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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

Mon, August 25th, 2014
The Right Word by Jen Bryant
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  When I first heard about The Right Word:  Roget and His Thesaurus (Eerdmans 2014) I KNEW I would love it.  The winning team of Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet AND the story of Peter Roget – a shy boy who loved words and made lists!  I’ve now read the book in falling- apart galley […]

Fri, August 22nd, 2014
Ghosting by Edith Pattou
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Last week we linked to Edith Pattou’s fairy tale East in our blog post about Margi Preus’ new book West of the Moon and now this week we have a new book, hot off the press, by Pattou. In Ghosting (Skyscape 2014) she has left the frightening world of fairy tales and set this […]

Mon, August 18th, 2014
Stone Giant by Jane Sutcliffe
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  The giant lay in the courtyard of the Cathedral for 40 years.  It had been hammered on, had a large hole chiseled in it and the weather had scoured it.  And then Michelangelo’s friends wrote him a letter begging him to come home and take on the giant.  This is the wonderful true story […]

Sat, August 16th, 2014
West of the Moon by Margi Preus
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I have a faithful following of middle schools girls who love folktale retellings. Most of them are more familiar with the Grimm stories (or stories that Disney films have undertaken–commentary on that topic is available elsewhere online) than with traditional Scandinavian tales. When I introduce them to Edith Pattou’s East or Jessica Day George’s […]

Tue, August 12th, 2014
Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Picture books featuring adorable animals are commonplace.  Picture books about a real-life elephant seal who won the hearts of an entire town?  Rare!  In the author’s note, Cox,  a famous long-distance swimmer, tells of first hearing the story of Elizabeth during a trip to New Zealand.  She says she knew she would someday have […]

Fri, August 8th, 2014
Leaving China by James McMullan
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  We reviewers are supposed to be analytical about our reading and writing, assessing the elements of what we read and conveying those to you making decisions about what to read and purchase.  I try, really I do.  But sometimes a book comes along that I just love.  Period.  Leaving China:  An Artist Paints His […]

Mon, August 4th, 2014
Nesting books are hatching…
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

While the birds were building spring nests in Michigan, our mailboxes were nesting new books about birds and nests. We’ve read them and are ready to push a few out of the nest and into the blog. If we missed some other worthy new fledgling nest title, please leave a comment so we can train […]

Wed, July 30th, 2014
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Masterpieces, museums and Manhattan all feature in Fitzgerald’s intriguing mystery debut Under the Egg (Penguin/Dial 2014).  Theodora has never had things easy but after her artist/museum guard grandfather’s death in a pedestrian accident, the situation gets overwhelming for the thirteen-year-old girl.  Theo’s mom lives more inside her head than in the real world and […]

Mon, July 28th, 2014
National Geographic Super Readers
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

What child isn’t curious about their world?  Books about nature and science are always popular with young readers and for librarians and teachers, there is an endless demand for books about bugs, birds, animals and our physical world.  With the addition of CCSS, that demand is even higher.  National Geographic has a relatively new leveled […]

Wed, July 23rd, 2014
Skink–No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: ‘”Hold my eye,” (Skink) said, and plucked the left one out of his face.’ By page 8 reluctant readers are going to be hooked by Hiassen’s latest mystery, Skink–No Surrender (Knopf 2014). Skink won’t be new to Hiaasen’s adult fans who may have encountered the hermit Vietnam vet, ex-governor of Florida in a half […]

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