Category Archives: Review

Review: Stargazing by Jen Wang

STARGAZING is a heartfelt and beautifully told story of friendship, individuality, independence, and learning from differences. We are introduced to Christine, the main character, at a musical performance where she shows both insecurity in being seen as “not as talented” … Continue reading

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Review: GUTS by Raina Telgemeier

In GUTS, Raina Telgemeier tells the story of her elementary school self to expertly depict how an innocent and common occurrence can spur anxiety that manifests in physical symptoms to become all but debilitating. When 4th Grade Raina catches the stomach … Continue reading

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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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