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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. 5-8' Category

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 […]


Tue, July 15th, 2014
Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: There are times when Lynn’s and my literary tastes don’t match up, but usually when she begs me to read a book I should listen to her and respond immediately. She has been raving about The Boundless (Simon & Schuster 2014) for months, as have many other readers (it published in April so you […]


Mon, June 16th, 2014
Every Body’s Talking by Donna M. Jackson
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Here’s a nonfiction book that targets a new topic and will make an easy sell to teens. Every Body’s Talking: What We Say Without Words (Twenty-First Century Books 2014) has an eye catching cover and an appealing, colorful layout inside with large font and a combination of photographs of teens, cartoon drawings and informative […]


Mon, April 21st, 2014
Stubby the War Dog by Ann Bausum
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  If I had a nickel for every kid who ever told me history was boring, I’d be living in the south of France eating glorious cheese and sipping a crisp Provencal rosé.  The trick to gaining history converts, I firmly believe, is in showing kids that history is really just people’s stories.  Well, here […]


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 […]


Mon, February 24th, 2014
Babe Conquers the World by Rich and Sandra Neil Wallace
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Babe was one of the greatest athletes this world has ever seen.  If you automatically think I mean Babe Ruth, you wouldn’t be alone but I mean another Babe – Babe Didrikson Zaharias.  Sadly many people know very little about this truly astonishing athlete.  I hope that this new book, Babe Conquers the World:  […]


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 […]


Mon, February 3rd, 2014
Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Determination is up at bat in Barbed Wire Baseball (Abrams 2013)  an inspiring nonfiction picture book that could be used in many units and at any grade level. Kenichi Zenimura, “Zeni,” is credited as being the father of Japanese American baseball and this book mostly focuses on his years at the Gila River War […]





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