Fairest

Fairest, a prequel to Cinder, will have to tide us over until Winter, the last of the Lunar Chronicles, comes out in fall 2015. Fairest tells the story of Levana, the awful Lunar queen we first meet in Cinder, and her rise to power. Like all really good villains, hers is a complicated story and it’s impossible not to […]

Dream Girl

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. I will admit that I judged a book by its cover. Dream Girl has this kind of over flowery, white dress, far away look vibe happening on the cover. I thought I was going to hate it. When my tween daughter suggested that we pick it up because it was in […]

Bliss

My daughter loved Bliss, the story of the Bliss family who runs a magical bakery. When the parents are called away to help a neighboring town, the four kids—Thyme (Ty), Rosemary (Rose), Sage (uh, Sage), and Parsley (Leigh)—are left on their own to keep things running, along with Chip and Mrs. Carlson who have no […]

The Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls is a great historical fantasy epic for the middle grade set. It follows the adventures of 12 year old Jack after he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Northmen. After gravely insulting Frith, a half-troll queen, Jack needs to go on a quest to see the queen of the […]

Shelter

Shelter is the first book in Harlan Coben’s YA series. Our hero is Mickey Bolitar, the nephew of Myron Bolitar who is the protagonist in Coben’s adult series. It’s a fun and exciting book, but it’s pretty clearly also primarily an adult thriller scaled down for a somewhat younger audience. Mickey is a high school […]

The Giver

My daughter is reading The Giver in her 8th grade English class, so I used that as my excuse to finally reread this pioneer of middle grade dystopian literature. It holds up pretty well. There are some things that may seem a bit clichéd or predictable, but it reminded me of when I finally watched […]

Wonder

I’ve been meaning to read Wonder for ages, but even though it came out over two years ago, it’s still nearly impossible to find in softcover (to keep down the expenses of this site, I try not to buy hardcovers very often). I eventually borrowed it through my daughter’s middle school library summer lending program. […]

Ungifted

Ungifted is the story of Donovan, a very academically average kid, who through a series of circumstances accidentally ends up in the district’s school for the very gifted. It’s not like he’s actually brilliant and no one ever noticed—it doesn’t take long for everyone to realize he doesn’t have the academic chops to be there. […]

Fever Crumb

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. Fever Crumb takes place in the grim darkness of the future (about the year 3030), where the city of London endures by scavenging the relics of long ago ages: plastic chunks and computer motherboards. Some old knowledge is preserved, but in a warped form. The main character, Fever Crumb, is a […]

The Rag and Bone Shop

The Rag and Bone Shop is the last book Robert Cormier wrote before his death, and it was published posthumously. I’ll admit I’m not a big Cormier fan, although the last time I read one of his books, I was the age of the target audience. Several decades haven’t really made me more of a […]