Category Archives: Realistic

Sweet YA: From Twinkle, with Love and The Last Beginning

Here are short reviews of two sweet romance-focused teen books – one contemporary with an Indian-American heroine, and one futuristic time travel with a same-sex romance. From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon. Simon & Schuster, 2018. 978-1481495400 This companion … Continue reading

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Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Candlewick, 2018. High school senior Lou Wolfe breaks up with her boyfriend Cam when he’s proven one time to often that he just won’t listen to what’s important to her, things like respecting her … Continue reading

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Secrets and Journeys: Four Graphic Novels for Kids

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen. Oni Press, 2019. 9781620105511. Willow’s tears turn into actual monsters, and she seems to want to cry all the time.  She tries to keep them bottled up, but that just leads to … Continue reading

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Early Chapter Book Trio: Juana & Lucas, Polly Diamond, Phoebe G. Green

Here’s a trio of fun early chapter books!  Because Cybils nominations will be opening up October 1, I’ve added notes on which books would be eligible to be nominated.   Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina. Candlewick, 2019. 978-1536201314 … Continue reading

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Blended by Sharon Draper

Blended by Sharon Draper. Simon and Schuster Kids, 2018. 978-1442495005 11-year-old Isabella’s parents divorced when she was 6.  It’s always been hard, but since her dad moved back to Ohio and she’s splitting her time between two houses, it’s even … Continue reading

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Starring Kids with Hearing Loss: You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and The Collectors

My daughter wears hearing aids, which has shone a light for me on how difficult it is to find mainstream books whose main characters are Deaf or hard of hearing.  There’s El Deafo, which is great, but not a lot … Continue reading

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2019 Newberys: Merci Suárez Changes Gears and The Night Diary

Here are reviews of this year’s Newbery and Newbery honor books.  I had read just one of these when it first came out, The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.  And shout-out to my blogging friend Sondy at Sonderbooks, … Continue reading

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A Week of Reading

Today I looked at the pages of review notes I have and decided to just give you shorter reviews of the books I read this week.  It’s a big mix of styles – two realistic fiction (one teen and one … Continue reading

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Everything I Know about You and Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee

Here are some more books I read for my KidLitCon panel on taboo topics in middle grade this year.  I’d previously read and very much enjoyed her Star Crossed, but she has written a lot of books, all with very … Continue reading

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Miss Buncle’s Book for Old School Wednesday

I’m going to borrow a feature title from the Book Smugglers again and call this Old School Wednesday – taking a break from trying to keep up with the latest hot releases by reading an older book.  This one first … Continue reading

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