When Stars Are Scattered – book review

When Stars Are Scattered Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction (based on true story) Tween * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Omar and his younger brother Hassan fled their village in Somalia when it was overrun by men with guns. They made their way, along with other refugees, to a camp in Kenya where they waited for years for something to happen – to find their mother who became separated from … Read more

Running with Sherman – book review

Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall Biography Nonfiction Adults/teens * * * * Stars (Great!) Christopher McDougall and his family rescue a donkey (Sherman) from a hoarding situation and work hard to bring him back to health. Sherman surprises them all with his determination to survive and overcome his previous circumstances and McDougall comes up with the wild idea of training and entering him in a team long-distance donkey race. Recruiting family, friends, and neighbors, … Read more

How Stella Learned to Talk – book review

How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog by Christina Hunger Autobiography Biography Nonfiction Adult (but teens may enjoy!) * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) When Christina and her boyfriend decided to adopt a puppy, they started to notice the many ways that Stella (the dog) tried to communicate with them. Christina, a recently qualified speech pathologist, had received all kinds of specialized training in helping nonverbal children … Read more

All Creatures Great and Small – book review

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot Autobiography Biography Classics Funny Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Follows James Herriot’s adventures as a newly qualified vet working under his slightly more experienced senior vet in the boonies of Yorkshire, where he meets a variety of memorable farmers and pet owners and falls in love with the people and the land. Follows his first couple of years working for the practice. Homey, hilarious and … Read more

Write to Me – book review

Write to Me by Cynthia Grady Illustrations by Amiko Hirao Juvenile Nonfiction Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Clara Breed was a librarian in San Diego during WWII. When her young Japanese patrons were relocated to internment camps, she gave them postcards and encouraged them to write to her. Their letters helped her learn about their situation/conditions in the camps, and she was able to send them books and other items (soap, … Read more

Every Falling Star – book review

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee & Susan McClelland Biography Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Sungju Lee was just shy of 10 years old in 1997 when his family was forced to leave Pyongyang, North Korea. His parents said they were going on “vacation,” but they were really leaving their home for good. Sungju didn’t discover the truth until much later. Even though Sungju’s parents were supposed to receive rations for their work, … Read more

Obsessed – book review

Obsessed by Allison Britz Biography Nonfiction Allison is 15 when she has a vivid dream that awakens her obsessive compulsive tendencies. Prior to that she’s a high-achieving student, athlete, popular, normal. Suddenly, everything around her holds danger and she has to avoid everyday objects like pencils and socks and sidewalk cracks, or perform little rituals to offset their toxicity. Her weird behavior distances her from her friends and family who don’t understand what is happening … Read more

Father and I Were Ranchers – Read It and Rate It

Father and I Were Ranchers Little Britches #1 by Ralph Moody Biography Nonfiction Review #1 * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Little Britches is a book that depicts strong emotions. Ralph and his family move to Colorado for Ralph’s father’s lungs. They think they are journeying to a developed ranch, and instead, they find a three-room cabin. The story continues with Ralph’s family trying life on the ranch, from scratch. They have to raise … Read more

They Called Us Enemy – book review

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei Autobiography Biography Graphic Novel Nonfiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) After Japan entered WWII and bombed Pearl Harbor a wave of fear and distrust of Japanese people washed over the United States and the government enacted policies that removed those of Japanese ancestry (US citizens included) from their homes to internment camps where they were closely monitored for acts of treason. Anti-Japanese sentiment ran high over … Read more