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
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
I’ve previously reviewed Kate DiCamillo, and there’s a reason she consistently wins the highest awards in the nation for her stories. Because of Winn-Dixie is no exception.
Winn-Dixie is a dog, so named under unusual circumstances, and he really doesn’t do much in this tale except act like an average dog, but if it weren’t for Winn-Dixie, much of the story wouldn’t have happened.… Read the rest
The Midwife’s Apprentice, 1996 Newbery Award winner, realistically depicts the Middle Ages (early fourteenth century) through the eyes of a preteen girl in a simple, narrative style with easy-to-read prose.
Alyce, aka Brat or Dung Beetle, is a street urchin in a small village.… Read the rest
“Everyone knows a Wanda.” I stole that from a recent Amazon review of The Hundred Dresses. Winner of the 1945 Newbery Honor Award, The Hundred Dresses has never been out of print. Why? Because it’s an ageless story about bullying.… Read the rest
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is an engaging contemporary Young Adult novel most suited to high school readers. It addresses some of the concerns and problems of overweight teens.
My favorite of the two Jennifer Niven books I’ve read
I’d like to see more contemporary realism like Holding Up the Universe that encourages teens to draw upon their personal power and offers them hope of happiness without being sugary-sweet.… Read the rest
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a bittersweet teen fiction about a boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s serious illness.
Connor, a twelve-year-old-boy, is faced with unbelievable stress – a dying mother, a father who has split from the family, a recurrent nightmare, a domineering grandmother, and bullies at school.… Read the rest