Category Archives: New Book Reviews

March 09

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner – Review by Kevin English

I first learned about Jeff Zentner’s Goodbye Days from a contact at Random House. She kept reminding me over and over again that if I liked The Serpent King then I would absolutely love Goodbye Days. And she was right. So very right. Think about the last time you sent a text message. For me, […]

February 23

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Illustrated by Jon Klassen – Review by Jody Lee Mott

Warning: The Nest, written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is not a book for everyone. It is the kind of story that burrows itself into your brain and revisits you in the deep, dark midnight in the shape of slithering phantasms and shadowy nightmares.  It is the kind of book that, if you […]

February 16

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart – Review by Angie Moore

I’ve never been an adventure story reader. Hatchet? White Fang? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Nope. I have not read one of those. Which makes it really hard to recommend books for my students who love adventure stories. If I’ve read any, it was because of high recommendations from family, friends, students, and coworkers, or […]

February 09

The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley – Review by Kate Hannigan

“Who gets to decide what is important about a community?” asks debut novelist Natasha Tarpley in her middle-grade mystery The Harlem Charade (January 31, Scholastic). “Who gets to tell our stories?”   Setting her fascinating adventure in Harlem, with its rich history of African American art, music, literature, and dance, Tarpley explores ideas of gentrification […]

February 02

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson – Review by Melissa Biehl

I have loved Laurie Halse Anderson ever since I first read her book Fever 1793. I have read many of her books over the years and find them so powerfully written. I even went on a road trip to Naperville, IL with my daughters in 2009 so we could meet her. That summer, Anderson Bookshop […]

January 26

Fenway & Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang by Victoria J. Coe – Review by Dalila Eckstein

What is it about dog books? Even though I have never been the owner of a dog, I am and have been the owner of many dog books. There’s something compelling about them. They seem to have a direct link to the heart. And, as a teacher, I’ve learned that a well-written dog character is […]

January 24

THE SOMEDAY BIRDS by Sally J. Pla – Review by Bridget Hodder

THE SOMEDAY BIRDS is a triumphant debut with the resonance and depth of an instant classic. Author Sally J. Pla’s story digs deep into the truth of the autism experience and comes up with wisdom, hilarity, tenderness, and precious, complicated hope.   Emily Dickinson described hope as “the thing with feathers.” For our main character, […]

January 19

Strictly No Elephants written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo – Review by Darshana Khiani

Strictly No Elephants written by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo is a book that is so, so important especially in our current climate. The story is about “fitting in” and inclusivity and it’s done in the most charming way through a boy and his pet elephant. I love this book both as a […]

January 12

​Everyone Loves Penguins! by Jennifer Sniadecki

I have problems. You have problems. Our world has problems. Did you know penguins also have problems? I read many books in the year 2016, but Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith is one of the few books I labeled “5-Star Status.” Everyone loves penguins, right? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not the […]

January 05

STEPPING STONES: A REFUGEE FAMILY’S JOURNEY, by Margriet Ruurs, with stone art illustrations by Nizar Ali Badr – Review by Sandy Brehl

  Canadian author Margriet Ruurs is an educator, a prolific author, and a world traveler. Her visits to international schools and other global destinations have inspired several of her titles. But Margriet found inspiration for her latest picture book while at home, scrolling through Facebook posts. There, she first viewed the stone-assemblage scenes of Syrian […]