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

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

Aster and the Accidental Magic – book review

Aster and the Accidental Magic book #1 by Thom Pico and Karensac Adventure Fantasy Graphic Novel Tween * * * * Stars (Great!) Aster is not super thrilled when her parents move them from the city to a small mountain town so Aster’s mother can continue work on her robo-birds (that will save them all from the enormous crow migration that’s about to take place). After she meets a mysterious old lady shepherd who gives … Read more

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

Iron Trial – book review

The Iron Trial Magisterium #1 by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare Fantasy Mystery Tween * * * * Stars (Great!) Callum Hunt is going to do his best to fail his entrance exam to the Magisterium. His father has warned him that magic is dangerous and the mages will try to kill him, and despite these warnings and his own fear and misgivings, he is taken on as an apprentice by one of the Masters. … Read more