This category contains 32 posts


Max and the Midknights is a new series by Lincoln Peirce, the creator of the Big Nate series.  I enjoyed Big Nate stories immensely with my children when they were in elementary school.  I am so thrilled that this new series does not disappoint!  As implied by the title, Max and the Midknights takes place in medieval times.  … Continue reading

WOLFIE THE BUNNY by Ame Dyckman…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

Wolfie the Bunny is a delightful tale about the power of love.  When a bunny family finds a wolf cub left in a basket on their doorstep the bunny parents immediately adopt him and treat him as their beloved son.  Their young daughter, Dot, insists that it is a  bad idea and Wolfie will eventually … Continue reading

NIGHT ANIMALS by Gianna Marino…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

Night Animals is the perfect marriage of text and illustration in a picture book. Possum is hiding.  Skunk, alarmed, joins him.  Together they hide from “night animals.”  To their surprise, Wolf, claiming to also be afraid of something bigger and scarier than himself is next to join.  Then, to their shock, Bear has the same … 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

CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen…LOVELACE nominee Division II 2014-15

Wahoo (yes, that’s his given name–read the book to find out why) is left at home with his father while his mother travels to China to teach Mandarin to American businessmen overseas.  Wahoo’s father, Mickey, is an animal wrangler.  Unfortunately, Mickey is not able to work due to a freak accident wherein a frozen iguana … Continue reading

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN LIVES! by Matthew McElligott and Larry Tuxbury…a LOVELACE Division I nominee

The prologue of Benjamin Franklinstein Lives! shows us a creepy chamber in which the famous Benjamin Franklin has bolts fastened to his neck (like Frankenstein’s Monster) and is submerged in a coffin-like tub of gooey green liquid.  We watch as he drifts into a coma state with his Caretaker from The Prometheus Order (a secret … Continue reading


I liked a lot of moments in The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.  The author’s decision to portray Becky Thatcher (the classic character from Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer) as a bold and daring spitfire of a young girl in 19th Century America is perfect.  Becky’s character is well-defined and three-dimensional in thought and … Continue reading

THE CHICKEN SQUAD: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin Illustrated by Kevin Cornwell

Delightfully slapstick in nature The Chicken Squad builds on the tiny, comical characters who first appear in The Trouble with Chickens, the original J.J. Tully mystery.  A perfect graduation from her brilliant picture books, these short, easy chapter books by Doreen Cronin (of Click, Clack, Moo fame) provide an ideal bridge for young readers. J.J. … 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