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

Review: After Etan

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After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive by Lisa R. Cohen. Grand Central Publishing. 2009. Personal copy. It’s About: The May 25, 1979, disappearance of Etan Patz, age six. The Good: Of course I remember it: little boy walking to the bus stop disappears. I was almost thirteen: old enough to remember, young enough [...]

Review: Silver Phoenix

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Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collins. 2009. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Ai Ling is seventeen. At the first betrothal arranged by her loving parents, not only is she rejected by the bridegroom and his mother (Ai Ling is too tall; her father left the Emperor’s court [...]

Review: Written In Bone

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Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker. Carolrhoda Books. 2009. Personal copy. It’s About: Skeletons from the colonial era reveal details of the past; not just how people died, but how they lived. Walker follows the excavation of several graves, along with the study and research that accompanies [...]

Review: Tofu Quilt

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Tofu Quilt by Ching Yeung Russell. Lee & Low Books. 2009. Review copy from publisher. It’s About: Poems tell the story of Yeung Ying growing up in Hong Kong, from age five to twelve. The Good: The poetry is simple but not simplistic; a tremendous amount is conveyed in a handful of words. Yeung Ying [...]

Review: Shadowed Summer

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Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell. Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House. 2009. Review copy from publisher. Book website. The Plot: Iris and her best friend, Collette, are fourteen. It’s summer, a hot, humid Louisiana summer; the last summer of childhood. They play some of the make believe games of their childhood, but this year [...]

Review: Rosie and Skate

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Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman. Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House. 2009. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Rosie, 15, and Skate, 16, are left alone in a falling-down Victorian when their dad, a drunk, serves three and a half months for shoplifting.  Their cousin Angie moves in to help out. Rosie, the [...]

Review: Bayou Volume One

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Bayou Volume One by Jeremy Love. Zuda Comics / DC Comics. 2009. Review copy borrowed from friend. Graphic Novel. The Plot: 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 [...]

Review: The Uninvited

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The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio. Narrated by Angela Dawe. 2010. Candlewick. 2009. Listened to on audiobook supplied by publisher. The Plot: It seemed like a good idea. Mimi Shapiro escapes New York City after an eventful freshman year that included an affair with an older professor who won’t stop calling. Mimi goes [...]

Review: Tales from Outer Suburbia

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Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan. Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic. 2009. Borrowed copy. All ages. It’s About: Illustrated short stories, set in the familiar world of the suburbs. Only, not so much. The Good: Each of these short stories takes place in the suburbs, but for each there is something [...]

Review: Tales of the Madman Underground

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Tales of the Madman Underground (An Historical Romance 1973) by John Barnes. Viking. 2009. Reviewed from ARC from a conference. The Plot: Lightsburg, Ohio, 1973. Karl Shoemaker has a simple resolution for his senior year: don’t get the “ticket,” the slip of paper from school that sends him to group therapy during school hours. Instead, be [...]