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

Flashback: January 2006

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A look at what I reviewed in January 2006. Boy Proof by Cecil Castelluci. From my review: “Victoria, 16, prefers to be called “Egg” like the character in her favorite science fiction movie. She’s smart, she’s confident, she’s not afraid to dress like the character she loves. . . . Egg is vocal and strong in her likes […]

ALA Midwinter 2014


I’ve been busy preparing for ALA Midwinter 2014, including a flurry of committee work. I’ve finished the rest of the YALSA Nonfiction Titles, but I haven’t had time to finish my reviews — they’ll be coming, don’t worry! I’m looking forward to the Youth Media Awards, to see who wins the Printz and who gets […]

Flashback: January 2008

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A flashback to what I was reading in January 2008: . . . . Yep, while there are a bunch of blog posts, very little actual reviews. This was the start of reading for Printz, and I was taking it seriously, and had introduced some guest bloggers to help out.

Review: Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

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Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2013. Personal copy. Morris shortlist. The Plot: James Whitcomb, sixteen, has nicknames for his parents: the Brute and the Banshee. That may be all you need to know about his home life. But here’s some more: his parents threw his older sister out […]

Review: The Nazi Hunters


The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb. Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. 2013. Library copy. YALSA Nonfiction Award Shortlist. It’s About: In 1960, a group of Israeli spies and operatives captured the Nazi fugitive, Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann had been in […]

Flashback: January 2009

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A flashback to what I was reading in January 2009: The 2009 Printz Award and Honor Books! Because I was on the committee, and reading and rereading a ton of books, and then the committee met at Midwinter and the rest is history. The books: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, the 2009 Printz Award winner; and the four […]

Review: The President Has Been Shot


The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson. Scholastic. 2013. YALSA Nonfiction Award Shortlist. It’s About: The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.  The Good: The past November — the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK — I watched a lot of specials and documentaries about […]

Review: Belle Epoque


Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Delacorte Press, Random House. 2013. Review copy from publisher. Morris shortlist. The Plot: Paris, France. 1888/1889. Maud Pichon, 16, had big dreams when she ran away from her small village in Brittany and an arranged marriage. Her dreams have changed to one thing: survival. The money she took from her father […]

Review: Charm and Strange


Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. Library copy. Morris Shortlist. The Plot: Win, 16, is at a New England boarding school, physically distanced from his family in Virginia, emotionally distanced from his classmates. Flashbacks show him as an angry child, Drew, sometimes violent. Win has secrets. Secrets about who he was; […]

Flashback: January 2011

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A look back at what I reviewed in January 2011: The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson. From my review: “The Latte Rebellion doesn’t start as a rebellion. Yes, Asha and her friend Carey got annoyed at a classmate’s casual comments about Asha being a “towel head” and being “Miss Barely Asian.” In a caffeine induced bout […]