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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

Archive for February, 2011

Mon, February 28th, 2011
Wheels of Change by Sue Macy
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy:  The full subtitle of Wheels of Change (National Geographic 2011) describes the book perfectly: “How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way).” There are no “flat tires” in the research, writing, and design of this thorough presentation of the bicycle’s importance to women in the late 1800s. […]


Fri, February 25th, 2011
Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: “Can a girl get a job fighting death,” asks 16-year-old Prudence Galewski in her diary.  It is 1906 and Prudence sees death everywhere in New York City, wonders how illness occurs and how it can be conquered.  Deadly (S&S/Atheneum 2011) is a riveting historical novel told in the diary entries of a young girl […]


Wed, February 23rd, 2011
L.A. Times Book Prizes – YA Lit
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: As Courtney Jones reported over at the Likely Stories Booklist Blog earlier today, the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes shortlists were announced today, including the adult novel category judged by Booklist’s own Donna Seaman. As one of the judges for the YA Lit jury, I’ve been chewing my fingernails waiting for our list to […]


Mon, February 21st, 2011
How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: If “ewww gross” is your idea of high praise then How They Croaked:  The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous (Walker, March 2011) is the book for you!  The opening pages issue this warning: Warning: If You Don’t Have the Guts for Gore, Do Not Read This Book I’d advise the squeamish among us […]


Fri, February 18th, 2011
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy:  First time author Lai draws on her childhood experiences as a Vietnamese immigrant in this verse novel Inside Out & Back Again (Harper 2011). Ten-year-old Hà fears the escape from her native land, not just because of the unknown she faces but because her father is still missing in the Vietnam War, and how […]


Wed, February 16th, 2011
Top 10 Enticing Galleys
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: We have so much fun doing our year-end top ten lists that we decided to spread the fun of top ten lists throughout the year.  We’re starting by listing the top ten arcs that we scooped up at the ALA Midwinter Conference and can’t wait to read. All I really need to say about […]


Mon, February 14th, 2011
Come See the Earth Turn: The Story of Leon Foucault by Lori Mortensen
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: When I saw Come See the Earth Turn (Tricycle Press 2010) I knew I had to read it. My daughters both recently graduated from Grand Haven High School (Mich.) a school that has a Foucault pendulum in it’s main entry. I’ve often joked that it was installed there to remind the students each morning […]


Fri, February 11th, 2011
Brian Jacques
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy and Lynn: The wonderful author, Brian Jacques, died this last week, Feb. 5th.  It was much too soon and the legions of us who loved his books are saddened.   Jacques left us over 20 books about the furry denizens of Mossflower Wood starting with Redwall published in 1986.  Filled with adventure, humor and […]


Wed, February 9th, 2011
I Know Here by Laurel Croza
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: When a little girl learns that her family is moving she voices the truth that all of us – child or adult – feel about such a change: This is where I live.  I don’t know Toronto.  I know here. Could there be a better more child-appropriate way to sum up those complex emotions?  […]


Mon, February 7th, 2011
Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters have collected over sixty delightful poems to read at bedtime ranging from classics to contemporary and from silly to quietly lulling in Switching on the Moon (Candlewick 2010). G. Brian Karas’ gouache, acrylic and pencil illustrations are charming and the generous book size makes it easy for parent […]





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