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

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: Divergent

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Divergent by Veronica Roth. Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins. 2011. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: In a future Chicago, a person is born into one of five factions. Each faction lives according to an overall guiding belief system. Abnegation: being selfless. Amity: peace and love. Candor: honesty. Dauntless: courage. Erudite: [...]

Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope

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 The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. HarperCollins. 2010. Review from ARC from ALA Midwinter. The Plot: In Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, Ginny Blackstone was left thirteen envelopes by her late aunt, resulting in a tour of Europe that pushed Ginny outside her comfort zone and gave her some insight and understanding into the life [...]

Review: House of Dolls

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House of Dolls by Francesca Lia Block, illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Harper Collins. 2010. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. Middle grade. The Plot: Dolls Wildflower, Rockstar, and Miss Selene live together in their house, which was first owned by Madison Blackberry’s grandmother. The three dolls are happy enough, with Wildflower’s boyfriend Guy and Rockstar’s B. [...]

Review: Paranormalcy

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Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. Harper Collins. 2010. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Evie, sixteen, works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, helping contain paranormals such as faeries, vampires and werewolves. It’s her version of normalcy until a captured shape-shifter makes her rethink everything she knows about paranormals, the IPCA, and herself. The Good: I [...]

Review: Lockdown

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Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers. Amistad, an imprint of Harper Collins. 2010. Copy borrowed from friend. The Plot: Maurice “Reese” Anderson will be fifteen in a month. For the last twenty-two months, he’s been at the Progress Center for young offenders aged twelve to sixteen. He’s on a special work-release program a few days a [...]

Review: Invisible Things

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Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson. HarperCollins. 2010. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. Companion to The Explosionist. The Plot: 1938. Sophie Hunter, sixteen, has fled Scotland for Denmark. Had she stayed in Scotland, she would have been forcibly brainwashed to become a perfect secretary for the “good of the country.” Denmark appears to be a safe harbor. She [...]

Review: 13 Words

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13 Words by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman. Harper Collins. 2010. Reviewed from F&G from publisher. The Plot: Thirteen words. Bird, despondent, cake, dog…. Oh, just read the book. The Good: It’s Lemony Snicket, so of course it is funny. The humor is directed to an older reader, which is why I’m reviewing it [...]

Review: Wildwing

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Wildwing by Emily Whitman.  Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.  2010. Review from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Little Pembleton, 1913. Addy Morrow is fifteen and she wants something more out of life than being the town bastard, bullied by mean girls who think they are better than her because they have more money, a [...]

Review: From Cover to Cover

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From Cover to Cover (revised edition): Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books by Kathleen T. Horning. HarperCollins. 2010. Personal copy. It’s About: Evaluating and reviewing children’s books. Lordy, but subtitles make my job easy. The Good: From Cover to Cover was published in 1997. Thirteen years later, yes, a lot has changed in publishing and children’s [...]