Category Archives: New Book Reviews

October 16

Look No Further- Review of Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds – Review by Amy Watkins

When Jason Reynolds said that he wrote Look Both Ways with teachers in mind, he wasn’t lying. I have never taken so many notes while reading a YA book trying to capture all of the ways I could picture using it in my classroom, nor have so many characters carved their way into my heart […]

October 03

Reading Along the Border – New Perspectives, New Understandings by Jennifer Sniadecki

I’ve spent the last few years learning and growing my own reading life, and although I like to think of myself as a reader of diverse books, I have a long way to go. Last year I spoke with several students about their needs and interests as readers with the purpose of rebuilding our middle […]

September 25

Jackpot is a Winner by Georgia Parker

I hit the jackpot (pun intended) when Nic Stone’s latest novel landed in my mailbox. I’m a huge Nic Stone fan, and her YA realistic fiction. I adore her debut novel Dear Martin in which Stone brilliantly uses a combination of prose and an epistolary style to give voice to her protagonist, Justyce, as he […]

September 12

Get on the Bus! by Lucretia Brattin

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart caught my attention when I saw the cover.    My sister and I have a desire to turn a school bus into an RV after we retire from teaching.  We think we will travel around the country and have lots of adventures.  I’m always on the lookout […]

August 29

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen – Review by Victoria Tomis

Pilu of the Woods’s protagonist, Japanese-American elementary schooler Willow has monsters. A lot of them.   In Mai Nguyen’s debut graphic novel Pilu of the Woods the androgynous and bespectacled “Will” is of the precocious child achetype–she has an affinity for recognizing even obscure plants, and has facts about just about any of the flora […]

August 22

TRUMAN by Jean Reidy: My New Go-To Book – A Review by Rosanne L. Kurstedt

I read picture books. I write picture books. And I share picture books with students of all ages.   I often go to Barnes and Noble or the library and pull handfuls of books off the shelves. After scouring the new releases, I settle in to read. As I open each book, my stomach twitters […]

June 20

Five Reasons to Add Patron Saints of Nothing to Your High School Curriculum by Oona Marie Abrams

Last November, I had the opportunity to meet Randy Ribay at NCTE in Houston, where I received a signed copy of his novel After the Shot Drops. Ironically, I haven’t gotten my hands on the book for several months, because it is constantly checked out of my classroom library. Recently, though,  I received several advance […]

June 06

After the Fire by Will Hill – Review by Shannon Baer

BEFORE Everyone has their own concept of what creates a family. For Moonbeam, it is her mom and the other members of the Holy Church of the Lord’s Legion. Set in Texas, the group resides on a compound just outside of town. They are a mostly self-sustaining group, and in the past have driven to […]

May 30

Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown – Review by Susie Highley

Yes, the cover of Squint is very intriguing and appropriate: a bright green textured background that blurs out of focus, with a large pair of glasses and… a superhero?   Flint Keith Minett is in a race against time: he is nearing the deadline to finish his entry for a comic book contest at the […]

May 16

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins – Review by Kacy Smith Paterson

Farrar Straus Giroux/FSG Books for Young Readers 432 Pages, Ages 14-18   Mitali Perkin’s new novel, Forward Me Back to You, is an epic and layered read of identity and family, similar to her earlier works, such as You Bring the Distant Near and Tiger Boy. The narrative encompasses multiple characters, families and countries, which […]