Goodbye Stranger

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee My daughter Rowan, who was 10 when I started doing guest reviews and is now 15, tends to like books filled with melancholia. Those usually aren’t my thing, but because she reads them I’m trying to expand my reading habits. Goodbye Stranger is one of those books, and it’s such […]

Hour of the Bees

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee How do you measure time? Hour of the Bees measures time in teardrops that fall as you read the book. Carol, nee Carolina, has discovered that she is going to spend her summer at her grandfather’s ranch. He has late stage dementia and they are getting things ready so they […]

As Old as Time

As Old as Time: A Twisted Tale is the Beauty and the Beast entry in the A Twisted Tale series from Disney Press. Like A Whole New World, this retelling pretty quickly veers off from the familiar plot of both movies, reimagining characters and adding lots of new characters and plot twists. If you’re familiar […]

The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, is a picture book inspired by Sleeping Beauty and some other fairy tales. But don’t let the picture book format make you think this isn’t a wonderful book for older readers. In fact, I think it’s probably best for older readers, including […]

Minion

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. Michael Marion Magadlene Morn Edson was found in a White Castle by St. Mary of the Woods School for Wayward boys when he was just a baby. There was no tearful goodbye on a doorstep, or anything like that for Michael. What he discovered there, as he got older, was […]

When You Reach Me

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. “The trip is a difficult one, I will not be myself when I reach you.” In When You Reach Me, Miranda is the daughter of a single mom who got an invitation to be on the $20,000 Dollar Pyramid. She’s dealing with the strain of helping her mom train, as […]

Pennyroyal Academy

Pennyroyal Academy is a story of a young girl who joins a military academy where girls study to become princesses who can fight witches while boys study to become knights who can fight dragons. You just have to accept the terms princess and knight—they’re titles conferred upon completion of the course (But they’re not parallel […]

Sidekicked

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. The Sensationalist is unhappy with his lot in life. Born Andrew Macon Bean, he was recruited into H.E.R.O., a superhero sidekick training program, because of his incredibly heightened senses. H.E.R.O aims to take young people with extraordinary talents and pair them with superheroes willing to take on apprentices who have […]

Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes is a comic book series about a summer camp for “hardcore lady-types.” Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy is a collection of the first 4 issues, which introduces the characters and gets them started on their adventures—it certainly doesn’t bring a story arc to a close, so expect your young reader to start asking for […]

The Door in the Hedge

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee.  The Door in the Hedge came on my radar as I was trolling through the Toronto Public Library ebook website. It was part of the Big Library Read program where the company that handles ebooks for the library, Overdrive, decided to let everyone borrow this book and even provided points […]