Akata Witch – book review

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor Fantasy * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Sunny is a young albino American-Nigerian who has been living in Nigeria since her mother had a premonition that something bad was going to happen to her if she stayed in the States. Her father never wanted a daughter and certainly never wanted to go back to Nigeria, so he holds a grudge against her. When Sunny’s classmate, Orlu, introduces her to … Read more

Ashes (Bick) – book review

Ashes by Ilsa Bick Audio edition Horror Supernatural Suspense Thriller * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Alex, a teenage girl with cancer, decides to hike out into the woods to scatter her parents’ ashes and make some decisions about her own life. While she’s out in the wilderness, something catastrophic happens – perhaps an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) – and the whole world changes. Some people die outright, some people change into zombie-like cannibalistic creatures, … Read more

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick – book review

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber Mystery Realistic Fiction Suspense Thriller * * * * Stars (Great!) Perry Stormaire’s family has been hosting Gobija Zaksauskas – a Lithuanian foreign exchange student – for the past few months. Gobi is definitely not what Perry had hoped for (hot, experienced), although she does have an outrageous accent. But she’s not what she seems, either. Just before she’s supposed to go back to Lithuania, she expresses … Read more

Life Cycle of a Snail – book review

The Life Cycle of a Snail by L.L. Owens Juvenile Non-fiction Picture book * * * Stars (Pretty good) This introduction to snail biology will have young readers racing out to their own backyards to locate their slimy subjects for a closer inspection. Detailed, close-up photographs accompany explications of snails’ life cycle – the one of the land snail laying its eggs in a moist patch of soil is a particularly good catch. While some … Read more

Book That Eats People – book review

The Book That Eats People by John Perry illustrated by Mark Fearing Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) This book EATS people. So, if you should find it, be careful. If it makes any funny noises, you’ll want to stop reading immediately, pile stuff on top of it, and probably run for your life – just to be safe. This is the story of the book and the people it’s eaten (a … Read more

Boss Baby – book review

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) When the Boss Baby arrives, he immediately takes control of his parents’ lives – “He put Mom and Dad on a round-the-clock schedule, with no time off.” Dressed in black footie pajamas that look just like a power suit (with a convenient flap at the back) and a tie, the Boss Baby proceeds to throw his weight around. It’s truly … Read more

Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs – book review

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle Juvenile Non-fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) In the space of just a few years, biologist Karen Lips noticed a serious decline in the population of golden frogs living in the mountain forests of Panama. She discovered massive quantities of dead frogs and was perplexed and concerned about the cause of their deaths. Sandra Markle follows Lips’ investigation into the near-extinction … Read more

House in the Woods – book review

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Once upon a time there were two pigs living in the woods in homes they had built for themselves – a den and a hut. When they return after a walk, they find that a bear and a moose have moved in, respectively. Due to their large size, they destroy the pigs’ homes when they get up to greet … Read more

Aviary – book review

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell Juvenile Fiction Mystery * * * * Stars (Great!) Eleven year old Clara lives with her mother in the old Glendoveer mansion, where mom and another caretaker (Ruby) look after old Mrs. Glendoveer. Clara has never been to school, nor is she allowed to leave the house or have any friends because of her poor health. She has a weak heart, her mother tells her, so it isn’t good for … Read more

Place to Call Home – book review

A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon illustrated by Viviane Schwarz Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) A group of (what appears to be) hamsters outgrows their hidey hole home in the junkyard and the seven of them decide that they must find new digs. They are afraid to venture out into the world without some kind of protection (very, very small portable holes that they can take with them on … Read more