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 […]

Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt

I was aware of the Nate the Great series when my kids were young, but we never read them at home. I finally read my first one, Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt. It’s very much a beginning reader book—no chapters, large type, lots of pictures—just about right for kids who aren’t quite ready for […]

Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding

I had my doubts about any book starring a character called “Horrible Harry,” but at least in Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, Harry isn’t really all that horrible. He’s a bit of a prankster and he prefers to be the center of attention, but he’s actually kind of sensitive and figures out how to […]

Look Out, Washinton, D.C.!

Look Out, Washington D.C.! is a Polk Street Special, part of The Kids of Polk Street School series. I haven’t read any of the Polk Street School books before, and this wasn’t the best introduction to the characters—there were some interpersonal dynamics, nicknames, and phrases I didn’t fully understand, and the novel doesn’t bother to […]

No Talking

Both of my kids love No Talking, and once I finally read it, I can see why. Inspired by a school report on Mahatma Gandhi, Dave decides to stop talking for a day. In the process, he ends up coughing his way out of an oral report he was supposed to give with Lynsey. At […]


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 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. […]

Flipping Out!

Flipping Out! is the 14th book in the My Sister the Vampire series. I managed to get this one through Amazon without jumping through any hoops, but interestingly it’s the British version! (You can tell by the extras U’s.) This novel is a welcome return to form as both sisters are back together, getting used […]

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 […]

It’s NOT Just a Dog

It’s NOT Just A Dog! continues the story of Madison and Cooper which began in When Dogs Blog. You don’t necessarily need to read When Dogs Blog first, but I’ll assume you’ve at least read the review. The school year, during which Madison and Cooper shut down a puppy mill, is over. Cooper is living […]