Proud – book review

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Mohammed Biography/Autobiography/Memoir Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Ibtihaj Muhammad describes her path to the 2016 Olympics from her childhood, where her parents encouraged all of their children to participate in sports, discovery of fencing (her mother was actually the one who saw the fencing team practicing at the high school Ibti was to attend and pushed her to try out), and how her … Read more

To Night Owl from Dogfish – book review

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer Funny LGBT Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great) Bett Devlin and Avery Bloom first “meet” when Bett discovers that their dads are secretly dating, secretly sending them to a fancy schmancy summer camp, and secretly planning to explore China by motorcycle.  The girls are outraged.  They like things fine just the way they are.  As they continue to exchange messages, however, … Read more

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful – book review

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful  by Arwen Elys Dayton Science Fiction Short Stories * * * Stars (Pretty good) These linked stories take place in the near and then distant future as human beings find ways to extend life, eliminate disease, and modify their bodies in new and exciting ways.  Factions emerge as the modifications go beyond medical and into cosmetic and bizarre – those who believe that the human form should be pure and … Read more

Seven Torments of Amy and Craig – book review

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig by Don Zolidis Historical Fiction Realistic Fiction Romance * * * * Stars (Great!) Craig and Amy are an unlikely couple – Amy is popular, outgoing, and a real class leader, while Craig has a few awkward nerdy friends who get together on Saturday nights to play D&D.  But when Craig starts crushing on Amy, he finds a way for them to spend more time together – he … Read more

Night Diary – book review

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani Historical Fiction Juvenile Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Nisha and her twin brother Amil (12 years old) become refugees when their country gains its independence from British rule in 1947 and is split into two nations – India and Pakistan.  Because she and her family (father, grandmother, and brother) are considered Hindu (even though Nisha and Amil’s mother was Muslim) they must leave the home they have … Read more

Holding Up the Universe – book review

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven Realistic Fiction Romance * * * * Stars (Great!) Libby Strout was the girl who had to be cut out of her own house when she ballooned up to 653 pounds and earned herself the title of “America’s Fattest Teen.”  Jack Masselin grew up across the street from Libby (before she moved) and has become the cool, suave guy.  He’s also just discovered there’s a name for the … Read more

Blended – book review

Blended by Sharon M. Draper Juvenile Fiction Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Isabella is eleven years old and her parents are divorced with joint custody, so every Sunday there’s an EXCHANGE at the mall and Isabella spends the week with the assigned parent.  The dissolution of their marriage wasn’t exactly amicable and they still get under each other’s skin despite being in serious long-term relationships with other people.  Isabella likes her parents’ … Read more

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – book review

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler By E.L. Konigsburg Adventure Juvenile Fiction Mystery Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of, Claudia decides to teach her parents a lesson by running away. Because she’s a planner, and accustomed to a certain standard of living (and comfort) she decides to invite her younger brother Jamie (who saves ALL of his money) on her escapade. Jamie is up … Read more

Welcome, Wombat – book review

Welcome, Wombat True Tales of Rescue series by Kama Einhorn Juvenile/Tween Nonfiction Wombats Animal Rescue * * * * Stars (Great!) Chance, the wombat, narrates a welcome to newly rescued “pinky” Panzer and shares wombat facts and information about the sanctuary and humans who have taken them in to raise and keep safe until such a time comes when they can return to the wild.  Details about wombat nature and habits is imparted in a … Read more

Almost Home – book review

Almost Home by Joan Bauer Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Sugar Mae Cole and her mother Reba are evicted from their home when they fail to make payments on their mortgage.  Sugar’s father, Mr. Leeland, convinced Reba to loan him money, and has yet to pay it back.  Sugar is a smart girl – much wiser than her twelve years – and she makes preliminary arrangements for them to stay at a … Read more

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