Summer's Friendship Games

Summer’s Friendship Games

Summer's Friendship Games is the fourth book in the Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters series. I haven’t read the first three, and that wasn’t a problem as far as understanding the characters and plot—maybe some things would have had a little more meaning had I read the others, but it wasn’t really an … [Read More...]

Aristotle and Dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

“Beautiful” is a word frequently used to describe Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and that’s the first word that came to my mind as well. It has its painful and brutal moments, but its exploration of coming of age, cultural and sexual identity, and relationships of all … [Read More...]

Tangled Magick

Tangled Magick

Hapenny Magick is a favorite of mine and my daughter’s, so we were excited to get a review copy of the sequel Tangled Magick! Reading the sequel made me wish I’d taken the time to reread the first one, but most things came back to me pretty quickly. Two years have passed since the events of … [Read More...]

ALA Promise

Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Promise

Review written by MR Valentine. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Parts 1, 2, and 3are comics/graphic novels that follow after the events that restore peace to the world in the Nickelodeon TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender and bring the series to a close. If you haven’t already, you … [Read More...]

Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. This highly acclaimed and award winning YA novel might grab the interest of your tween, but Jonathan offers some insight into why you'll want to make an informed decision about letting your young reader put this on their "to read" pile, and why it should end … [Read More...]

Fairest

Fairest

Fairest, a prequel to Cinder, will have to tide us over until Winter, the last of the Lunar Chronicles, comes out in fall 2015. Fairest tells the story of Levana, the awful Lunar queen we first meet in Cinder, and her rise to power. Like all really good villains, hers is a complicated story and it’s … [Read More...]

Unbored Games

Unbored Games

I rarely review nonfiction, but when I was offered a review copy of UNBORED Games: Serious Fun for Everyone, I couldn’t resist. It’s a hard book to quantify—it’s part history, part game review, part rule book, and part hacker’s guide. It’s aimed at a child reader; there are sections called “Training … [Read More...]

Dream Girl

Dream Girl

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. I will admit that I judged a book by its cover. Dream Girl has this kind of over flowery, white dress, far away look vibe happening on the cover. I thought I was going to hate it. When my tween daughter suggested that we pick it up because it was in the … [Read More...]

Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls is a great historical fantasy epic for the middle grade set. It follows the adventures of 12 year old Jack after he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Northmen. After gravely insulting Frith, a half-troll queen, Jack needs to go on a quest to see the queen of the trolls … [Read More...]

The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. The King of Attolia is a huge departure from The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. Not in tone, with its lovingly put together plot and brilliantly defined characters. Not in style, written with major intrigue rather than roaring battles as the focus. It’s a … [Read More...]

Flora&Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is the story of Flora, a girl who is a proud cynic and comic book fan, and a squirrel who gains superpowers after surviving being sucked into a powerful vacuum cleaner (of course!). Parts of the story are told in comic strips, showing the action instead … [Read More...]

GabbyDuranCover

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables is a funny story that pretty much lives up to its name. Gabby Duran is a babysitter so good that her clients are willing to fly her to her challenging babysitting gigs. The first job we see her on is the triplet daughters of an actor who needs someone to keep his … [Read More...]

brown girl dreaming

brown girl dreaming

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. There is a distinct lack of poetry in the world. Part of that could be that we hold poetry on this weird dusty pedestal, surrounded by academics all nodding sagely and talking in hushed tones about the power of words. That or we’ve put it down among the toys … [Read More...]

AtLA The Search

Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search

Review written by MR Valentine. Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search Parts 1, 2, and 3 follow the set of comics The Promise. I recommend reading those first. The comics all follow the story of the Nickelodeon TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender and only make sense if you’ve seen the … [Read More...]

Sure Signs of Crazy

Sure Signs of Crazy

Review by Jonathan Lavallee. The beginning of Sure Signs of Crazy assures the reader that you’ve never met anyone like Sarah Nelson. Sarah feels isolated in her life, and it’s because she is. When she was two, her mother tried to kill her and her twin brother by filling up the kitchen sink with … [Read More...]

ZodiacCoverArt

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence is the first book in the new series by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, and Andie Tong. The premise is that during the convergence, the power of the Chinese Zodiac was brought back into the world, but Maxwell—our villain who wants to control all the Zodiac power—lost control … [Read More...]

The Silver Thread

The Silver Thread

The Silver Thread is the second book in The Unicorn's Secret series, following Moonsilver. It only increases my feeling that this isn’t so much a series as one longer novel broken down into chunks that are manageable for newly independent readers. If you haven’t read Moonsilver, The Silver Thread … [Read More...]

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry

 Waistcoats & Weaponry is the third in what will be the Finishing School quartet (the final book is scheduled to be published November 2015). The novels should be read in order, so start with Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies before reading this one. The finishing … [Read More...]

Bliss

Bliss

My daughter loved Bliss, the story of the Bliss family who runs a magical bakery. When the parents are called away to help a neighboring town, the four kids—Thyme (Ty), Rosemary (Rose), Sage (uh, Sage), and Parsley (Leigh)—are left on their own to keep things running, along with Chip and Mrs. … [Read More...]

Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

Amber Brown Is Not A Crayon is the first book in the Amber Brownseries. Amber Brown is in 3rd grade and dealing with the fact that her best friend, Justin, is going to be moving away soon. It’s a surprisingly deep story of loss in a short book easily accessible to young readers. SPOILER ALERT: … [Read More...]