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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 the 'Age Levels' Category

Wed, April 16th, 2014
Firefly July Selected by Paul B. Janeczko
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I know it is early in the year to be announcing favorite books but I have no doubt that Firefly July:  A Year of Very Short Poems (Candlewick 2014) is going to be one of mine.  Let me count the ways that I LOVE this book! The book is divided into seasons beginning with […]


Mon, April 14th, 2014
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: The Easter Bunny had better watch out…Cat just might take over in Here Comes the Easter Cat (Dial 2014). Cat is jealous that everyone loves the Easter Bunny. Bah humbug (wrong holiday, but you get the idea). Cat communicates wordlessly with the narrator through drawings he holds up and his facial expressions as he […]


Thu, April 10th, 2014
Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: What a perfect title for this book. When our farmer’s market finally opens, I will be cheering! Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting (Albert Whitman 2014) is the perfect tonic for we who are weary of winter…children included. In fact, I have to disagree with the final line from the Booklist […]


Mon, April 7th, 2014
Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  For many years our family has enjoyed a wonderful rite of spring that fortunately doesn’t depend on the outside temperature in Michigan.  We are lucky to live close to the outstanding Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  I could go on and on about the wonders of the Gardens but today […]


Thu, April 3rd, 2014
Babies, Babies, Babies
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: We recently received a 30th Anniversary edition of 101 Things to Do with Baby (Groundwood/House of Anansi 2014) and I looked at it, thought, “cool, glad to see this adorable book is still around,” and set it aside. This picture book classic illustrating 101 ways you can interact with a baby was first published […]


Mon, March 31st, 2014
I Met a Dragon Face to Face…
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: March is Reading Month is winding to a close but before it does I want to share a creative project made by our video productions teacher at Harbor Lights Middle School, Heather Postma. Heather and her students support the library and reading often with interviews, book talks, and other literary features but she outdid […]


Wed, March 26th, 2014
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  “Ophelia did not consider herself brave but she was very curious.”  So Karen Foxlee introduces the heroine of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Random/Knopf 2014), eleven-year-old Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard.  Ophelia and her older sister Alice have accompanied their father to his new job as curator on an important upcoming museum exhibit in a strange […]


Mon, March 24th, 2014
How the Beatles Changed the World by Martin W. Sandler
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Yesterday…I thought I knew a lot about the Beatles, but I should have known better. How the Beatles Changed the World (Walker 2014) is an attractive, colorful chronicle of the many ways in which Beatlemania had more influence than just making young women scream. Sandler chooses to organize the book topically (and loosely chronologically) starting […]


Thu, March 20th, 2014
Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: My grandparents hauled a silver Starliner across the country year after year to visit the relatives. They would park the trailer behind our house for the month of June and I would sit on a bench at the small kitchen table and play Scrabble or dominoes with my grandmother every night after dinner. I […]


Mon, March 17th, 2014
Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Picture book biographies are all the rage in the publishing world and Josephine (Chronicle 2014) is one that our middle school book club members are passing around with enthusiasm. They have no idea who Josephine Baker was but after they read this we’ve dug out some longer biographies and they’ve enjoyed seeing photographs of […]





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