Author Archives: That Unique* Weblog

About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.

Review: Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick

This novel, aimed at grades 3-7, is action-packed and exciting and full of kids taking on impossible challenges with perseverance and determination. WILDFIRE by Rodman Philbrick is about Sam and Delphy, two kids who get caught out in a terrifying … Continue reading

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Review: Not If I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler

This new middle-grade novel by Carolyn Mackler is engaging, endearing, and informative. NOT IF I CAN HELP IT follows Willa, a 5th grader with Sensory Processing Disorder, as her comfortable and just-about-manageable world abruptly turns upside-down. The news that Willa’s … Continue reading

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Review: SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson

For long-time readers of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novels, particularly SPEAK, this new book, SHOUT – a memoir in verse, will give insight and depth to both Anderson’s life, including traumatic events that have informed her fiction, and the aftermath of … Continue reading

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Review: FOCUSED by Alyson Gerber

My 10-year-old read this before I did, and she told me I MUST READ IT. So I dutifully picked up Alyson Gerber’s FOCUSED, and read it. My 10-year-old gives good advice. The novel, aimed at 8-12 year olds, follows Clea, … Continue reading

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Review: For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington

Makeda June Kirkland, “Keda,” is an 11-year-old transracial adoptee (she is Black, her parents and sister are white) whose family moves across the country and far away from her home, her school, and her best friend. That disruption would be … Continue reading

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Review: The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner

Heather Kassner’s debut novel, THE BONE GARDEN, is a creepy, eerie, hopeful read that includes themes of identity, perseverance, friendship, and courage wrapped in the horror of fairy tales before Disney cleaned them up. Kassner’s dedication is to her “gram, … Continue reading

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Review: All of Me by Chris Baron

ALL OF ME by Chris Baron is the wrenchingly honest and raw story of Ari, a gentle, sensitive, Jewish boy who is also fat. More than a coming-of-age story, All of Me is a “becoming yourself” story. The gentle arc of Ari’s … Continue reading

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Review: Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett

FREEFALL SUMMER by Tracy Barrett is a coming-of-age novel that addresses an overprotective father and boyfriend (dare we use patriarchal?) who seem to have “good reasons,” but their behavior has the same effects as any other confining actions, no matter … Continue reading

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Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

I learned a lot from Claire Kann’s new novel IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY. The protagonist, Winnie, is an 18-year-old living “her best fat-girl life” during the summer before college. In addition to being body positive, Winnie is in a … Continue reading

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Review: This Was Our Pact

THIS WAS OUR PACT by Ryan Andrews is a fanciful graphic novel that starts out as a standard coming-of-age story of boys on bikes in the wilderness. It then suddenly veers into magical realism that is at once bizarre and … Continue reading

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