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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 'Fiction' Category

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 […]

Mon, July 21st, 2014
Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Swim season is upon us making Swim, Duck, Swim (Feiwel and Friends 2014) a perfect book to share. My own children took to water like, ahem, ducks to water, but not every child does. Murray Head’s close up and expressive photographs are paired with Lurie’s spare words to tell the story of a duck […]

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 […]

Fri, May 30th, 2014
Grandmaster by David Klass
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I’m not sure why but I love books with chess as an element of the story.  Maybe it’s the rich history of the game or the idea of sharp intellects engaged in intense mental combat or maybe it’s just that I am a lousy chess player and admire those who play well.  Whatever it […]

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, April 23rd, 2014
Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  As a life-long science fiction reader I’m always begging for science fiction that is accessible, inviting, thrilling, something other than dystopia and shorter than door-stop length.  Cecil Castellucci has galloped to the rescue.  Tin Star (Roaring Brook 2014) is exactly what I have been looking for!  Strap on your phase gun and step aboard […]

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 […]

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 […]

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