Tag Archives: book reviews

TAKING OFF by Jenny Moss

I remember sitting in my dad’s car one January afternoon in 1986, listening to the radio news of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and feeling like it was impossible, like it couldn’t really have happened. But it did. And so I knew how the story of the shuttle launch would end before I opened this […]

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WHITE CAT by Holly Black

Let’s see…where to start with this one… Well, first of all, there is the fact that Holly Black’s name looks so cool on the cover of a book called WHITE CAT.  But focusing on that too long is doing the inside of the book a disservice.  Because it’s fantastic – one that teachers will want […]

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The Hunger Games

I already posted a book review today, but our phone just rang.  It was my mom, home from Thanksgiving dinner at our house, calling to discuss the book that my 12-year-old son and I convinced her to read while she was here.  "How’d you like it?"  I asked her. "It was awful," she said.  "Wonderful […]

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Nonfiction Monday – Steel Drumming at the Apollo

As an English teacher, I’m always looking for ways to bring nonfiction to my reluctant readers.  These are kids who haven’t discovered reading for pleasure, and many of them are boys.  If I’m lucky, I can sell them on a novel by Walter Dean Myers, Joseph Bruchac,  David Lubar, or Jack Gantos…but nonfiction?  Good luck. […]

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First Light by Rebecca Stead

I’ve had Rebecca Stead’s debut novel First Light in my pile of books to read since November, when I met her at the Rochester Children’s Book Festival.  But then the Cybils came along, and I discovered that being a panelist for middle grade fiction meant reading nothing BUT middle grade fiction from October through the […]

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A Home Run!

Linda Sue Park just hit another one out of the ballpark. Watch for this book.  It’s due out from Clarion in March, and I predict It’s going to win awards. Keeping Score is the very best kind of historical novel – one that first introduces kids to funny, dynamic characters they’ll love and then brings […]

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie is  brilliant.  But you probably already knew that. This week, I finally got to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Wow.  Just wow. I won’t write a traditional review here, because plenty of other people have praised this book up and down, and there was that whole award thing, too….  […]

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Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Jennifer Harris used to be that poor, chubby kid who sat alone in the cafeteria. Well, almost alone. There was Cameron Quick, another social outcast. Another kid living in poverty and living on the fringe of third grade society. He was her only friend and the only person who ever understood Jennifer Harris. And then […]

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