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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 'Kick-ass Heroines' Category

Fri, January 31st, 2014
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Poor Lieutenant Selim!  All he really wants is a good cup of tea and a quiet life.  But any hope of that disappears when he delivers his report on that “heathen” in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (First Second $15.99) “Oh jailer,” she calls, “I’m escaping.”  And when she does just that, the […]


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 […]


Wed, January 16th, 2013
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Well, I’m probably the last one on the trolley to read Bray’s new book. As you can see by Lynn’s comments below, I picked up this book early at the summer ALA Conference, gave it to Lynn first and then didn’t get it read myself. I have no good excuse. This week I finished […]


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 […]


Wed, June 13th, 2012
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Talk about a timely historical fiction novel. Tough economic times, fathers who have to relocate to find work, and children who are caught in the middle. The Mighty Miss Malone (Random/Wendy Lamb 2012) could be describing many families today instead of in Great Depression era Gary, Indiana. As the cover proclaims, “Deza Malone from […]


Wed, May 9th, 2012
A Girl Named Digit by Annabelle Monaghan
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: Seventeen-year-old Farrah Higgins is a math genius.  She can see math patterns instantly, topped the nation in math test scores and is heading to MIT in the fall.  Once nicknamed “Digit,” Farrah has spent her high school years hiding her gift, hanging with a popular and apparently brainless group and trying to be “normal.  […]


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 […]


Fri, January 13th, 2012
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: Stiefvater kicks off  The Scorpio Races (Scholastic 2011) with one of the most attention-grabbing sentences of the year: “It was the first of November and so, today, someone would die.” Find me one soul who could put the book down after that opening!  Stiefvater doesn’t make it any easier to stop reading after that […]


Wed, May 12th, 2010
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: One Crazy Summer is not only a description of the months ahead in the Dobrez household with a daughter fresh home from her first year of college and another graduating high school in a month. One Crazy Summer (Harper/Amistad, 2010) is the new middle grade book from Rita Williams-Garcia, who usually writes for older […]


Fri, April 30th, 2010
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn: OK – let me just get this out of my system at the start. I am furious with Philip Reeve! I have PILES of books that I need to read, review deadlines and a blogging partner who was wondering quite vocally why I hadn’t passed Fever Crumb (Scholastic, April 2010) along to her. It […]





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