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
As a fan of Kate DiCamillo, I’m delighted to report that Flora and Ulysses The Illuminated Adventures does not disappoint. In fact, it may have just become my favorite book of hers. This 2014 Newbery Medal winner is mostly a standard text, but it’s sprinkled with scenes like a graphic novel thanks to illustrator K.G.… Read the rest
The Grey King had been recommended to me some time ago by a lover of high fantasy. Since it’s a Newbery Medal winner, I was willing to try it out, and if I liked it, I’d read the whole series: The Dark Is Rising Sequence.… Read the rest
The Saturdays, first book in The Melendy Quartet, is a delightful trot into yesteryear’s childhood. Elizabeth Enright created a family of four siblings who live an “ordinary” life in New York City, yet their minor escapades become “special” adventures.… Read the rest
HITTY Her First Hundred Years was published before I was born, before my mother was born! I wanted to see if such books are still “readable” in the twenty-first century. My answer? It depends.
As soon as I opened the book, my heart sank.… Read the rest
Knowing this story won the Newbery Medal in 1931, I expected fantastic writing. Looking at the title, I assumed it was a book of faith. I was mostly correct. Yes, The Cat who went to Heaven is magnificently written, a wonderful read-aloud giving your child a full picture of the setting.… 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
Until last week, I had never read Johnny Tremain. Shame on me! And shame on me that after the first thirty pages, I was ready to recommend only the most patient of readers should stick with the book.… Read the rest
Sometimes, life gets too hard. How can the remnants of a family hold on to what was good?
In Miracle’s Boys, Jacqueline Woodson answers the question: how does a kid survive losing both parents before he’s reached adulthood?… Read the rest