Realistic Fiction

This category contains 11 posts

HERE IN THE REAL WORLD by Sara Pennypacker

I was not excited to read this book. I enjoyed Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series with my kids when they were younger, but–and I am in the minority here–I did not like Pax; in fact, I DNF’d it. When Here in the Real World was chosen by my Mock Newbery group as the April read, and … Continue reading


I Just Want To Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora ranks among my favorite bedtime stories for children.  If I still had little ones–preschool, early elementary–I would DEFINITELY be purchasing this title for our home library. Sweet, gentle, and soothing it exemplifies the perfect bedtime read in that: (1) it is structured around Lala’s stalling … Continue reading

PUMPKIN HEADS written by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks

Pumpkin Heads is a sweet teenage rom-com. Deja and Josiah have been working at the Succotash Hut in the Pumpkin Patch every autumn during high school. Tonight is Halloween of their senior year: their last day working at The Patch. They are both planning to be away in college next fall. Josiah has been mooning … Continue reading

MY LIFE AS A YOUTUBER (MY LIFE #7) by Janet Tashjian

I originally read the first three My Life As A… series in 2013 because my 9-year-old daughter read them, enjoyed them and recommended them to me.  I recently picked up My Life as a Youtuber (#7 in the series) on a lark at the library, curious to see how the series was doing. I was pleased … Continue reading


Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts was a solid 3-star read for me. It is the first in a series about Sam Wu. The book begins with Sam’s ‘Unfortunate Incident That Will NEVER Be Mentioned Again’ during a school field trip. This results in Sam being christened ‘Scaredy-Cat Sam’ by his classmate Ralph Philip … Continue reading

A DROP OF HOPE by Keith Calabrese

A Drop of Hope is a sweet story about the small town of Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio (although someone has vandalized the sign leading into the town so that it reads: If Only, Ohio). Cliffs Donnelly, like so many other small towns in the U.S., is barely surviving; the factory that employs many of the inhabitants … Continue reading


I was truly looking forward to reading Gary D Schmidt’s Pay Attention, Carter Jones and I did enjoy parts of it, but as a whole it was a disappointment for me. (Having loved The Wednesdays Wars and Okay For Now, maybe my expectations were too high?) Pay Attention, Carter Jones begins with a bang:  it’s Carter’s first day of … Continue reading


The Line Tender is a book I probably wouldn’t have pulled off the shelf had it not been the August reading choice for my Mock Newbery Group. Neither the title nor the book flap blurb enticed me. A couple of things I wish I had known before I started reading it: (1) it includes the death … Continue reading

DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Le Illustrated by Dan Santat…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

A grandson unwillingly visits his grandfather, who does not speak English. Bored and resentful, the young boy takes out his sketchbook and: Right when I gave up on talking, my grandfather surprised me by revealing a world beyond words. Grandfather and grandson share an ability and love for drawing. They begin to each share their … Continue reading

LEMONS by Melissa Savage…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

Lemons is another title I probably would never have picked up if it hadn’t shown up on the Lovelace nominee list this year.  After having read it, I find I am slightly conflicted in my opinion of it.  I love discovering new (to me) Minnesota authors and I wanted to love this book all the … Continue reading