Blog Archives

“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights” by Steve Sheinkin

During WWII the U.S. was fighting for freedom while denying its black citizens their rights and freedom. In “The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights” (Roaring Brook 2014) Steve Sheinkin paints a picture of the

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What How and Why do You Write?

We’re on a writing-process blog tour. Authors are telling how and why they write. Interested? It’s sort of a chain letter of writers answering 4 simple—but not really that simple—questions about their process. I was asked to do this, first

Posted in Book News, Book Reviews

“West of the Moon” by Margi Preus

We experience the reality of rural nineteenth century Norway in “West of the Moon” (Abrams-Amulet 2014) by Margi Preus, yet we feel immersed in a land of magic. The Norwegians are Christian but are living in a world paralleling Scandinavian

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“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair Eastman is 18 at the beginning of “We Were Liars” (Delacorte 2014) by E. Lockhart, but her actual story begins “summer fifteen” when she is 15. The blueblood Sinclair family own Beechwood Island and all converge there every

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“Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific” by Mary Cronk Farrell

In July 1940 the U.S. and Great Britain were the only democratic powers left in the world. In contrast, U.S. army nurses “enjoyed a casual resort-like atmosphere” in the tropical paradise and fascinating culture of the Philippines. So begins “Pure

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“All the Truth That’s In Me” by Julie Berry

Love and longing are not unusual subjects in young adult fiction, but in the masterful hands of Julie Berry–“All the Truth That’s in Me” (Viking 2013)—it is new. In measured steps the author shows just what we need to know,

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Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II by Martin W. Sandler

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, advisers told President Roosevelt that Japanese-Americans on the west coast were a threat to U.S. security. Others said that was ridiculous. The threat-mongers won out and 120,000 loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry were

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“Love in the Time of Global Warming” by Francesca Lia Block

Do I really want to read a book about the apocalypse? I’ve dreamt too many times about being the last person left on earth searching through stopped cars for survivors. But Francesca Lia Block’s devastated post-apocalypse world is oddly beautiful

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“The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi” by Neal Bascomb

“The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured The World’s Most Notorious Nazi” by Neal Bascomb (Arthur A. Levine 2013) starts on a dark street corner in Buenos Aires, May 1960. A man steps off a bus.

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“The Weight of Water” by Sarah Crossan

In “The Weight of Water” (Bloomsbury 2012), Sarah Crossan tells us only what we need to know in her spare verse. We can fill in the rest ourselves. She must think her readers are intelligent, which makes us feel good.

Posted in Book Reviews