‘The Berlin Girl’ by Mandy Robotham is fascinating and engrossing historical fiction

In this novel of prewar Germany, "The Berlin Girl" by Mandy Robotham brings us right into the close-knit world of the journalists who staff tiny offices in capitals around the world in times of strife. Through the eyes of George Young, born Georgina Young and also known as Georgie Young, we enter the cosmopolitan, complex, … Continue reading ‘The Berlin Girl’ by Mandy Robotham is fascinating and engrossing historical fiction

‘A Dog’s Day: I Am Sammy, Trusted Guide’ by Catherine Stier is one in a early chapter book series about working dogs

"A Dog's Day" is a new series by Catherine Stier for early chapter book readers about working dogs and their various different jobs. In "A Dog's Day: I Am Sammy, Trusted Guide," readers learn about guide dogs and what they do. Sammy, the working dog, tells his story in first person narration and we learn … Continue reading ‘A Dog’s Day: I Am Sammy, Trusted Guide’ by Catherine Stier is one in a early chapter book series about working dogs

‘When Harry Met Minnie’ by Martha Teichner is a touching and heartbreaking story of dogs, friendship, and serendipity

When Harry Met Minnie by Martha Teichner I picked up "When Harry Met Minnie," by Martha Teichner, thinking it was a story about dogs. I was wrong. While the dogs, two adorable but quirky bull terriers named, obviously, Harry and Minnie, are part of this story — it's so much more. Teichner writes about serendipity, … Continue reading ‘When Harry Met Minnie’ by Martha Teichner is a touching and heartbreaking story of dogs, friendship, and serendipity

‘Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education’ by Lawrence Goldstone is an important nonfiction young adult history of segregation and bigotry

"Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education" by Lawrence Goldstone is an important nonfiction young adult history of segregation and bigotry beginning in 1892 in the famous Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Goldstone writes the story of segregation and institutionalized racism and bigotry as if writing a novel, and … Continue reading ‘Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education’ by Lawrence Goldstone is an important nonfiction young adult history of segregation and bigotry

‘A Promised Land’ by Barack Obama (review by Jack Kramer)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama For those readers who are soon to launch into Barack Obama's memoir, "A Promised Land," be forewarned: if you think you're about to enjoy anything like a light-hearted romp through a very successful 2008 presidential campaign and an arguably quite successful first-term presidency, it would be wise to radically … Continue reading ‘A Promised Land’ by Barack Obama (review by Jack Kramer)

‘The Unwilling’ by brilliant storyteller John Hart is a searing tale of courage, honor, and war

The Unwilling by John Hart One of the things that makes John Hart's novels, including his newest, "The Unwilling," so compelling is his ability to create complex characters whose actions and courage linger with us long after we've finished reading the story. Jason French is one such character, and his inability to reconnect with his … Continue reading ‘The Unwilling’ by brilliant storyteller John Hart is a searing tale of courage, honor, and war

‘Marriage Code’ by Brooke Burroughs is a romantic romp about love trumping diverse cultures

In "The Marriage Code" by Brooke Burroughs we meet Emma, a young twentysomething living in Seattle and working for a tech company. At the start of the story, she has just been blindsided by her boyfriend's surprise proposal, in a crowded restaurant, completely embarrassing both of them when she says no. Things are awkward in … Continue reading ‘Marriage Code’ by Brooke Burroughs is a romantic romp about love trumping diverse cultures

‘Champ and Major: First Dogs’ by Joy McCullough is a celebration of the most important new White House occupants — the dogs!

Champ and Major: First Dogs Let's face it. While Joe and Jill Biden are fabulous new occupants of the White House, the new residents that are exciting the hearts and minds of animal lovers across the world are their two dogs: Champ and Major. Major is especially a celebration in light of the fact that … Continue reading ‘Champ and Major: First Dogs’ by Joy McCullough is a celebration of the most important new White House occupants — the dogs!

Black history comes alive with these 4 children’s nonfiction books

Black lives and books for Black History Month and every month It's February, and that means there are amazing new children's books that are perfect for every month of the year, not just February, and which celebrate Black activists and Black heroes. Some you might already have read about, but some of these fascinating and … Continue reading Black history comes alive with these 4 children’s nonfiction books

‘Poisoned’ by Jennifer Donnelly is a beautiful, complex, fractured fairy tale retelling of Snow White

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly Jennifer Donnelly's fairy tale retellings are beautiful in their complexity and their reimagining; but make no mistake, the beauty of the writing doesn't equate with "beauty" being foremost among the traits of the main characters in her newest fantasy "Poisoned," or her previous fractured fairy tale, "Stepsister." Both young adult fairy … Continue reading ‘Poisoned’ by Jennifer Donnelly is a beautiful, complex, fractured fairy tale retelling of Snow White

‘Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11’ by Alan Gratz is a middle grade novel bringing important historic events into focus for young readers

"Ground Zero" by Alan Gratz Children's author Alan Gratz is known and revered for his historical fiction middle grade novels like his newest, "Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11." As he has done in other novels including the award-winning "Refugee," Gratz presents readers with two main characters from different backgrounds and different perspectives who share … Continue reading ‘Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11’ by Alan Gratz is a middle grade novel bringing important historic events into focus for young readers