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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. 7-10' Category

Fri, March 14th, 2014
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Those of you who have been following Bookends for a few years know that Big Ten basketball season brings a review or two for basketball books from Lynn (Boilermaker) Rutan and Cindy (Hoosier) Dobrez and this year is no different. Yesterday our two teams played their way out of the Big 10 tournament and […]


Wed, March 12th, 2014
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy:  I was cheering loudly when Navigating Early (Delacorte 2013) won a Printz Honor this year. It’s always fun to be in the audience at the announcement of the awards, and it’s even more fun when favorite books are honored. If you haven’t read Navigating Early, you are in for a treat. Thom Barthelmess provides […]


Sun, January 19th, 2014
45 Pounds (more or less) by K. A. Barson
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Raise your hand if you are dieting, have been on a diet, have fallen off a diet, or know an adult who struggles with weight issues? Yeah, I thought so. If we, with the wisdom of our years of experience, struggle with weight loss, weight gain, and body issues, imagine how tough it is […]


Fri, January 3rd, 2014
Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I’ve a weakness for Victorian ghost stories and the 2013 publishing year offered up some super ones.  Constable & Toop (Abrams/Amulet 2013) joins my list of spooky favorites. The ghosts of London’s haunted houses are mysteriously disappearing.  Worse, once the ghosts disappear the “Black Rot,” a phantasmagorical wasting disease,” creeps in.  Investigators, both human […]


Fri, November 29th, 2013
Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  There’s nothing I love more than an underdog story and Sandra Neil Wallace has given us a terrific one in Muckers (Random/Knopf 2013).  While researching another story about Jerome, Arizona, Wallace came across a box containing, among other things, letters from past students to Lewis McDonald, the much-loved principal of the Jerome high school.  […]


Thu, October 17th, 2013
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I LOVED Marvel Comics when I was a kid and have retained a great fondness for caped and costumed superheros fighting evil.  So Brandon Sanderson got me from page one of Steelheart (Random/Deleacorte 2013) when the evil Epic strolled into the bank and started vaporizing people.  8-year-old David watching in horror witnesses the death […]


Thu, October 3rd, 2013
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I can’t think of a better set of books for our Bookends Blog than Boxers & Saints (First Second 2013) since it is literally a bookend set! From the covers to the spines that form a bookend set of faces, to the dual narration of the Boxer Rebellion from opposing viewpoints, this set is an […]


Sat, September 21st, 2013
Who Says Teens Don’t Read?
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I love my job. Oh, sure, there are days….but truly, I love what I do. This week I had a booktalking first. Here’s the scoop: When I booktalk in my middle school it means six hours (classes of booktalking). I usually try to present mostly titles that I have multiple copies of and then […]


Mon, September 9th, 2013
The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  If anyone is looking for a “literary nonfiction” book for Common Core Standards, look no further than The Nazi Hunters:  How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi (Scholastic 2013).  Here is a stellar example of outstanding nonfiction writing and one that reads with all the breathless suspense of […]


Mon, August 12th, 2013
Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Imprisoned:  The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II (Bloomsbury 2013) begins with a terrible irony.  800 American soldiers had battled their way across Germany to Dachau, where they discovered and liberated the survivors of that horrific place while their families at home were being held against their will in American versions of […]





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