Author Archives: CBethM

to kill a mockingbird December 18

The Power of a Teacher by Tammy Mulligan

My 9th grade son is reading To Kill a Mockingbird in his English class.  When I saw this book, it reminded me of all the classic novels I didn’t read in high school: The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck The Catcher and the Rye, J.D. Salinger Great Expectations, Charles Dickens And many others…   You […]

Jellicoe Road December 17

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – Review by Janelle Fila

Jellicoe Road weaves multiple stories in a non-linear fashion, jumping around so that the reader never quite knows the complete story until the book’s closing pages. The first story is the contemporary tale of Taylor Markham during her life at boarding school on the Jellicoe Road.  Within the story’s first few pages, Taylor is elected […]

ZooBox-300rgb December 16

The Children Are Alone by Aron Nels Steinke

Anything can go wrong when children are left alone for the first time. In my newest children’s book, The Zoo Box, the main characters, siblings Erika and Patrick, are left unsupervised for the evening. Their mother and father leave them at home for a night out and depart with the promise that if they behave […]

The Grouchy Ladybug December 15

Read and Repeat by Alyssa D. Morgan

Much to the delight of my librarian heart, my three-year-old son loves to read.  He has a bookcase full of books that he browses and brings to me read.  He’ll sit with a book and point out pictures to me.  He will happily pick out stacks of books at the library (once I pull him […]

FireBird.finalCovOnly December 14

Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests by Sneed B. Collard III – A Review by Rose Cappelli

Every year in the United States, thousands of wildfires destroy millions of acres of forests. Most of us are saddened by this, thinking of all the destruction of our natural resources and animal habitats. In Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests, Sneed B. Collard III not only teaches us about the many species […]

collage December 13

Ten Alternatives to Book Reports by Mary Catherine Miller

I teach an undergraduate young adult literature course at a large research university. Many of my students take the course as a preparation for their future careers as teachers or librarians, while others come to the course looking for a general education requirement for literature. Throughout the class, my students read ten young adult novels. […]

10472719_704338472974900_894121962518474169_n December 12

Underpants Are Optional. Diversity Isn’t. by Arika Dickens

It starts with underpants.  Because regardless of type or style, you (usually) have underpants.  So it’s a bit surprising – and certainly unforgettable – on a day that you don’t. “Do you have any Captain Underpants books?” Ten years ago, I was hired as an elementary librarian.  School had already been in session for a […]

Charlesbridge, 2013 December 11

YES! WE ARE LATINOS by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, pictures by David Diaz – Review by Nancy Bo Flood

  Voices!  Power and pride singing in Yes! We Are Latinos (Charlesbridge, 2013) is felt in each of the thirteen distinctive narrative poems.  Each poem is told in the first-person of a Latino child who introduces his or her unique cultural background and situation.  Personalities shine. Individuals become real. Stories touch your heart.  Each poem is […]

kid sheriff December 10

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea and Lane Smith – Review by Rebecca Jones

By about fourth grade, many kids bypass the library’s picture book shelves and head straight for chapter books. This only makes sense, as they’re striving to grow up as quickly as possible as part of the headlong march toward puberty. At the same time teachers and parents encourage older elementary kids to read chapter books […]

the witch's boy December 09

Strange Birds by Kelly Barnhill

  When I was a little girl, once I actually started reading (which, for me, took a while; longer than most), I read fairy tales. Lots and lots and lots of fairy tales. I started with Grimm, of course, because that was what we had on the shelf. I have no idea which edition or […]