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 […]

When Dogs Blog

Madison Morgan: When Dogs Blog is the story of Madison who loves dogs and wants nothing more than a dog of her own. When she finally convinces her stepfather to get her a dog, he bring home Lilly, a small rescued dog. Lilly isn’t at all what Madison imagined, but as she learns about the […]

The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising is quite short, just over 100 pages with chapters of 3-4 pages each. However, there’s a lot contained in this slim volume. It has “Literature Circle Questions” at the end because it was pretty much designed for that kind of situation—short enough for everyone to read, with enough metaphor to fuel tons […]

The Road to Paris

The Road to Paris is a picture of a short period in the life of nine year old Paris, a girl in foster care. She’s been in some really horrible situations, but now she’s with the Lincolns in a more stable and loving home, learning who she is, how to cope, and what she wants […]

The Unwanteds

The Unwanteds is a dystopian novel quite suitable for the middle grade set. Quill, an island nation, is walled off, armed heavily against the threat of an undefined enemy beyond those walls. The world is bland, gray, and decaying. The leader, High Priest Justine, rules with an iron fist. Everyone has their place, and all […]


Scorpions is a realistic novel published in 1988 and set in a similar time period. It’s the story of Jamal, a 12 year old who is pulled into a gang after his 17 year old brother, Randy—the leader of the gang—is jailed for a robbery in which a clerk is killed. Mack, who was Randy’s […]

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 […]

Black Maria (AKA Aunt Maria)

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. In the novel Black Maria (also published as Aunt Maria), Naomi and Chris’ father died while visiting his Aunt Maria. She lives in a place called Cranbury, and Naomi has tried her best to make sure that they never visit Aunt Maria. She has given Aunt Maria explanation after explanation as […]

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 […]