Category Archives: New Book Reviews

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 […]

May 09

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman – Review by Heather Berg

I am embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t really given water much thought lately. I mean, I encounter it daily as I brush my teeth, scrub another round of dishes, or wash my daughters’ endlessly sticky hands.  And sure, after a long run or a day in the sun, I’m happy to guzzle down a […]

April 06

The Joys (and pains) of Book Talks with Upper Elementary by Carrie Rodusky

Teaching upper elementary in a pre-k to eighth grade school with one class per grade is no easy feat. If you are a teacher of fourth and fifth graders, or a parent of a child around this age, you know that some days are better than others. I won’t go into the developmental characteristics of […]

March 27

The Books My Kids Are Reading by Colby Sharp

We are two days away from spring break, and my readers are prepping for a week of reading away from our classroom. They have grown so much since the first break of the school year (Thanksgiving). When my students went to special today, I asked them if they would leave me the book they are […]

February 07

The Wild in Us by Carrie Rodusky

“What is wild? And where can you find it?” These are the first two lines on the first page of this inspirational picture book written by Megan Wagner Lloyd with pictures by Abigail Halpin. As I read this story aloud to 3rd through 5th graders, I could literally feel my body relax and my breath […]

February 06

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman – Review by Julie Potvin Kirchner

Sometimes a book comes along and it pulls you in before you read a single word. For me, The Bridge Home, was a book I was highly anticipating because Nancy Paulsen middle grade books never disappoint. I was also super excited to read author Padma Venkatraman’s middle grade novel debut. And then I saw the […]

January 10


Louisiana’s Way Home Kate DiCamillo Publisher: Candlewick Press Format: Hardcover Pages: 227 Age Range: 9-12   Three semis drove past us. One was painted with a picture of a cow standing in a field of green grass. I was jealous of that cow because she was at home and I was not.             It seemed […]