Review: I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz

I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle SchwartzI Wish My Teacher Knew
Kyle Schwartz
De Capo Lifelong Books
Available July 12, 2016

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When her Twitter post became a social media sensation, Kyle Schwartz realized that her classroom exercise asking students what they wished she, their teacher, knew about them was something other teachers and students needed in their classrooms. In her book, Schwartz explores what led her to performing the exercise with her class. She explains how it has changed her experience as a teacher. She breaks down her approach to building a community within her classroom and how important that is to supporting a successful learning environment.

The chapters also connect current research … Continue reading

Review: Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda BondGirl in the Shadows
Gwenda Bond
Skyscape / Amazon

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Moira longs to prove to her father, a famous magician, that she has what it takes to carry on in the family tradition. The real problem? Moira’s dad doesn’t want her anywhere near magic. An invitation to audition for the Cirque American falls into Moira’s hands, and she leaps at the chance to make her own destiny. During her audition, Moira’s routine goes awry when she accidentally performs real magic. Suddenly Moira finds herself surrounded with questions about her impossible abilities and a secret society of similarly the similarly talented. Her absent mother seems to be the only one who … Continue reading

Review: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

towersfallingTowers Falling
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available July 12, 2016

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When Deja’s family loses their home and are forced to move to a shelter, she starts fifth grade at a new school. She’s embarrassed by her family’s situation and braced for judgment from the other kids. Instead, Ben, also a new kid, and Sabeen, a sweet girl who covers her hair with a scarf, become Deja’s new friends. As their teacher, Miss Garcia, begins a unit about history connecting to the present, the class learns about the World Trade Center towers falling on September 11, 2001. The material covered in the classroom is gentle and oblique, but Deja feels … Continue reading

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire by Rachel CainePaper and Fire
Rachel Caine
New American Library/Random House
Available July 5, 2016

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Jess survived induction into the Library, but life as one of their soldiers is far more grueling than he expected. The girl he loves is locked away forever, and his best friend is lost. When rumors bring Jess’s old classmates together again, they face a terrible choice: a rescue mission that would mean living the rest of their lives on the run from the Library, if they manage to escape. Jess promises refuge with his family, but even he isn’t sure he can count on his father to hide them without having something valuable to offer … Continue reading

Review: When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

whenmountainsmoveWhen Mountains Move
Julie Cantrell
David C. Cook / Thomas Nelson

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Millie and Bump set off for Colorado and a new life together. Leaving Mississippi is all Millie ever wanted, but it seems the dark memories she thought to escape have followed her. With the memory of what Bill Miller did still hanging over her, Millie isn’t sure she can ever accept her husband’s love, and she’s not sure the past will stay buried long enough for her to try.

As Millie’s new life begins to unravel, her Choctaw grandmother arrives. She anchors Millie with the roots of family and tradition and teaches her the healing power of forgiveness.

Just like Cantrell’s debut, Into the … Continue reading

Review: Ophelia Adrift by Helen Goltz

Ophelia Adrift by Helen GoltzOphelia Adrift
Helen Goltz
Atlas Productions

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Newly orphaned, Ophelia Montague moves to the coast to live with her uncle. She soon finds her feet among the locals and takes on a history project learning about shipwrecks in the area. She meets Jack by the sea one night and falls deeply in love with him. Jack feels drawn to Ophelia, too, by a powerful force outside his control. He longs to be with her, but fears she may destroy him if she comes too close. Ophelia doesn’t understand the secrets Jack carries. She only knows she wants to be with him. When Jack reveals the cost of being with him, the price … Continue reading

Review: The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

loose-ends-listThe Loose Ends List
Carrie Firestone
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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With Maddie’s high school graduation behind her, she and her friends make lists of loose ends they want to wrap up before leaving for college in the fall. When Maddie’s Manhattan grandma, Astrid, announces she’s terminally ill and is taking the family on a “death with dignity” cruise, Maddie’s summer plans take a turn. Maddie has never dealt with death well, but now she’s facing the loss of her closest confidante. As the trip unfolds with one exotic destination after another, she rediscovers family connections, falls in love, and braces herself for the most difficult grief she’s ever experienced.

I really can’t decide … Continue reading

Review: Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's SongGrayling’s Song
Karen Cushman
Clarion Books

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When a dark force transforms Grayling’s mother into a tree, she must track the evil and free her mother’s stolen spell book. Grayling has never been far from home, and she has no skills with which to battle a sorcerer, so along her journey, she gathers a team of companions with various magical inclination, including a shapeshifting mouse and a witch who can control the weather. Together they follow the call of Grayling’s mother’s book to the source of the evil that’s taken it, and there, Grayling will have to fight to free the grimoire.

It might be impossible not to enjoy a book with a shapeshifting mouse. … Continue reading

Review: The Progeny by Tosca Lee

progenyThe Progeny
Tosca Lee
Howard Books

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Twenty-one year old Emily Jacobs wakes up to learn she has elected to have her memory erased. In a small town in Maine, she struggles to form a plan for her future. A handsome stranger approaches her in a grocery store, and she reluctantly lets him into her life. Which would be great, but apparently he’s trying to kill her. Emily flees with no clues as to her past, the identity of her allies or her enemies beyond a hidden code recovered in a necklace. The code leads her to a conspiracy spanning generations and linking her genetically to the most famous female serial killer.

Part Davinci … Continue reading

Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily AndersonThe Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Lily Anderson
St. Martin’s Griffin

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Trixie’s rivalry with Ben goes all the way back to first grade. Now in senior year, there’s no undoing those long-standing battle lines. Until Trixie’s best friend starts dating Ben’s and the group forces them to call a truce. But letting go of her dislike is easier said than done, even when it turns out Ben might possibly be hiding surprisingly pleasant qualities beneath his ridiculous mustache. But when a cheating scandal leaves Trixie’s BFF expelled, Trixie’s determined to rally the troops and prove her bestie innocent. The investigation may shatter her … Continue reading

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