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

Round 1, Match 1

And thus it begins: All the Truth That’s in Me v The Animal Book, Judge Vaunda Nelson My prediction: “Having not read either one, I randomly picked The Animal Book.” Was I right? YES. My observations: Nelson says, “I found similarities I hadn’t expected.” Nelson then went on to compare the two books based on those [...]

Review: Bright Before Sunrise


Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt. Walker Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury. 2014. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Is it possible for one night to make a difference in a person’s life? Jonah and Brighton are about to find out. The Good: First things first: I loved this book. I loved Jonah and Brighton, separate [...]

Edwards Award

And now, for a bit of blatant self-promotion. I am a candidate for the 2016 Edwards Award Committee! The Edwards Award ”honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It [...]

Review: All Our Pretty Songs

all our pretty ones

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Two girls, best friends since they were born. Sharing so much: heartaches, family, music. They are not identical, no, but rather they complement each other. “Aurora breaks hearts, and I paint pictures.” Aurora drinks her nights away, knowing [...]

Flashback March 2011

flashback 3

A flashback to what I reviewed in March 2011: Bayou Volume One by Jeremy Lo. From my review:“Charon, Mississippi, 1933. Two ten year old little girls are playing, Lee and Lily. One black, one white. One lie results in Lee’s father arrested and a lynching feared. To save her father, Lee leaves her familiar world behind [...]

My Way Or The Highway

my way

There’s a recent news story about a high school senior who has sued her parents for financial support. If you want more details, this is her local paper that first reported on it and this is an update on the case. I’m not going into specifics here, because, well, it’s a messy, complicated, sad situation [...]

On Liking Characters


I like talking about books, and reading, and why we like the things we like. Or don’t like. In When Adults Read Books For Teens, I spoke a bit about adults reading teen books with a certain type of expectation. There’s another type of expectation often put on books — or, rather characters in books [...]

Review: Roomies


Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2013. Reviewed from ARC. The Plot: It’s the summer after high school graduation, and EB and Lauren are both looking forward to college. EB is looking forward to leaving her small New Jersey beach town, her mother, her circle of friends and their [...]

Flashback: February 2006

flashback 3

And now a look back at what I reviewed in February 2006: Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff. From my review: “A retelling of the Trojan War. Some people don’t understand reading something when you know the end. I’m one of those who will always read a book about Troy, even tho I know how it ends. I [...]

Over At the Horn Book


In this blog, I’ve had a several posts about “New Adult,” books aimed at readers over 18. And, at ALA last year, Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen, and I conducted a conversation starter about New Adult. Sophie, Kelly, and I recently collaborated on an article about New Adult for the January/February 2014 issue of The Horn Book, [...]