Virgin Suicides – Read It and Rate It

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides Realistic Fiction (for older teens + adults) Review #1 “The Virgin Suicides” is about 5 teenage girls (the Lisbon sisters) who live in a strict household. A group of anonymous boys watch the girls as they commit suicide one by one. Over the course of a year, the boys slowly fall in love with the idea of the Lisbon girls. They watch from afar to find out why they … 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

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous – book review

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park Funny Realistic Fiction Romance Teens * * * Stars (Pretty good) Sunny Song, also known as “Goggle Girl” from her social media minute of fame, has been trying to increase her audience/views and monetize her virtual presence – possibly to the detriment of everything else (academics, activities, family, friendships). After her brownie baking video goes viral and almost gets her expelled from school, Sunny is forced … Read more

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – book review

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez Mystery Realistic Fiction (older teens) * * * Stars (Pretty good) When Julia’s (pronounced the Mexican/Spanish way – Who-lee-uh) older sister Olga is killed in a terrible accident, her whole family falls apart, becoming more dysfunctional (is that even possible?) than it was before. Julia, already suffering from depression and anxiety, and her mother deal with their individual pain by lashing out at one … 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

Farm – book review

The Farm by Joanne Ramos Realistic Fiction adults * * * Stars (Pretty good) Follows the stories/viewpoints of several women involved in Golden Oaks aka “The Farm,” where female surrogates carry the fetuses of well-paying customers to term – receiving bonuses for good behavior and successful births. Jane’s older cousin convinces her to interview for The Farm after she loses her position as a baby nurse, and feels she has no other viable options. When … Read more

Other Boy – Read It and Rate It

The Other Boy by H.G. Hennessey LGBTQ+ Realistic Fiction Review #1 * * * * Stars (Great!) “The Other Boy,” following a young boy named Shane, is a great book that I highly recommend to any and all. This book delves into a middle school perspective of the mental, social, and situational struggles of topics such as the results of a divorce, the spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community, and the now seen effects of bullying. … Read more