‘Hero: Hurricane Rescue’ by Jennifer Li Shotz is Timely Tale of a Boy and his Dog

  The timing couldn't have been better for "Hero: Hurricane Rescue" by Jennifer Li Shotz. After three hurricanes battered our country, kids are more aware of what damage a hurricane is capable of, and this story will be believable and fascinating as well as exciting to read. In this story, a sequel to the book … Continue reading ‘Hero: Hurricane Rescue’ by Jennifer Li Shotz is Timely Tale of a Boy and his Dog

‘Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker’ by Shelley Johannes Is a Creative Book for Early Chapter Book Readers

"Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker" by Shelley Johannes is a lovely chapter book for young readers who want some pictures with their text. Johannes' artwork provides plenty of visual cues that are amazingly effective even though they are in black, grey and orange. The "pink" dress looks amazingly pink even though it's orange! The star … Continue reading ‘Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker’ by Shelley Johannes Is a Creative Book for Early Chapter Book Readers

‘Wishtree’ by Katherine Applegate Does Not Disappoint

“Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate is just what one might expect from a Newbery medal winning author. It’s thoughtful, it’s poignant, and it’s timely. This is a story that will get middle school readers talking and thinking -- and that’s what good literature is supposed to do. In this story, Red, the main character, is a … Continue reading ‘Wishtree’ by Katherine Applegate Does Not Disappoint

‘I’m Scared’ and ‘I’m Silly’ are part of ‘My First Comics’ Board Book Series for Young Children

Acclaimed author Jennifer L. Holm and her brother Matthew Holm have created a board book series titled "My First Comics" with the goal of introducing very young children to the language of feelings. The format is that of a comic book, and the text is simple, with lots of onomatopoeia. The colors are bright, and … Continue reading ‘I’m Scared’ and ‘I’m Silly’ are part of ‘My First Comics’ Board Book Series for Young Children

‘A Poison Dark and Drowning’ by Jessica Cluess Is a Fabulous Sequel to ‘A Shadow Bright and Burning’

Just like the first book in the series by Jessica Cluess, "A Shadow Bright and Burning," the second book, "A Poison Dark and Drowning" grabs the reader from the first few pages. As in the first book, this middle book in the trilogy continues to showcase Cluess's ability to combine just enough description, just the … Continue reading ‘A Poison Dark and Drowning’ by Jessica Cluess Is a Fabulous Sequel to ‘A Shadow Bright and Burning’

‘The Losers Club’ is Andrew Clements’ Newest Thoughtful Middle Grade Novel

"The Losers Club" is by the prolific and talented Andrew Clements. He is the author of tens of beloved middle grade books, including the wonderful and famous "Frindle." With "The Losers Club," Clements creates a main character who loves reading above all else. At least that's what the reader learns at the beginning of the … Continue reading ‘The Losers Club’ is Andrew Clements’ Newest Thoughtful Middle Grade Novel

‘The Unicorn in the Barn’ by Jacqueline K. Ogburn: A Charming and Beautiful Middle Grade Novel

In spite of the title, "The Unicorn in the Barn" by Jacqueline K. Ogburn appears to be a realistic middle grade fiction book until the reader encounters the unicorn in the barn. Eric Harper lives on his family's farm, and he's still bitter that they had to sell his grandmother's house, the ancestral family home, … Continue reading ‘The Unicorn in the Barn’ by Jacqueline K. Ogburn: A Charming and Beautiful Middle Grade Novel

‘Twinderella: A Fractioned Fairy Tale’ by Corey Rosen Schwartz

From the title page where the word "fractioned" is substituted for the more-common "fractured" to describe the fairy tale story, the reader knows that "Twinderella" by Corey Rosen Schwartz is not your garden variety fairy tale. There are two red-headed girls running down the steps leaving behind one glass slipper. And as the readers learn, … Continue reading ‘Twinderella: A Fractioned Fairy Tale’ by Corey Rosen Schwartz

‘Ban This Book’ by Alan Gratz is a Thought-provoking Middle Grade Novel

Alan Gratz writes some gritty stories, like "Code of Honor" and "Prisoner B-3087." With "Ban This Book," Gratz takes the reader into a different kind of war -- the war against censorship. The story comes right out of real life. Parents, because of their religious, political, or moral beliefs,  demand that certain books be removed … Continue reading ‘Ban This Book’ by Alan Gratz is a Thought-provoking Middle Grade Novel

UPDATE: A Win for Workers! Pure Profit Versus Integrity; As Observed on a Local Level with Mechanics’ Strike

The corner is quiet now and has been for a few weeks. The strikers are gone. They have been vindicated after an arbitrator found in their favor and against Napleton Cadillac of Libertyville. Congratulations to them. The full decision can be read here. But in it, the actions of the employer were found to be … Continue reading UPDATE: A Win for Workers! Pure Profit Versus Integrity; As Observed on a Local Level with Mechanics’ Strike

‘The Alice Network’ by Kate Quinn: Intriguing Historical Fiction Spy Novel Based on Little Known Facts

"The Alice Network" by Kate Quinn is a beautifully written novel that combines several genres and does credit to them all. It's about women spies, about romance, about determination, and occasionally about men who wouldn't believe them just because they were women. The story alternates between the times of the two World Wars. In 1915, … Continue reading ‘The Alice Network’ by Kate Quinn: Intriguing Historical Fiction Spy Novel Based on Little Known Facts

‘Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat’ by Patricia Williams: A Story about Overcoming Almost Insurmountable Odds

The story of "Rabbit" is a gritty account of a childhood that is something out of a nightmare. Yet the book is also full of inspiration and hope. It's depressing but at the same time filled with humor. Patricia Williams' story is certainly one filled with extremes. The author's life began with a mother who … Continue reading ‘Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat’ by Patricia Williams: A Story about Overcoming Almost Insurmountable Odds