Catherine’s War – book review

Catherine’s War by Julia Billet illustrated by Claire Fauvel translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger Graphic Novel Historical Fiction WWII/Holocaust (for grades 5+, teens, and adults) In 1942, teenager Rachel Cohen finds herself at the Children’s Home boarding school in Sevres France, after her parents send her there for her safety. World War II is being fought throughout France and the Germans are invading. As a Jewish person, Rachel is in an even more dangerous position and … Read more

Possums Are NOT Cute! – book review

Possums Are NOT Cute! And Other Myths About Nature’s Most Misunderstood Critter by Ally Burguieres Nonfiction (for 5th grade – adult) * * * * Stars (Great!) Ally Burguieres got involved with wildlife rehabilitation (specifically helping opossums survive illness, injury, and loss) and never looked back! She discovered that many of the ideas people held about opossums were misconceptions – they were not ugly, dirty, or aggressive. In fact, they were adorable, clean, shy, and … Read more

Music for Tigers – book review

Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman Realistic Fiction for tweens (grades 4-8) * * * Stars (Pretty good) Louisa is sent to stay with her uncle in Tasmania at a small camp in the Tarkine wilderness for her summer vacation while her biologist parents are off doing research. Louisa would have preferred to stay at home and prepare for her audition with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, but has to make do with a radical … Read more

Home of the Brave – book review

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate Novel in Verse Realistic Fiction Tween (grades 4-8) * * * * Stars (Great!) Kek is young boy who comes to America from a refugee camp in Africa to stay with relatives. His father and older brother were shot by men who came to their village. He ran when they came, and was separated from his mother. Now he doesn’t where she is or if she even survived, … Read more

Twins – book review

Twins by Varian Johnson Illustrated by Shannon Wright Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction Tween * * * * Stars (Great!) Maureen and Francine are identical twins who are starting 6th grade. Although they’ve spent all of their lives together up until now, on the first day of school it becomes clear that Francine wants to reinvent and distance herself from Maureen and their group of friends, which really hurts Maureen’s feelings. Francine has always been more … Read more

Lion of Mars – book review

The Lion of Mars Science Fiction Survival Tween * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Bell lives in a small compound on Mars along with a group of other Americans – scientists, researchers, etc. – who all contribute to their community to keep things running, growing, working. He and some of the older kids are curious about the other settlements on Mars (France, Germany, etc.), but their interest is firmly rebuffed by their Commander who … Read more

Oh, Theodore – book review

Oh, Theodore By Susan Katz Illustrated by Stacey Schuett Picture book Poetry * * * Stars (Pretty good) This book of connected poems tells the story of a boy and his guinea pig, Theodore, incorporating really well the guinea pig nature (all their noises and behaviors), Theodore’s unique personality, the care he requires, and the friendship/love that develops between the boy and his peeg. Gets my Wheek! of approval! Reviewed by YA Librarian

Making Bombs for Hitler – Read It and Rate It

Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Skrypuch Historical Fiction Review #1 * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) In this book, a story is told of a young girl who was taken into a concentration camp, away from her grandparents, by the Nazis. While in the camps with her sister, she is given many tasks to do. I personally really enjoy stuff about WWII and this book made it easier to understand at a younger … Read more

Just Roll with It – book review

Just Roll with It written by Lee Durfey-Lavoie illustrated by Veronica Agarwal Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction Tween, grades 4-8 * * * Stars (Pretty good) Maggie is starting 6th grade and she’s anxious about making friends and making the transition to middle school. She has some coping mechanisms/rituals that she uses to help her feel more calm and in control – like rolling a d20 (20-sided die) to help her make decisions (or predict how … Read more

Rez Dogs – book review

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac Novel in Verse Realistic Fiction for tweens (grades 4-8) * * * * Stars (Great!) Malian is visiting her grandparents on the Wabanaki reservation when the pandemic forces everyone to lock down. She can’t return to her family in the city, so she tries to make the best of a flaky internet connection to keep up with her classes, and phone calls and video chats with her folks. Shortly after … Read more