I’m always good for a compassionate tear-jerker of a story, and Lety Out Loud with its sympathetic characters and focus on abandoned pets blessed me with three separate crying jags.
Lety Muñoz is an ESL student fresh out of fifth grade.… Read the rest
The publishing powers-that-be claim today’s readers are impatient. If you don’t hook them on the first page, the first paragraph even, you’re not publishable. Vintage Reads always start a little slower. Teach your children patience for this book. … Read the rest
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
Yesterday, I reviewed Chip Mattis’s picture book, Under the Dancing Tree. Today, I want to find out the “story behind the story.” Chip has graciously answered the questions I often ask authors.
What was the seed of this story?… Read the rest
Under the Dancing Tree is one of those rare picture books that caresses my heartstrings with the same tenderness of a harpist’s fingers creating a gentle glissando.
If you’re a parent or a grandparent, you may want to make this a new, favorite, read-aloud.… Read the rest
Last month I reviewed a Newbery winner which fascinated me with its intricate puzzle mystery. When You Reach Me is based on another complicated mystery, which, if I tell you the type of puzzle it is at its core, I would ruin the ending for you.… 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