Blog Archives

“The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber

“The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell” (St. Martin’s Press 2015) by William Klaber is based on the true story of Lucy Lobdell who became Mrs. George Slater and bore Helen Slater before becoming Joseph Lobdell in 1853. The author

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“How it Went Down” by Kekla Magoon

Tariq Johnson, African American, 16 years old, is fatally shot by Jack Franklin, white man, on the streets of an unnamed American city. A broad cast of characters each reports the incident differently, in Kekla Magoon’s “How It Went Down”

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“A Time to Dance” by Padma Venkatraman

“A Time to Dance” (Paulsen/Penguin 2014) by Padma Venkatraman is an insightful story about a dancer and a novel-in-verse set in a different culture—of course I’m going to review it. Veda is a teenage Bharatanatyam dance student in India. At

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“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doer

“All the Light We Cannot See” (Scribner 2014) by Anthony Doerr is an adult book, a New York Times Bestseller, and is literary—meaning it’s thoughtful and beautifully written. It’s a good choice for young adults. Marie-Laure lives with her father

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“Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina” by Michaela DePrince

“Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina” (Knopf 2014) by Michaela DePrince is a memoir co-written with her adoptive mother Elaine DePrince. Mabinty Bangura is born to loving parents in war-torn Sierra Leone. She’s ridiculed in her tribe due

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“Egg and Spoon” by Gregory Maguire

  Gregory Maguire (author of “Wicked”) uses irony and vast imagination along with Russian folklore—Baba Yaga, the Firebird, and a lesser-known northern albino Dragon—to tell his story, “Egg and Spoon” (Candlewick 2014). At the outset of this 1900 Russian historical

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“This One Summer” by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Graphic novels, so often bigger than life, can sometimes be exactly like life. Cousins Jillian Tamaki (illustrator) and Mariko Tamaki (writer) raise the bar of authenticity in “This One Summer” (First Second 2014) a coming-of-age story. Preteens Rose and Windy

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“The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone” by Adele Griffin

While reading “The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone” (Soho Teen 2014) by Adele Griffin, I was reminded of my sister describing her snowboarding son as “tragically cool” from the time he was in 4th grade. She was speaking of his

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“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson writes ecstatically—beautifully and truthfully—about first love in her young adult novel “I’ll Give You the Sun” (Dial 2014), as she did in her first book “The Sky is Everywhere.” Jude and Noah are artists and twins living in

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“Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson

“Brown Girl Dreaming” (Paulsen/Penguin 2014) is Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir about growing up in a loving, but broken family, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. Written in accessible vivid verse, and a National Book Award Finalist—we’ll find out tomorrow,

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