Just Mercy – Read It and Rate It

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (adapted for young adults) by Bryan Stevenson Autobiography Nonfiction Thriller Review #1 * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) A lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson tells us the stories and experiences he goes through raising awareness to the social injustices of many he had as clients. I was absolutely devastated by the stories of the imprisoned who Bryan fought for. For older teens … Read more

Astronauts – book review

Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier written by Jim Ottaviani illustrated by Maris Wicks Biography Graphic Novel History Nonfiction Tween (grades 5+), Teen, Adult * * * * Stars (Great!) This nonfiction graphic novel written from the point of view of astronaut Mary Cleave, tells the story of how women made their way into space (specifically looks at the history and achievements of Russian and American female astronauts)! It was initially a struggle to get … Read more

Full Out – Read It and Rate It

Full Out by Monica Aldama Nonfiction Review #1 * * * * Stars (Great!) This book gives the background of Monica Aldama’s life leading up to her career coaching the Navarro College cheerleading team and its popularity after the Netflix original, “Cheer,” was released. She includes tips and tricks she picked up on throughout life that influenced her decisions and leadership. I really enjoyed how she explained the things she learned and experienced, and connected … Read more

History of Me – book review

A History of Me by Adrea Theodore Illustrated by Erin K. Robinson Biography Picture Book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Powerful. Based on the author’s own experiences going to school and feeling singled out as the only brown person, feeling embarrassment when learning about slavery and civil rights along with her classmates – all white. Loving to learn, grateful for the opportunities that her grandmother and great grandmother did not have, but… Having … Read more

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