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At MFPOW, I used to do a Cinderella exploration with our combined 4/5 grade. Ash is definitely a Cinderella story, but I wouldn't put it in a Middle S ...more
Jul 28, 2009
Jul 24, 2009
Viola in Reel Life (Viola #1)
I identified with Viola's life before PA (she lived near where I lived in Cobble Hill, and many of the stores were ones I'd shopped in; and she had at ...more
Aug 16, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
The High Road (Elf Realm, #2)
This took longer to read than it should have - I let life distract me. Overall, this is a good Quest story. In part one (which I didn't read), the Hum ...more
Sep 25, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)
I read this after seeing the theatrical adaptation in Chicago this past summer. Doctorow's vision of techno-rebellion in the face of increased surveil ...more
Dec 29, 2009
Oct 10, 2009
The Well Between The Worlds (Lyonesse, #1)
I'm an Arthur-legend junkie, so this book was one I looked forward to reading (well, that and the Lewisian Well in the title). I wasn't disappointed: ...more
Mar 21, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
For a few years now, our 6th graders have read Lester's Day of Tears and done a project on slavery. Part of the project is to decide what type of slav ...more
May 03, 2009
Mar 09, 2009
Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37; Rincewind #8)
Despite the many other books on Mt. Bookpile, the sight of DEATH on the cover made me choose this as my next read. Unfortunately, DEATH has a very min ...more
Oct 26, 2009
Oct 25, 2009
Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek, #1)
Blair Witch for the younger crowd...

Ryan wakens after being in a 55-hour coma to be told that he and his best friend, Sarah, can no longer communicat
Mar 26, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
The Secret of the Dread Forest (Faire Folk Trilogy #3)
Whenever I get an already-published book in a series at ALA, I wonder why. An ARC to me says, "this book isn't catching on and we want to get the word ...more
Aug 17, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
The Chosen One
What is it with the polygamist Mormon theme? Is it because of "Big Love"? This is the third book (The 19th Wife and Latter-Day Cipher being the other ...more
Nov 16, 2009
Nov 07, 2009
Hate List
Do you remember high school? Where you hated things, like the assignments you got in Alegbra or the teacher that gave you a hard time in class or the ...more
Jul 22, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
The Softwire: Wormhole Pirates on Orbis 3
One of the ways I judge series books is by how difficult it is to jump into the action in a later book; never having read the previous two Softwire bo ...more
Mar 25, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1)
Very atmospheric mystery set in WWI England - Elizabeth Crawford is a nurse serving on the Britannic when it is hit by a mine and sinks. She survives ...more
Sep 06, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
Operation Redwood
At first I was concerned that this would be one of those Heavy Message books, but it's not. There are two stories here: one, the story of trying to sa ...more
Mar 22, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
Homer & Langley
A fictionalized biography of a real person - not quite historical fiction, but close. Homer, the blind Collyer brother, types out his memoir of a life ...more
Aug 31, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
The Blue Notebook
An incredibly difficult book to read, in the same way McCormick's Sold is difficult to read. Batuk is a young Indian woman, sole into prostitution by ...more
Mar 13, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
As I read this, my thoughts occasionally strayed to the future of the epistolary novel in this era of e-mail. Yes, you can set the book in the past, b ...more
Jun 18, 2009
May 16, 2009
Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania
This memoir reminded me of Leaving Glorytown (they're even set at a similar time), exploring what it was like living under a Communist regime and what ...more
Nov 28, 2009
Nov 07, 2009
Fallen (Fallen, #1)
How to review this without giving major spoilers (pub. date is next month)? Not sure that's possible, but I'll try.

Luce (Lucinda) has spent most of h
Nov 11, 2009
Nov 07, 2009
The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)
Reading the jacket, you'd think that this was purely a "magic" book - steeped in Lewis' Narnia, Rowling and others of that ilk. However, the relations ...more
Dec 26, 2009
Oct 10, 2009
The End is Now
Not having grown up in a community that awaited the Rapture, I'm not really qualified to talk about the accuracy of this book's depiction of the event ...more
Aug 16, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
The best books have child characters that feel as though they could easily be walking down the corridors of my school - this is one such book. Eric's ...more
Aug 15, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
Spellbinder (Spellbinder #1)
She sees dead people - and has very stay-at-home parents (apparently, ghosts can only haunt one place at a time). Belladonna's "talent" for seeing, an ...more
Aug 07, 2009
Jul 21, 2009
Keeping Corner
I didn't realize that this was written by the same author as Blue Jasmine, but I should have because the metatheme is the same: old traditions are not ...more
Oct 03, 2009
Jul 20, 2009
Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie
I read this for two reasons: one is, quite simply, I enjoyed reading Agatha Christie's mysteries when I was younger; the other is that our 6th grade s ...more
Jun 12, 2009
May 31, 2009
Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
I hadn't intended to start this book (or finish it) during the High Holy Days, but much of this book is about bashert (fate) so let's just chalk it up ...more
Sep 27, 2009
Jul 20, 2009
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
I really wished I'd liked this more, but there were too many things that I think the author tried to do at the same time for it to work. Take, for exa ...more
Jul 24, 2009
Jul 20, 2009
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
The only one of the 1968 Oscar nominees for Best Picture that I saw during it's original theatrical release was Dr. Doolittle, so the impact of the ot ...more
Sep 13, 2009
Jul 20, 2009
Leaving Glorytown: One Boy's Struggle Under Castro
I liked this memoir, mainly because the author doesn't rely on others' memories to do his work for him. By that I mean, it's clearly what he felt, saw ...more
Apr 19, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have
I kind of identified with Andy, not because I was a teenage boy, but because I was a teenage fat person. It's universal: not wanting to change in fron ...more
Jun 06, 2009
May 31, 2009
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