I Hate Running and You Can Too – book review

I Hate Running and You Can Too: How to Get Started, Keep Going, and Make Sense of an Irrational Passion by Brendan Leonard Nonfiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Despite being a ultrarunner, Brendan Leonard mostly hates running except when he loves it briefly. This is a short, encouraging, and realistic look at how you can start your own love-hate relationship with it. It might get you out the door and on your … Read more

List of Things That Will Not Change – book review

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead Juvenile Fiction Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Bea’s biological parents are divorced, but she’s accustomed to going between their two households and following a schedule that allows her to spend time with both of them. She keeps a list in her notebook of the “Things That Will Not Change,” and one of them is that her parents still love her and … Read more

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt Realistic Fiction Tween * * * Stars (Pretty good) Carter Jones and his family have been left the service of a butler in his grandfather’s will (and also an eggplant colored Bentley). Just in time to help them whip their household into order, too. The butler is unforgivingly English and his attempts to instill English ways and sensibilities into the family occasionally meet with some resistance. But, … Read more

Pawcasso – book review

Pawcasso by Remy Lai Graphic Novel Juvenile Fiction Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) While Jo is in town she sees a dog carrying a basket and follows him, curious about what he’s doing/where he’s going. In the basket are a list and some money, and at each shop the dog gets a few items and lots of pets and treats from proprietors. At the bookstore, Jo is mistaken for the dog’s owner, … Read more

My Brigadista Year – book review

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson Historical Fiction Juvenile Fiction (grades 5-8) * * * * Stars (Great!) It’s 1961 and Lora, who has grown up in Havana, Cuba, wants to become a brigadista, and teach people in faraway rural communities how to read and write. Her parents want to refuse (she’s too young, it’s too dangerous), but her grandmother persuades them to let her go, even though Lora is only thirteen. Lora receives training … Read more

Zita the Spacegirl: Far from Home – book review

Far from Home Zita the Spacegirl #1 by Ben Hatke Adventure Graphic Novel Science Fiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Zita and her friend Joseph find a meteor crash site and within the meteor is a device with a big red button that Zita can’t resist pressing. It opens up a gate to another world and Joseph promptly gets sucked in. Zita follows him shortly thereafter, but discovers that Joseph has already been … Read more

Deadly Education – book review

A Deadly Education Scholomance #1 by Naomi Novik Fantasy * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Galadriel, “El” is a year from graduation at a magical boarding school (Scholomance). She’s got her work cut out for her just trying to stay alive in its cutthroat environment where it’s every student for themselves, unless they belong to an Enclave. El doesn’t have any close friends or ties and if she wants to survive graduation, she’ll need … Read more

Max & the Midnights #2 – Read It and Rate It

Max & the Midnights: Battle of the Bodkins Max & the Midnights #2 by Lincoln Peirce Adventure Fantasy Funny Illustrated Fiction Juvenile Fiction Tween * * * * Stars (Great!) Max and her friends are back in this second Midknights book. They’ve all started down the paths to their future careers – Max is in knight school, Millie is learning magic, Kevyn is starting a Library, and Simon has discovered he has a gift with … Read more

Tea Dragon Tapestry – book review

The Tea Dragon Tapestry Tea Dragon Society #3 by Katie O’Neill Fantasy Graphic Novel Juvenile Fiction Teen Tween * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Characters come together from the two previous books (The Tea Dragon Society and The Tea Dragon Festival) and continue to learn more about themselves and their tea dragons. Beautifully illustrated (the tea dragons themselves are so adorable!). Love the sense of love, community, and acceptance in these books. They just … Read more

Measuring Up – book review

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte & Ann Xu Graphic Novel Juvenile Fiction Realistic Fiction Tween * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) When Cici’s family moves from Taiwan to Seattle, Cici is worried about adjusting to life in a new place, but her transition is pretty seamless. She makes friends right away and does well in school. Her parents work long hours, though, and they all miss A-má (Cici’s grandma/father’s mother) who stayed behind in … Read more