Talkin’ About Bessie

Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman is an interesting conglomeration of things. It’s a biography, but it’s all told in poems. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations on each page, but it will probably appeal most to kids well past the target age for picture books. Bessie Coleman overcame both sexism and racism to […]

One Crazy Summer

You can hardly see the cover of One Crazy Summer because of all of the award emblems on it—Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery Honor, and National Book Award Finalist, with a list of more awards on the back. The story is set in 1968. Delphine, our narrator who is […]


The Healing Wars trilogy comes to a conclusion with Darkfall. Nya has become a hero because of her abilities, and a lot of pressure is put on her young shoulders. She learns about her own destiny, tries to protect her friends and family, and works to defeat the Duke and save Geveg. You definitely need […]

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 […]

Blue Fire

In Blue Fire, the middle book of The Healing Wars trilogy, Nya ends up in Baseer, separated from her friends and her sister. You definitely need to read the books in order, so I will assume you’ve already read my review of The Shifter. Many of the things from that review apply here as well, so […]

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. […]

The Shifter

In the world of The Shifter, magical healers can draw pain out of victims and into the healer—the injuries are typically healed as well, although only the pain is passed on to the healer. The pain is then transferred into a piece of pynvium, a metal that can store pain. Things made out of this […]


Reached brings the Matched trilogy to its conclusion. The revolution starts, fueled by a plague that puts victims into a coma. The Society can’t pretend everything is just fine anymore, and the Rising provides a cure and starts to take over. But then the plague mutates, and the cure and immunizations don’t work. Everything spirals […]

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends

When you look at the cover of Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends, you can imagine the tie-in dolls (and they look about as you’d imagine). Normally neither my daughter nor I would be intrigued by a book whose copyright is held by Mattel. But then I noticed that it was written by Shannon […]

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z

I read The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. several months ago, and now that my own daughter is in seventh grade and spent the first few months of the school year pulling together her own leaf project, this book has frequently been on my mind. It’s a slice of life type story about Gianna, who […]