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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Review: Aristotle and Dante


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Simon & Schuster BFYR. 2012. Copy from library. Printz Honor Book. The Plot: Summer, 1987. Angel Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is fifteen, and it’s the start of another lonely, hot summer in El Paso. Bored, he goes to the local swimming even though […]

Flashback June 2006

A flashback to what I was reviewing in June 2006: Poetry Friday: The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith. From my review: “Penny is the understudy in the school play and when her big moment comes — they end up cancelling the play. When she gets her first kiss — she faints.But it’s also serious, […]

Review: The White Bicycle


The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna. Red Deer Press. 2012. Printz Honor Book. Library copy. The Plot: Taylor Jane Simon, 19, is in France for her summer job, being a personal care assistant for her friend Luke Phoenix’s younger brother, Martin Phoenix. Unfortunately, Taylor Jane’s mother has tagged along. It only makes sense; Penny Simon’s mother […]

Actual Teen, Adult Teen

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We all know that actors don’t always play exactly their age. There are many reasons for that, including the very practical reason that minors — those actors who are also teens — have more limitations when working than adults. Pay a 27 year old to play a 15 year old, and they can work more […]

Review: Rapture Practice


Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler. Little, Brown & Co. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. It’s About: Aaron Hartzler’s memoir about growing up in an ultra-religious Christian family. It is funny; touching; rebellious; believing; and loving. The Good: I have a bit of a fascination with religion, especially those that say they have the answers. […]

Flashback June 2008

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A flashback to what I was reviewing in June 2008: Day of the Scarab by Catherine Fisher. Sequel to The Sphere of Secrets. From my review: “A world with gods, where those in control stopped believing. But it turns out the gods and the myths are real; and a handful of people, including a young […]

Review: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden

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The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen. Grand Central Publishing. 2013. Personal copy. The Plot: Callie and Kayden grew up in the same small town, but weren’t what you’d call friends. Kayden was the popular football player; Callie was the outcast with no friends. One early summer night, Callie sees Kayden’s father hit […]

Review: Sticks and Stones


Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon. Random House 2013. Random House Audio 2013. Reviewed from borrowed copy of audiobook. Making this part of my “vacation reads” series, figuring most of my readers who work in schools are on vacation now or soon […]



ALA Annual is just around the corner, which means, OH NO SO MUCH TO DO. The highlights of my schedule, so far: Saturday, June 29th All About ARCs: The Ins and Outs of Requesting, Using and Abusing Advanced Reading Copies, where I’m co-presenting with Kelly Jensen and Kristi Chadwick. 10:30 to 11:30, McCormick Place Convention […]

Flashback June 2009

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A flashback to what I was reading in June 2009: Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell In Love by Lauren Tarshis. From my review: “Emma-Jean Lazarus, an astute observer of her fellow seventh graders at William Gladstone Middle School, watches as her friends fuzz over the upcoming dance and worry about what boy they’ll ask. She decides their behavior is […]