  Although it never specifically identifies a time period, it seems very clear that it’s probably around Victorian times in Europe.  There is a Lady Premier, an Alchemyst, an Innkeeper, and an evil stepmother–as well as “the most powerful magic in … Continue reading

ALMOST SUPER by Marion Jensen

I was excited to read Almost Super because I had read favorable reviews and it has a great premise:  superhero family battling super villain family (although usually no one gets hurt because he superhero code is to defeat the villains–not injure or kill them) over generations.  Then the newest generation (including our main character,Rafter Bailey) receives their … Continue reading


The Forbidden Library is a must-read especially for fans of Harry Potter, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and Chris Colfer’s newer The Land of Stories series. Alice’s perceptions of reality are turned upside-down when she stumbles upon a fairy (not a nice one) in heated conversation with her father.  When her father disappears four days later … Continue reading

ALIENS ON VACATION by Clete Smith…2014-15 LOVELACE nominee Division I

Aliens on Vacation is pure fun.  David (Scrub) is sent to his grandmother’s for the summer.  Never having met her, he is unsure what to expect–except that she’s crazy.  She owns the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast.  It doesn’t take David too long to realize that it is, in fact, an intergalactic Bed & Breakfast. As David’s grandmother … Continue reading


The True Meaning of Smekday was a hit in our house–particularly with my 6th grade son.  Set in the future after an alien invasion of Earth by the Boov, young Gratuity (Tip) is writing as essay titled The True Meaning of Smekday as a class assignment.  The essays will then be judged by a committee … Continue reading

THE RIVERMAN by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman started off very strong.  Alistair Cleary is the kind of young person who exudes a quiet strength of character that you just know will translate into a compassionate, ethical adult.  He has known his neighbors Charlie and Fiona since they were small children.  All three children are loners in their own way.  Charlie … Continue reading


Splendors and Glooms was a surprise.  I had started it on three separate occasions and couldn’t get into it.  I kept seeing it on book and reader lists so I made myself try again.  I still feel it takes too long to get into the story but I am glad I finally did. It takes place … Continue reading