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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 'Grief' Category

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 […]


Wed, April 24th, 2013
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Sometimes you have to stand up for what is right for you but what happens if the result is not what you intended?  Can you back down on one element without jeopardizing your hard-won independence?  This is just one of the fascinating issues Sara Zarr explores in her beautifully nuanced new book, The Lucy […]


Sun, March 11th, 2012
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Months behind the rest of the book-reading world, I finally read The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton 2012). I did not preorder the book–like the thousands of other true nerdfighter fans–because I could not trust myself to have the new John Green book in my house and stay focused on my 2011 L.A. Times […]


Sat, January 7th, 2012
Mo Wren, Lost and Found by Tricia Springstubb
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Do you mind if I gush? I’ve fallen in love with the Wren family. I don’t get to read as many children’s books as I do middle school and teen books so I missed What Happened on Fox Street, the prequel to Mo Wren, Lost and Found (Harper/Balzer & Bray 2011). Readers can easily […]


Fri, September 30th, 2011
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I picked up Pie (Scholastic 2011) a few months ago to read as a palate cleanser between review books. It had a pie and a cat on the cover and looked like a lighthearted read. I live in Michigan and it was prime berry season when I started writing this post in early August. I didn’t know […]


Fri, September 2nd, 2011
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: There are books that make me sad. Some that make me cry. And then there are books that unhinge me like A Monster Calls (Candlewick 2011). I read this on a plane last spring and was crying from the forward explaining the back story. Siobahn Dowd, one of my favorite authors, lost her life […]


Sat, July 16th, 2011
Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Holy cow, Lisa McMann! I’m glad I can’t experience your dreams if your fiction is any indication of what goes on at night in your head! McMann’s WAKE trilogy is very popular in our high schools, but I can’t wait to booktalk Cryer’s Cross (Simon Pulse 2011) with my eighth graders this fall. I […]


Wed, May 18th, 2011
The Last Little BLue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: While Lynn is booking a real trip to Europe this summer, I have to pacify myself with a virtual trip through The Last Little Blue Envelope (HarperTeen 2011).  Those of you who followed Ginny’s European scavenger hunt in the first book, Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, will remember that her backpack was stolen in Greece […]


Sat, March 26th, 2011
Harry & Hopper by Margaret Wild
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Years ago I made a rule about completely avoiding books in which the animals die.  As a life-long pet owner and animal lover, dealing with the real thing is more than enough for me.  I have NO interest in reading about it, thank you very much.  I get that many people think exploring such […]


Thu, August 26th, 2010
Layla, Queen of Hearts by Glenda Millard
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: I have been clear that I really don’t like books that make me cry so the fact that this one did and I am recommending Layla, Queen of Hearts (Farrar 2010) anyway should send a loud message! Layla Elliot has a problem. Senior Citizen Day is approaching fast for her third grade class and […]





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