‘Yellow Wife’ by Sadeqa Johnson: a beautiful historical fiction about love and sacrifice

"Yellow Wife" takes us into America's dark past, where we meet Pheby Delores Brown, a woman of valor. A woman who loved deeply and fiercely. A woman who was a slave yet managed to keep her dignity. But no matter Pheby's relatively privileged upbringing in the plantation house where she grew up, being taught to … Continue reading ‘Yellow Wife’ by Sadeqa Johnson: a beautiful historical fiction about love and sacrifice

‘Endling: The Only’ is the magnificent conclusion to a middle grade series about truth, power, and standing up

"Endling: The Only' by Katherine Applegate The "Endling" series by Katherine Applegate, of which "The Only" is the conclusion, is her most powerful story yet. And that's huge. "The One and Only Ivan" is rightly beloved by almost every student in my elementary school, and by children and adults around the world. It's a story … Continue reading ‘Endling: The Only’ is the magnificent conclusion to a middle grade series about truth, power, and standing up

‘The Princess Spy: The True Story of WWII Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones,’ is a thrilling tale of espionage and danger that reads like fiction (it’s not)

The Princess Spy by Larry Loftis Almost everybody loves reading nonfiction that reads like a novel. "The Princess Spy: The True Story of WWII Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones" is pure nonfiction, but it's also a really enjoyable read. Author Larry Loftis keeps the excitement going from the first page of the Prologue. We … Continue reading ‘The Princess Spy: The True Story of WWII Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones,’ is a thrilling tale of espionage and danger that reads like fiction (it’s not)

‘The Wild Huntsboys’ by Martin Stewart is a tale of intrepid boys, a girl, and the fairies who want to kill them

The Wild Huntsboys by Martin Stewart In "The Wild Huntsboys," Martin Stewart makes sure we understand that fairies are not beautiful, kind, generous magical beings who grant wishes. There is no fairy godmother that will provide a ballgown and carriage. Rather, if you make one misstep, you might be hunted down and killed in a … Continue reading ‘The Wild Huntsboys’ by Martin Stewart is a tale of intrepid boys, a girl, and the fairies who want to kill them

‘The Messengers: Greystone Secrets 3’ by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a middle grade scifi novel about bravery and what happens when people look the other way

The Messengers by Margaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix completes the "Greystone Secrets" trilogy with the conclusion, "The Messengers." Like many of her middle grade novels, this one has a clear message for young readers. It's a message that teachers across the country echo: Be an upstander, not a bystander. In this trilogy, we see … Continue reading ‘The Messengers: Greystone Secrets 3’ by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a middle grade scifi novel about bravery and what happens when people look the other way

‘I Just Wanted To Save My Family,’ a memoir by Stéphan Pélissier

I Just Wanted to Save My Family by Stéphan Pélissier Stéphan Pélissier's memoir, "I Just Wanted to Save My Family," enlightens us by aiming an unforgivingly bright beam on the injustices engendered by the network of dark systems and practices that define governments and authoritarian figures all over the world. Unfettered nationalism. Corrupt populism. Cruel … Continue reading ‘I Just Wanted To Save My Family,’ a memoir by Stéphan Pélissier

‘Hold Back the Tide’ by Melinda Salisbury is a thrilling, inspiring tale of bravery and things that only come out at night

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury Want a story that will grab you from the first sentence and hold your attention to the last? "Hold Back the Tide" by Melinda Salisbury is just such a read. It begins, "Here are the rules of living with a murderer." And the suspense grows and grows as … Continue reading ‘Hold Back the Tide’ by Melinda Salisbury is a thrilling, inspiring tale of bravery and things that only come out at night

‘The Stills’ by Jess Montgomery is the next chapter about an intrepid female sheriff in Appalachia during Prohibition

The Stills by Jess Montgomery "The Stills" by Jess Montgomery continues the story of Sheriff Lily Ross, whom we first meet in "The Widows" and again in its sequel, "The Hollows." Lily's husband was the sheriff in Bronwyn County, Ohio, and after his murder, Lily is offered the opportunity to finish his term. She not … Continue reading ‘The Stills’ by Jess Montgomery is the next chapter about an intrepid female sheriff in Appalachia during Prohibition

‘Starfish’ by Lisa Fipps is a sensitively written middle grade novel in free verse about image and bullies

Starfish by Lisa Fipps "Starfish" is Lisa Fipps' debut novel, and it's a winner. Think Jennifer Weiner for middle grade readers and you will come close to picturing this book. It's about Ellie, who is known as Splash for an unfortunate exclamation made by her older sister when she did a cannonball into the family … Continue reading ‘Starfish’ by Lisa Fipps is a sensitively written middle grade novel in free verse about image and bullies

‘A Stranger in Town’ is the newest Rockton novel by Kelley Armstrong in a thrilling series

If you haven't started the "Rockton" series by Kelley Armstrong, you are missing out on a wonderful detective series with a setting that is unique and that makes each mystery in the series much more than a typical whodunit. "A Stranger in Town" is the sixth book in the series, and Casey and Eric, the … Continue reading ‘A Stranger in Town’ is the newest Rockton novel by Kelley Armstrong in a thrilling series