‘Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir’ is by graphic novelist Tyler Feder

This isn't a beach read. It's not a clever mystery. Rather, "Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir" by Tyler Feder is a journey through her life with her mom, who tragically died when Feder was still a teenager. In fact, her mother as just 47 years old when she died from … Continue reading ‘Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir’ is by graphic novelist Tyler Feder

‘Cat Among the Pigeons: A riotous assembly of unrespectable African creatures’ by David Muirhead: Amusing and oh-so-clever tales of African wildlife

Be assured, "Cat Among the Pigeons" by David Muirhead is not a boring compilation of facts and information about the creatures in Africa, but rather an erudite and always entertaining collection of anecdotes, history, and interesting tidbits about those sometimes exotic (wildebeest), sometimes not (wasp), animals. It's a book that will delight those who have … Continue reading ‘Cat Among the Pigeons: A riotous assembly of unrespectable African creatures’ by David Muirhead: Amusing and oh-so-clever tales of African wildlife

‘Big Summer’ by Jennifer Weiner – take a fabulous trip to the beach

Jennifer Weiner never fails to grab readers with main characters who are entirely relatable, and who -- in spite of many admirable qualities -- usually have many of the same foibles that the rest of us suffer from. In "Big Summer," main character Daphne Berg is an up-and-coming social media influencer. Her hashtags include #sorrynotsorry … Continue reading ‘Big Summer’ by Jennifer Weiner – take a fabulous trip to the beach

Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Five: Nonfiction (mostly) picture books

  Some of these picture books are completely nonfiction while others skirt the line between fiction and nonfiction. I've included a few that are really fiction but that include enough nonfiction information that I think they impart content that merits inclusion in this collection. I hope you enjoy reading about these and share a few … Continue reading Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Five: Nonfiction (mostly) picture books

Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Four: Books about feelings and self-care

  Being at home during the pandemic is difficult for adults, and for many children, it's a confusing time. They aren't going to preschool or school, they aren't seeing their friends, they aren't getting to go to the playground to expend energy. And some may not understand why. These picture books will address a range … Continue reading Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Four: Books about feelings and self-care

Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Three: Four “beary” adorable books

  Who doesn't love books about bears? Especially picture books about helpful bears, bears who chase away bullies, bears who teach uptight lemmings how to enjoy life, and bears who have stage fright. These four sweet stories will probably become favorites at bedtime. "The Society of Distinguished Lemmings" is written and illustrated by Julie Colombet. … Continue reading Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Three: Four “beary” adorable books

Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Two: We’ve gone to the dogs

As many have discovered during this pandemic, adopting or fostering a dog (or cat) is a lovely way to have a furry, loving companion who gives nothing but love (and fur). There's nothing quite like an animal's unconditional love. Here are some reading choices that will share some training tips you may (or may not) … Continue reading Pandemic-perfect picture books Part Two: We’ve gone to the dogs

Pandemic-perfect picture books Part One: Books to make you laugh

Reading is a lovely way to escape reality, and reading picture books to children of almost any age will surely amuse them. Here are some new and not-quite-so-new choices to cheer up the housebound group. The picture book "Snack Attack!" by Terry Border disappeared from my house shortly after its arrival. My almost-four-year-old grandson stole … Continue reading Pandemic-perfect picture books Part One: Books to make you laugh

‘This Terrible Beauty’ by Katrin Schumann is a gripping historical fiction

In "This Terrible Beauty," author Katrin Schumann manages to grab our attention from the first page where the main character, Bettina, fingers the eight beads which rest on the strap of her camera, one for each year of her child's life -- a child she was forced to give up when she left Germany. The … Continue reading ‘This Terrible Beauty’ by Katrin Schumann is a gripping historical fiction

‘A Guard Dog Named Honey’ by Denise Gosliner Orenstein is a sweet summer story of determination, friendship, and a big slobbery dog

I started the middle grade story "A Guard Dog Named Honey" by Denise Gosliner Orenstein predisposed to dislike it. I don't usually approach books with that attitude, of course, but this one is about a girl who wants to sell a dog for profit in order to raise the bail money to get her brother … Continue reading ‘A Guard Dog Named Honey’ by Denise Gosliner Orenstein is a sweet summer story of determination, friendship, and a big slobbery dog

‘The German Heiress’ by Anika Scott is a fascinating piece of historical fiction in which characters must reflect on their actions during WWII

In "The German Heiress," author Anika Scott introduces us to Clara Falkenberg, the heiress to a German iron fortune. She could have spent the war socializing with the Nazis, but instead runs the family factories. And there's a cost. Clara is a complex main character who took actions during WWII that seemed best at the … Continue reading ‘The German Heiress’ by Anika Scott is a fascinating piece of historical fiction in which characters must reflect on their actions during WWII