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BOOK REVIEWS

This category contains 235 posts

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 SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE by Brian Farrey….A 2020 LOVELACE Nominee Division I

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse is a perfect example of why I adore the Maud Hart Lovelace awards.  I always try to read all of the nominees before the school year starts so I can speak intelligently about them when students or parents ask me.  I have discovered more than one gem among the nominees … Continue reading

GIMME SHELTER (Chicken Squad #5) by Doreen Cronin

I love the Chicken Squad books by Doreen Cronin and Gimme Shelter is no exception.  I adore the film-noirish narration of J.J. Tully, the retired Search-and-Rescue dog who introduces each of the Chicken Squad stories, his actual role in the action varying from book to book in the series. Gimme Shelter is almost exclusively the four members of … Continue reading

FAIRY MOM AND ME by Sophie Kinsella

I grabbed Fairy Mom and Me from the library shelves because I have enjoyed reading Sophie Kinsella’s novels for adults.  They have a light sense of play and good-heartedness that’s nice to cruise through every once in a while for pure enjoyment.  When I saw she had written the first in a series of books for … Continue reading

SILENT MOVIE by Avi

Silent Movie is a picture book meant to be experienced like a silent movie.  The story is set in 1909: a young family immigrates from Sweden to America, Papa going first, then sending for Mama and son, Gustave six months later.  Mama and Gustave arrive but are unable to find Papa once they arrive in New … 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

MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina…2019 Newbery Medal

Merci Suarez Changes Gears has been on my To Be Read list for awhile and I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it.  Merci Suarez is in 6th grade.  She lives in Florida with her older brother, Roli, and her parents next door to her Tia Ines (and her twin boys) and her … Continue reading

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