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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 'Gr. 4-7' Category

Thu, July 10th, 2014
Try This! by Karen Romano Young
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  We’ve been having a beautiful summer here in Michigan but even the best summer vacations include some rainy days.  Occupying active kids cooped up inside can be a challenge but here at Bookends, we have the answer.  Put kids’ minds and hands to work and play with science experiments!  The focus group loves science […]

Tue, June 24th, 2014
HIdden by Loic Dauvillier
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I’m starting this post with a mea culpa admission.  When I first heard about this book I was cranky.  Who would imagine they could write a book about the Holocaust that is appropriate AND understandable for a very young audience?  Not possible!  Loic Dauvillier has me eating my words. Hidden:  A Child’s Story of […]

Wed, June 18th, 2014
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  The second case for the Desperado Detective Agency snuck up on Mo and Dale “dressed in the happy-go-lucky colors and excitement of an auction.”  Miss Lana goes off to the auction of the decrepit Old Tupelo Inn to buy an umbrella stand and comes home having bought the entire property – complete with its […]

Wed, May 28th, 2014
Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Mystery on Museum Mile (Houghton 2014) starts off with a bang.  Edmund Xavier Lonnrot is being told over a consoling pistachio ice cream cone that his parents can’t afford to send him to his much-loved private school next year when a  cry for help sends Edmund’s father racing down an alley to the rescue.  […]

Thu, May 22nd, 2014
Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits by Michael D. Beil
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  What is Michael Beil’s newest mystery all about?  A talking cat, 2 observant kids, a train, a kidnapping, jewel heist and the world’s fastest roller coaster!  So what else do I need to tell you to get you to pick up Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits (Random/Knopf 2014)? This fun mystery is […]

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 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 […]

Thu, February 27th, 2014
Lego Mania
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Legos have been a feature at my house for thirty years or more.  My sons, now in their thirties, played with them nonstop and that building gene passed straight through the genetic tree to my grandsons.  Since I provide care for my local grandsons, I still have Legos dominating my house:  completed projects sit […]

Sun, February 16th, 2014
George Washington’s Rules to Live By by K.M. Kostyal
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I hate how this makes me sound like some cranky curmudgeon but I have found myself watching and listening to people lately and wondering what has happened to manners and consideration!  What makes anyone think I want to listen to their private and embarrassing phone conversations as we wait to board an airplane or […]

Mon, February 10th, 2014
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  It isn’t unusual to have a new book from Steve Jenkins to rave about.  His list of award winning kid-pleasing books is impressively long.  They’ve always been favorites with the older members of the focus group and with me too.  I believe that he outdid himself last year however with The Animal Book: A […]

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