‘Lucky’ by Marissa Stapley is a story about love, deception, and family

Lucky by Marissa Stapley The best books are often the ones that grab you by the collar and hook you so thoroughly that you can't stop reading, no matter the time of day, no matter other pressing responsibilities. Sometimes, we need books that don't present complex philosophical insights or force us to consider world problems, … Continue reading ‘Lucky’ by Marissa Stapley is a story about love, deception, and family

‘No Beauties or Monsters’ by Tara Goedjen is filled with surprise and mystery until the lovely ending

No Beauties or Monsters "No Beauties or Monsters" by Tara Goedjen is the ultimate mystery novel. For most of the story, we have little idea what is happening. Why does main character Rylie lose track of time—for hours—and have no recollection of what happened? What is going on in Twentynine Palms and the nearby military … Continue reading ‘No Beauties or Monsters’ by Tara Goedjen is filled with surprise and mystery until the lovely ending

‘Everything We Didn’t Say’ by Nicole Baart is about passion and betrayal in small town Iowa

Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart Open up this mystery, "Everything We Didn't Say" by Nicole Baart, take a trip to small-town America, and visit Jericho, Iowa. This is as small town as America gets, a town where everyone knows each person's business—or at least thinks they do. In reality, as we learn, there … Continue reading ‘Everything We Didn’t Say’ by Nicole Baart is about passion and betrayal in small town Iowa

‘The Winter Guest’ by Pam Jenoff is historical fiction about Poland, life in a small village during WWII, and sacrifice

The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff Pam Jenoff writes historical fiction, sometimes based on real events, usually about WWII and the Holocaust. Her books provide a glimpse into how people survived in often horrific situations and reflect both the best and the worst instincts of humans. In "The Winter Guest," Jenoff writes about Poland during … Continue reading ‘The Winter Guest’ by Pam Jenoff is historical fiction about Poland, life in a small village during WWII, and sacrifice

Fabulous nonfiction children’s books you need on your bookshelf: Part One

I know from my decades of teaching elementary students that using nonfiction picture books is an amazing way to begin discussions of events and people, and to share information with students in an entertaining way that keeps them interested in learning (and reading). Here are some nonfiction children's books for children of all ages from … Continue reading Fabulous nonfiction children’s books you need on your bookshelf: Part One

Fabulous nonfiction children’s books you need on your bookshelf: Part Two

Nonfiction books for middle grade readers are an important tool for teachers and librarians. Good nonfiction books serve multiple purposes: they provide factual information in an easier format than many websites or other informational sources; they can engage children by capturing their interest in topic that fascinate them; and they are books that don't necessarily … Continue reading Fabulous nonfiction children’s books you need on your bookshelf: Part Two

‘Wish You Were Here’ by Jodi Picoult is a tale of COVID and life

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult It's both fascinating and repelling to read a novel about New York during the worst of COVID, our modern-day version of the Black Plague. Many authors choose to skip any references to COVID for many reasons, but in "Wish You Were Here," author Jodi Picoult writes unflinchingly about … Continue reading ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Jodi Picoult is a tale of COVID and life

‘The Christmas Bookshop’ by Jenny Colgan is just what we expect — a sweet, touching story of family and romance that warms our hearts

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan Jenny Colgan's books are predictable, but we like them -- a lot -- nonetheless. We know that in the pages of her books, we are treated to a "vacation" of sorts in whatever exotic locale she chooses (although if you live in Edinburgh, it's not quite so exotic), wherein … Continue reading ‘The Christmas Bookshop’ by Jenny Colgan is just what we expect — a sweet, touching story of family and romance that warms our hearts