//
archives

Family

This category contains 20 posts

PAY ATTENTION, CARTER JONES by Gary D. Schmidt

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

WILD BIRD by Wendelin Van Draanen

I picked up Wild Bird because it is written by one of my favorite authors for middle grade readers–Wendelin Van Draanen. The Wild Bird of the title is 14-year-old Wren Clemmens. When we initially meet Wren she is stoned and being woken by professional Youth Transporters. We follow this chaotic, emotional scene as Wren is … Continue reading

THE TRUE HISTORY OF LYNDIE B HAWKINS by Gail Shepherd

This one was a 4/5 star read for me. Lyndie is eleven years old in 1985, the daughter of a former war protester/activist and a Vietnam veteran. She is fascinated by (and quite knowledgeable about) American history–particularly the Civil War. She, her mother and father have just moved into her grandparents’ home. Lyndie doesn’t exactly … Continue reading

ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela Alma thinks her name is too long.  Her father tells her the story behind each part of her name, telling her after she has heard the stories she can decide for herself if her name really is too long. As her father tells her about each of the people … 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

THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN by Ellen Hopkins

The You I’ve Never Known is a novel written in free verse by Ellen Hopkins. Our main characters are Ariel and Maya, both sixteen at the beginning of the book. Ariel’s story is told completely in free verse and Maya’s story is told through prose journal entries. (The reason for these two different approaches becomes … Continue reading

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

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

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

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