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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 'Mystery' Category

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 […]

Wed, November 13th, 2013
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  With five stars from the major review journals, Midwinterblood (Roaring Brook 2013) has already had a lot of wonderful things written about it.  Cindy and I are late to the party but we have both been fans since reading this early in the summer.  I’m not sure why it has taken so long to […]

Fri, October 11th, 2013
Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Here’s a title that grabbed my attention the moment I opened the box:  Turn Left at the Cow (Harcourt Oct. 2013).  Happily this middle school mystery turned out to be just as much fun as the title. 13-year-old Travis, fed up with his mom and new stepfather, runs away from Southern California to the […]

Thu, August 1st, 2013
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  First things first.  I can’t WAIT for the next installment of Lockwood & Co.  Please, please Mr. Stroud, get it to us soon!  In the meantime, I can’t wait to read this first book, The Screaming Staircase (Disney/Hyperion Sept. 2013) all over again!  Now, for the uninitiated – that is high praise indeed.  Our […]

Sat, July 27th, 2013 by Joe Lawlor
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I read this book back in May for Booklist’s Mystery Month but somehow never got it written up in time. It has languished in a stack of read books that try to bully me into writing about them. This one didn’t let go. (Eerdmans 2013) is a slim (by today’s book length standards), […]

Thu, June 20th, 2013
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I must be one of the only youth librarians who has not read any of Blue Balliett’s novels. I was aware of the buzz of Chasing Vermeer and its starred review in the pages of Booklist, and I purchased each new book as it published so my middle schoolers would have it. Some of […]

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, May 15th, 2013
Mystery Fans Love Sequels
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Most mystery fans love sequels.  We fall in love with a character and can’t wait to read along as he or she takes on a new case.  I’m in that camp and I love nothing more than another installment of my favorite sleuth.  So for our continuing celebration of Mystery Month, here are two […]

Wed, May 8th, 2013
Cover Art Can Be a Mystery
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Sometimes the biggest mystery about a book is the cover art! When Lynn and I worked together in the library we did tandem booktalking a lot. It was good for the students since we each had our own genre strengths and preferences (hers were science fiction and mystery and I favored horror and sad […]

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