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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 'Historical fiction' Category

Fri, December 13th, 2013
P. S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: The Gaither sisters won our hearts in the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer and now they are back in a sequel, P.S. Be Eleven (Amistad 2013). The year ahead for Delphine and her sisters looks to be just as crazy as they reenter their Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn neighborhood fresh off an eye-opening summer in […]

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 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 […]

Mon, July 22nd, 2013
Bluffton by Matt Phelan
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I was excited when the galley of Matt Phelan’s new graphic novel, Bluffton (Candlewick, July 23, 2013), showed up on my porch but when I flipped it over I was even more excited. The jacket copy promised the book was set in Muskegon, Michigan. What? That’s minutes from my house. Buster Keaton? Buster and […]

Sat, July 6th, 2013
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Muggy summer southern heat, a young person becoming aware of the wider world and its inequalities, memorable original voice.  No, I’m not talking about To Kill a Mockingbird.  I am talking about a terrific new book for young readers that shares those elements, Paperboy (Random/Delacorte 2013). The eleven-year-old narrator reveals that he is called […]

Fri, May 31st, 2013
The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  How’s this for, ahem, a killer premise?  A young woman returns home after years away to discover that her mother lies buried within a wrought-iron cage.  Try resisting that, I dare you!  Salerni’s creepy premise is just the beginning of a terrifically compelling mystery and The Caged Graves (Clarion 2013) is the perfect book […]

Wed, May 22nd, 2013
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: If Annie Oakley had to solve her sister’s mysterious disappearance…you’d have One Came Home (Random/Knopf 2013) and one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. 13-year-old Georgia is a whiz with a rifle and is helpful in her family’s general store in Placid, Wisconsin. The book opens with this intriguing passage: […]

Wed, March 13th, 2013
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  It’s March and we bloggers have mostly leaped into the new publishing year.   I’m still playing catch-up though and I’m so glad I didn’t miss Shadow on the Mountain (Abrams/Amulet 2012).  Preus writes about a part of WWII history that most of us know little about and bases her book on the “true […]

Mon, February 4th, 2013
Unspoken by Henry Cole
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I feel as if I shouldn’t really say anything about this wordless picture book, Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad (Scholastic 2012), other than to urge you to set your eyes on a copy and “read” it with a child. The story opens with a quilt draped over a farm rail fence and […]

Fri, August 17th, 2012
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  As veteran Bookends readers know, we are never short of opinions!  So let me say straight out that Elizabeth Wein’s earlier Arthurian/Ethiopian series  is as innovative as it is beautifully written and, in my opinion anyway, never received the attention it deserved.  Her new book, Code Name Verity (Hyperion 2012) again displays this extraordinary […]

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