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. […]

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. In her second novel, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, things get kind of dark for the 14 year old who is living on her own. London is a dirty and dangerous city, full of destitute and desperate people. Enola is struggling to make […]

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 […]

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 […]