On Death – A Kid’s View

A guest post by my 11 year old daughter, MRValentine. Death happens to everyone, eventually. Sometimes in books or stories, the death of a character is essential to the plot. But sometimes it bothers me when death in a story is abrupt, violent, or doesn’t need to happen. Doesn’t it bother you? Reasons and examples […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly

Warning: some mild spoilers—if a book has been out for several years or has been made into a movie, I’m more liberal with the spoilers. If I can avoid specifics, I do—but please remember that all book reviews that are linked to in this article definitely contain spoilers. Why is death so prevalent in books […]

The Role of Death in Tween Lit

Death is an unavoidable part of life. Obviously. Figuring out how to deal with it in media aimed at children is equally unavoidable and as potentially fraught with peril. One popular option is to just pretend it doesn’t exist. Cartoons and action movies are awesome at this—no matter what horrific violence is done, everyone gets […]

Why I Won’t Let My Kid Read the Twilight series

There’s plenty written about Twilight and its sequels, and many strong opinions about their worth. Many people have legitimate and well supported issues with the books, and I have no intention of getting into any of those arguments here. Personally, I enjoyed them. If you want to know why I liked them, I’ve discussed it here. […]

Why You Should Read Aloud to Your Independent Reader

There are so many good reasons to read aloud to little kids. I’m not even going to bother going into them here. If you’re even looking at this site, chances are you read to your kids before bedtime for years and you know what a great experience it is for both parents and kids. But […]

A List of Series for Younger or Reluctant Readers

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton – the visual word play and clever stories make for a fast read. These should be read in color to fully appreciate them. They don’t need to be read in order. I’ve reviewed Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent in more detail. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne – […]

Dirty Little Secrets

It’s such a typical trope in children’s books—the young protagonist, afraid of the repercussions, keeps a secret from the people most likely to help. I get it—it isolates the protagonist and keeps the focus of the story on the child, forcing him or her to find a solution without being rescued. And I find it […]