Inside Out & Back Again

I have vague memories of going with my mom to visit the Vietnamese family her church sponsored after they fled in boats from their war-torn home. I remember a small apartment that smelled of unfamiliar food. I was very shy because I couldn’t understand what they said. They gave me and my brother striped polyester […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Don’t Look Back

Review written by Jennifer Lewis.  Don’t Look Back begins with Samantha not knowing where she is, how she got there, or why she is in such a disheveled state. This confusion is due to a traumatic event that resulted in the loss of all of Samantha’s personal memories. To make matters worse, her best friend […]

A Whole New World

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale reimagines the Disney movie Aladdinby working from the premise that Jafar maintained ownership of the lamp at the Cave of Wonders. This, as you can probably imagine, does NOT go well for the Sultan, Jasmine, the genie, or Agrabah. It doesn’t make things worse for Aladdin, really, but […]

Jinx

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 meets […]