Winter brings The Lunar Chronicles to a satisfying close, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it’s a bit sprawling as all of the threads get tied up. However, unlike some final books to a series, it feels complete, well thought out, and not rushed. It’s just going to take over 800 pages to get to … [Read More...]

Smuggler’s Run

Review written by Clark Valentine. Wrapping up the first trio of Star Wars YA novel reviews is Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure, a fast-paced adventure starring Han Solo and Chewbacca, set between the films Star Wars (A New Hope, as it’s now known) and The Empire Strikes Back. … [Read More...]

The Weapon of a Jedi

Review written by Clark Valentine. A question that I have long pondered is “So, between blowing the Death Star to smithereens in Star Wars and getting his face washed by a wampa in Empire Strikes Back, what did Luke Skywalker do, anyway?” Yes, I’m serious. If you immerse yourself in the canon … [Read More...]

Black Widow Forever Red

Black Widow Forever Red is a young adult novel about, among other characters, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff. It takes place in a post-Avengers world, where Black Widow, Iron Man, and the rest of the team are celebrities (but Coulson is alive and working with Black Widow? It doesn’t fit the … [Read More...]

The Martian

Review written by Clark Valentine. I hear you. It’s a valid question. “Clark,” you say, “why in the world are you reviewing The Martian for a book review site focusing on 8-13 year old readers?” Yes, The Martian was absolutely written with adults in mind, no question about it. But with the film … [Read More...]

The Sister Solution

Enter to win a copy of this book! It’s hard to live in a sibling’s shadow, and it’s even harder when that sibling is younger than you! In The Sister Solution, Sammi has to deal with her younger sister Jorgianna skipping two grades to join her mid-way through her 8th grade year. Understandably, … [Read More...]


Review written by Jonathan Lavallee Recently in YA/MG fiction there’s been a lot of retelling of classic fairy stories. I think this is great and wonderful because those kinds of stories have a lot of life in them. Especially when you take them and transcend them beyond the original story. I had … [Read More...]

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 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

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...]


Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. Jinx can see it happening, the hunger in the clearing, the fact that his step-parents just had a new child. He’s going to be the one abandoned in the woods. So, when Jinx is taken into the Urwald he isn't shocked. Just resigned to his fate. That’s when he … [Read More...]

Manners & Mutiny

It’s always nice when the highly anticipated ending to a series is satisfying. (I still haven’t forgiven you, Mockingjay!) Manners & Mutiny, the final book in the Finishing School series, delivers on that front. The book assumes you’ve read the other three novels, and likewise I will assume … [Read More...]

Moving Target

Review written by Clark Valentine. Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure is another in the young adult series of Star Wars novels that fill in some of the main characters’ stories between the movies of the original trilogy. (You might be interested in my reviews of other books in the same … [Read More...]


Poison starts out in the middle of things, with our protagonist, sixteen year old Kyra, on the run because she tried to assassinate the princess. Kyra needs to finish the job of killing the princess because this will somehow save the kingdom, but of course she’s now public enemy #1. Luckily she’s a … [Read More...]

A Frozen Heart

You can enter to win a copy of  A Frozen Heart and a Fairy Tale 2.0 prizepack! Contest ends Monday, November 2. A Frozen Heart is technically a novelization of Disney’s Frozen, but it goes well beyond most movie novelizations. SPOILER ALERT: Yes, already. But for the movie. I’m assuming this … [Read More...]

Star Wars: Aftermath

Review written by Clark Valentine Before I get to the stuff parents should know about, I’ll kick this review off with a bit of subjective gushing. I love Star Wars. I have since I saw A New Hope (well, then it was just called Star Wars) in the theater in 1977 at the ripe old age of (*counts on … [Read More...]

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...]

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

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...]

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...]