‘A Flicker of Courage’ by Deb Caletti is a farcical fantasy for middle grade readers

"A Flicker of Courage" by Deb Caletti is a book that will appeal to children who love extremely fantastic books -- fantastic in the sense that everything that happens in this story is either the best or the worst in the world, and Henry Every, the main character, and his four friends will have to … Continue reading ‘A Flicker of Courage’ by Deb Caletti is a farcical fantasy for middle grade readers

‘Highfire’ is indeed a dragon; adult fantasy by Eoin Colfer

  Folks who worry about a personal lack of imagination need no longer be concerned; they can simply absorb and digest "Highfire" by Eoin Colfer and the gobs of creative delights he offers. Colfer's latest novel is a shining example of those delights. Each of the characters is hilarious and sympathetic. The hero, for example, … Continue reading ‘Highfire’ is indeed a dragon; adult fantasy by Eoin Colfer

‘Nessie Quest’ by Melissa Savage will thrill young middle grade readers

Middle grade author Melissa Savage brings readers back to thinking about cryptozoology with "Nessie Quest," an adventure in Scotland along Loch Ness. When Ada Ru finds out she and her parents will be spending her summer vacation in Scotland because her dad is teaching there, she is not happy at all. In fact, she is … Continue reading ‘Nessie Quest’ by Melissa Savage will thrill young middle grade readers

‘Alone in the Wild’ by Kelley Armstrong is the newest in the mystery series about Rockton, the mysterious town for people who want to disappear

"Alone in the Wild" by Kelley Armstrong, like all the novels in this series, begins with a bang; it involves an infant and a corpse. Casey and Eric, Rockton's sheriff and detective, a couple who are getting away for a one-night vacation camping in the wild, find a dead woman with a live infant hidden … Continue reading ‘Alone in the Wild’ by Kelley Armstrong is the newest in the mystery series about Rockton, the mysterious town for people who want to disappear

Four fabulous board books with animals, pirates, dragons and even a construction site

Board books are wonderful for kids of a wide range of ages. They are perfect for chubby young fingers that might damage the delicate pages of a picture book, but toddlers who love picture books also still enjoy these sturdy books that can be packed in a diaper bag. And these four board books, two … Continue reading Four fabulous board books with animals, pirates, dragons and even a construction site

‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins; review of the audiobook

When I received the audiobook of "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins, I was not aware of the controversy surrounding it. All I saw was a story about Lydia, a Mexican woman, the owner of a bookstore in Acapulco, whose entire family is slaughtered by narcotraficantes (drug dealers) after her journalist husband publishes an expos√© of … Continue reading ‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins; review of the audiobook

‘The Last Sister’ by Kendra Elliot is a nail-biting mystery that pushes all the right buttons

Kendra Elliot has sold over seven million books, and after reading "The Last Sister," this first book in a new series, "Columbia River," her success is understandable. And this is a perfect opportunity to jump into a Kendra Elliot series at the beginning. Main character FBI special agent Zander Wells was introduced in a previous … Continue reading ‘The Last Sister’ by Kendra Elliot is a nail-biting mystery that pushes all the right buttons

‘What I Want You to See’ by Catherine Linka is a stunning story of talent and loss and imperfection

"What I Want You to See" by Catherine Linka is a story about Sabine, an art student whose life has been anything but ordinary and privileged -- and is about to get a lot more difficult. Sabine had lost her mother the previous year, and while she lived with her best friend for a while, … Continue reading ‘What I Want You to See’ by Catherine Linka is a stunning story of talent and loss and imperfection

Children’s nonfiction books for Black History Month 2020 and beyond

The importance of diverse children's books cannot be overstated. Many readers and educators know that when they were growing up, children's books were about one group of people -- young, white, Christian people. And while I loved reading, I don't remember reading one book about a young Jewish girl, much less anyone of color. That … Continue reading Children’s nonfiction books for Black History Month 2020 and beyond

‘Bread for Words: A Frederick Douglass Story’ and ‘The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read’ are two important nonfiction picture books about learning to read against the odds

Two new picture books introduce young readers to two very important people, one of whom is already a household name (who is getting recognized more and more), Frederick Douglass, and the other someone who is well worth knowing, Mary Walker, perhaps the oldest person ever to learn to read. And while both books represent the … Continue reading ‘Bread for Words: A Frederick Douglass Story’ and ‘The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read’ are two important nonfiction picture books about learning to read against the odds

‘The Hollows’ is the sequel to historical fiction mystery ‘The Widows’ by Jess Montgomery

"The Hollows" by Jess Montgomery follows the characters from her first novel, "The Widows," as Lily Ross, sheriff after the murder of her husband who was the sheriff, and her friend Marvena Whitcomb deal with the murder of an elderly woman, which has possibly deadly implications for those who are trying to find the truth. … Continue reading ‘The Hollows’ is the sequel to historical fiction mystery ‘The Widows’ by Jess Montgomery