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 […]

The Exiled Queen

The second book in the Seven Realms series follows both Han and Raisa through their time at Oden’s Ford as they find each other again after having parted ways in Fellsmarch and confront their own unique challenges both with and without the other’s aid.

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. In Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green, Madeline’s father Jim Wade is a famous ornithologist who is working at Lava Bird Volcano when he suddenly goes incommunicado. Disturbed by events, Madeline and Ruby (along with their mother) fly down to see if they can bring him back. When they arrive […]

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 […]

Uncommon Criminals

Review written by Jeff Dougan. I’m going to assume you’ve already read my review of Heist Society. If you haven’t, take a few minutes to look it over, because most of the same issues you may want to be aware of before recommending it crop again here. Uncommon Criminals opens about two months after Kat […]

Heist Society

Review written by Jeff Dougan. About two years ago, a book cover jumped out at me at my local supermarket. The cover was an extreme close-up of a girl’s face peering knowingly over a pair of slightly oversized sunglasses, with the words Heist Society. I have a hard time resisting a good pun, and I’ve […]

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 […]

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. I picked up Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Storyhoping for a good laugh that I could share with the tweens in the house. I loved Adam Rex’s other book, The True Meaning of Smekday, and when I read that this was a parody of vampire stories and coming […]

Brian’s Winter

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen, is the sequel/continuance/what-if to Hatchet, which is probably Paulsen’s best known book, and certainly one of the most durable modern “boy books” around. Full disclosure: I adore Hatchet. I own it, I reread it often, and I recommend it like it’s my job (and for […]

Hatchet

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. Hatchet is one of my favorite-est “boy books” (more on that below). It freaks me out to think that it’s 25 years old! Maybe that’s partly because it seems like it should be ageless. The core of the story is a boy living alone in the woods, and no amount […]