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

Akata Woman – book review

Akata Woman  Nsibidi Scripts #3 by Nnedi Okorafor Fantasy Africa Teen * * * * Stars (Great!)  Sunny continues to learn how to wield her juju, read mystical texts/scripts, and gather experience as a free-agent Leopard person. It’s not an identity she can reveal to her family who are “Lambs” (no magical powers to speak of). As she levels up she earns “chittim,” a sort of magical person currency that appears to fall out of … 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

Malice – book review

Malice Malice duology #1 by Heather Walter Fairytale retelling Fantasy LGBTQ+ Romance for adults/older teens * * * * Stars (Great!) Alyce, known as “Malice” the Dark Grace, is part Vila, and one of her ancestors is responsible for having cursed the princesses of the Queendom of Briar with death if they do not receive true love’s kiss by their 21st birthdays. Although she is extremely powerful and patrons regularly seek out her dark magic, … 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

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