Because I loved Rebecca Stead’s novel, When You Reach Me, I picked up Bob, hoping I would like it just as much. Yes and no.
By page 11, ten-year-old Livy is talking about zombies. Hmmm. I don’t do zombies.… Read the rest
Set in the late 1930s, Thimble Summer captures the era’s atmosphere of farm life in Wisconsin. Elizabeth Enright wrote this while people were just beginning to recover from the Dust Bowl further south, and the book gives an excellent sense of the Depression years through a child’s eyes.… Read the rest
Set in post-Revolutionary War New England, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is the biography of Nathaniel Bowditch, author of The American Practical Navigator, nicknamed the “Sailor’s Bible.” While I never paid attention to the author’s name when I was a child, I’m sure I read several of Jean Lee Latham’s biographical works.… Read the rest
Lois Lenski’s American Regional books have been likened to the Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yes, the similar settings are hugely important to the story, but Lenski’s style is far different than Wilder’s, and I like them both. … Read the rest
Twelve-year-old Andy Rusch walks to school and walks home for lunch. He’s free to roam the countryside surrounding his small town of Serenity the whole day long, and his parents have no trouble with him befriending the village’s odd-man character, Onion John.… Read the rest
Ivan is a silverback gorilla, captured as a baby and living his entire life in captivity—a featured attraction in the third-rate Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. With his artistic talents (drawings by Ivan sell for twenty bucks apiece), life is bearable.… Read the rest
I read this Newbery winner when I was in junior high school. Ordinarily, I didn’t go for man-against-nature type of stories. I didn’t go for a novel told in first person present tense. But Island of the Blue Dolphins featured a girl who had to survive totally alone on her island.… Read the rest