The Thief

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. It’s always interesting when someone takes a fantasy novel and kind of moves it away from the Tolkien England/Norse “standard” fantasy you’ll find in a lot of books. In The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner gives the place far more of a Mediterranean feel. On an island next to a big continent […]

The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy tells the story of, well, a whipping boy and the prince whose punishments he gets. The whipping boy hopes to be dismissed from the castle so he can go back to the sewers to work as a rat catcher like his father did.  He fondly remembers the freedom of that life. The […]

Harry Potter, books 3 & 4

Review written by Clark Valentine. (This gleefully spoiler-filled review focuses on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PoA), and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (GoF). I also assume you’re read my review of Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. If you haven’t, go do that. It’s OK, I’ll wait. Go on. Shoo. […]

Prospero’s Children

Although it’s not written explicitly for a younger audience, Prospero’s Children is a good transition for older tweens/young teens ready for more involved novels. In fact, if it were published today instead of 14 years ago, it would probably be considered YA. Fern, our 16 year old protagonist, is very logical and scientific, used to controlling […]

Harry Potter, Books 1 & 2

Review written by Clark Valentine. (This review focuses on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s / Philosopher’s Stone, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This review is full of spoilers, but I can’t imagine that’s super relevant to most people at this point.) You almost certainly know the story. 11 year old Harry Potter […]

A Hidden Magic

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. In A Hidden Magic, when ordinary Princess Jennifer and handsome Prince Alexander wander into the Enchanted Forest, things quickly get messy. Alexander, who doesn’t believe in magic, angers a magic mirror and falls into an enchanted slumber. Jennifer does believe in magic, so she finds out how to break the […]

Jacob Two-Two’s First Spy Case

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. In Jacob Two-Two’s First Spy Case, the title character lives his life by twos. He has two eyes, two ears, two lips, two hands, two feet, and two brothers and two sisters. Two of them are older siblings, and two of them are very much older siblings and Jacob is […]

Speak

There are a few reasons I decided it was time to reread and finally review Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, and Anderson is doing a fundraiser with RAINN. I also read an interesting interview with her. And I recently read about a fascinating study that looks at […]

The Princess Bride

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. I’m sure most people have seen the movie and not read the book, turning this book into every one’s favourite book that they’ve never read. The Princess Bride is a story about William Goldman editing out all the boring bits of a beloved childhood book that his father had read […]

Flashback Books

All of these books were published before 2000—you may remember some from your own childhood! Some are classics and/or award winners. Some…not so much. At any rate, they’re older than the tweens you may be choosing them for. PLEASE NOTE – SPOILER ALERT: Reviews on this site are aimed at parents, educators, and other adults […]