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Well I finally read the book others have been raving about. We were hoping that Wonder would show up as a nominee for our IRA awards, but it didn't ev...more
Jan 31, 2013
Nov 27, 2012
My Pet Book
Bob Staake's geometric style that was so memorable in the wordless picture book Bluebird returns to tell the story of a young boy who opts for a book...more
Jul 10, 2014
Jul 10, 2014
Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)
Boxers is the other half of the dual volume graphic novel set Boxers and Saints which was a National Book Award nominee and received a lot of attentio...more
Mar 07, 2014
Mar 07, 2014
Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #8)
Number eight in the popular series is laugh out loud funny as Greg grapples with life...again. This time best friend Rowley is preoccupied with a new...more
Nov 11, 2013
Aug 30, 2013
Paper Towns
In the growing genre of normal boys in love with unusual girls, Paper Town brings together neighbors Quentin and Margo. Quentin's affection for Margo...more
Mar 14, 2014
Mar 20, 2014
Scarlet Ice: The Story of Minnesota High School Hockey Player John Janavaras and the Team He Loved
The author Roger Dier was my son's hockey coach at a time in which hockey played a critical role in keeping my son on track. This story about high sch...more
Mar 30, 2012
Mar 26, 2012
One Came Home
One Came Home is Amy Timberlake's 2014 Newbery Honor Title. Local teachers will like the fact this historical novel is set in the past 1871 in a ficti...more
Jul 04, 2014
Jul 08, 2014
Liar & Spy
If you follow my blog, you know I rarely give a book five stars. Liar & Spy blew me away. It is not only the best book I've read so far this year....more
Sep 23, 2012
Sep 24, 2012
Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus
**spoiler alert** In a mix of Missing May and The Little Mermaid, Tozier creates the first book in a proposed fantasy series featuring a young girl wh...more
Jul 29, 2012
Jul 30, 2012
Dead End in Norvelt
I think some of the early descriptions of this 2012 Newbery award winning novel have not done it justice. They seem to describe it as a complex mixtur...more
Apr 04, 2012
Mar 30, 2012
Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit
A gift from Kathy Champeau, I wanted to see what Parker Palmer had to say on this topic. Some I know follow his work religiously. Others like to quote...more
May 23, 2013
May 22, 2013
Eleanor & Park
Just finished Eleanor & Park and would say it deserves all the accolades it is receiving. Rowell creates two compelling characters who find their...more
Jan 19, 2014
Jan 19, 2014
Jumpstart the World
I have had a number of Ryan Hyde's YA books on my shelves and was intrigued to read one based on the fact that she is the author of Pay It Forward (ev...more
Dec 15, 2011
Dec 12, 2011
Emily and Jackson Hiding Out
Looking for a book to read, I grabbed a new title from a familiar author Phylis Reynolds Naylor's Emily and Jackson Hiding Out.It is the second in the...more
Aug 16, 2013
Aug 17, 2013
Sylvia & Aki
Winifred Conkling's award winning book brilliantly brings together two historically-based stories. One tells the story of a Japanese girl Aki who leav...more
Jul 02, 2012
Jun 27, 2012
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This 2013 IRA Young Adult Finalist takes an unusual twist on the girl dying of cancer novel. Andrews uses a male narrator Greg and his friend Earl to...more
Dec 24, 2012
Dec 27, 2012
Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things
**spoiler alert** 2013 IRA Finalist for Young Adult Fiction which has an inviting premise -- a young girl from Amherst, MA uses the poetry and life of...more
Dec 29, 2012
Dec 29, 2012
Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road, #1)
Georgia teachers I worked with last summer turned me on to this series by Kate Klise (illustrated by Sarah Klise).

They are cleverly written mysteries...more
Dec 03, 2011
Dec 08, 2011
I finally finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell whose Eleanor and Park hooked a lot of folks last year. Fangirl has a similar style with smart characters...more
Jun 29, 2014
Jun 30, 2014
My Life as a Book
I thought the book was headed in one direction (a funny tale of what it is like to struggle with reading) but it basically becomes another "What I did...more
Feb 06, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
I like Hiaasen's past efforts. These novels read like Elmore Leonard for kids. Chomp starts off promising by introducing a Steve Irwin type reality st...more
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 21, 2012
Up and Down
The amazing Australian artist Olive Jeffers is a favorite of mine with books like The Incredible Book Eating Boy, The Great Paper Caper and Heart and...more
Nov 15, 2013
Nov 15, 2013
Peace, Locomotion
Companion book to Woodson National Book Finalist Locomotion. A young boy separated in the foster care system from his sister uses a series of letters...more
Mar 2014
Mar 01, 2014
I like this series of slim novels by Paulsen that feature Kevin and his friends. Having loved Crush that explores passion using principles of scientif...more
May 25, 2013
May 22, 2013
Polka Dot Penguin Pottery
Lenore Look of Alvin Ho fame takes on a picture book format in Polka Dot Penguin Pottery. It' s a wonderful book about the creative process. It starts...more
Jun 05, 2013
Jun 05, 2013
Third Grade Angels
Well anyone who knows me knows I love Spinelli's Loser that sweet story about the hap;less Donald Zinkoff -- one of the best fictionalized accounts of...more
Feb 03, 2013
Feb 03, 2013
Rip Tide (Dark Life #2)
Another 2012 IRA Finalist but Rip Tide just didn't work for me. Perhaps it would have been better to have read the first book in the series Dark Life...more
Dec 29, 2011
Dec 28, 2011
The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #3)
The trilogy ends with more guts and gore. Gidwitz plays with Grimm's fairy tales and a few other inspirations to tell another set of tales about a bro...more
May 12, 2014
May 15, 2014
Threatened may actually be a more engaging read than Schrefer's National Book Award nominee Endangered. Threatened tells another African tale this tim...more
May 11, 2014
May 12, 2014
The Queen of Water
I first discovered Laura Resau when Red Glass became our IRA Young Adult Fiction winner. Here she teams with Maria Virginia Farinango to write a novel...more
Apr 17, 2012
Apr 06, 2012
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