Enola Holmes Book 3

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

Continuing my summer binge of Enola Holmes, next we get the third novel, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets. Dr. Watson, who Enola views from a distance as a father figure, has gone missing. No one has any clues. Enola disguises herself and befriends Mrs. Watson, gaining entrance to the Watson … [Read More...]

Fever Crumb

Fever Crumb

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. Fever Crumb takes place in the grim darkness of the future (about the year 3030), where the city of London endures by scavenging the relics of long ago ages: plastic chunks and computer motherboards. Some old knowledge is preserved, but in a warped form. The … [Read More...]

The Rag and Bone Shop

The Rag and Bone Shop

The Rag and Bone Shop is the last book Robert Cormier wrote before his death, and it was published posthumously. I'll admit I'm not a big Cormier fan, although the last time I read one of his books, I was the age of the target audience. Several decades haven't really made me more of a fan. A … [Read More...]

When Dogs Blog

When Dogs Blog

Madison Morgan: When Dogs Blog is the story of Madison who loves dogs and wants nothing more than a dog of her own. When she finally convinces her stepfather to get her a dog, he bring home Lilly, a small rescued dog. Lilly isn’t at all what Madison imagined, but as she learns about the almost … [Read More...]

Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey

I was interested in Shades of Milk and Honey as soon as I heard it described as Jane Austen “if she lived in a world where magic worked.” It’s a thoroughly enjoyable novel for those who enjoy costume dramas (which means me and most of my family). Although not explicitly a book for younger … [Read More...]

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog is the second book in the Stick Dog series. It’s useful but not necessary to read the first one before reading this one, but I’ll assume you read my review of the first one. The tone and approach are similar, with the narrator asking the reader not to give him grief … [Read More...]

Potterwookiee

Potterwookiee

We bought Potterwookiee at a Scholastic book fair because it combined Harry Potter and Star Wars, two of my son’s favorite universes. He read it a while ago and I think he said it was ok. I finally got around to reading it, and I’m equally unimpressed. It’s part of The Creature from My … [Read More...]

Angelfish

Angelfish

Angelfish is about Robin, a young aspiring ballerina living in San Francisco. (I don’t think it gives her age, but I would guess about 14 or 15.) When she accidentally breaks a shop window, she offers to work after school for free to pay for it, rather than telling her parents and risk getting … [Read More...]

The Unwanteds

The Unwanteds

The Unwanteds is a dystopian novel quite suitable for the middle grade set. Quill, an island nation, is walled off, armed heavily against the threat of an undefined enemy beyond those walls. The world is bland, gray, and decaying. The leader, High Priest Justine, rules with an iron fist. Everyone … [Read More...]

Scorpions

Scorpions

Scorpions is a realistic novel published in 1988 and set in a similar time period. It’s the story of Jamal, a 12 year old who is pulled into a gang after his 17 year old brother, Randy—the leader of the gang—is jailed for a robbery in which a clerk is killed. Mack, who was Randy’s second in … [Read More...]

Enola Homes Book 4

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

The fourth Enola Holmes novel, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, may be my favorite so far. Enola sees Lady Cecily, the titular character of The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. She’s in the “care” of two very controlling women, but she manages to send Enola a clue by leaving her pink fan … [Read More...]

Enola Holmes Book 2

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. In her second novel, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, things get kind of dark for the 14 year old who is living on her own. London is a dirty and dangerous city, full of destitute and desperate people. Enola is struggling to make a … [Read More...]

Flipping Out

Flipping Out!

Flipping Out! is the 14th book in the My Sister the Vampire series. I managed to get this one through Amazon without jumping through any hoops, but interestingly it’s the British version! (You can tell by the extras U’s.) This novel is a welcome return to form as both sisters are back together, … [Read More...]

It's NOT Just a Dog

It’s NOT Just a Dog

It's NOT Just A Dog! continues the story of Madison and Cooper which began in When Dogs Blog. You don’t necessarily need to read When Dogs Blog first, but I’ll assume you’ve at least read the review. The school year, during which Madison and Cooper shut down a puppy mill, is over. Cooper is … [Read More...]

Aurius

Aurius

Full disclosure: As I write this review, I'm sitting at a game convention. I spent the last week helping my daughter put the finishing touches on a couple of costumes she'll be wearing here. I may have actually been the worst possible audience for Aurius. Aurius tells the story of Jacob, a 15 … [Read More...]

The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising is quite short, just over 100 pages with chapters of 3-4 pages each. However, there’s a lot contained in this slim volume. It has “Literature Circle Questions” at the end because it was pretty much designed for that kind of situation—short enough for everyone to read, with … [Read More...]

Stick Dog

Stick Dog

When I told my son I wasn’t a huge fan of Potterwookiee, he said that if I want books that look like they’re written by middle schoolers, I should totally read Stick Dog. So I did, and he was right. The cover looks like one of those school notebooks with the sewn binding and a place to … [Read More...]

Zeely

Zeely

Zeely is the story of the summer that Elizabeth and her younger brother John spend at their uncle’s farm. Elizabeth, determined to have an eventful summer, decides that the way to start is for her and John to take on new names—they become Geeder and Toeboy for the rest of the summer. When … [Read More...]

The Road to Paris

The Road to Paris

The Road to Paris is a picture of a short period in the life of nine year old Paris, a girl in foster care. She’s been in some really horrible situations, but now she’s with the Lincolns in a more stable and loving home, learning who she is, how to cope, and what she wants from life. The … [Read More...]

Sally Slick Steel Syndicate 200dpi

Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate

Full disclosure: I’m the editor of this book. Since the point of these reviews is to provide information rather than opinions of quality, I feel any conflict of interest is minimal. Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate is part of the Spirit of the Century universe that includes Dinocalypse Now, … [Read More...]