Review: Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince by Liz Kessler

Read my review of Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince, complete with content notes and recommendations. Continue reading

Review: Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt

Speechless by Adam P. SchmittSpeechless
Adam P. Schmitt
Candlewick Press
Published on November 6, 2018

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About Speechless

As if being stuffed into last year’s dress pants at his cousin’s wake weren’t uncomfortable enough, thirteen-year-old Jimmy has just learned from his mother that he has to say a few words at the funeral the next day. Why him? What could he possibly say about his cousin, who ruined everything they did? He can’t recall one birthday party, family gathering, or school event with Patrick that didn’t result in injury or destruction.

As Jimmy attempts to navigate the odd social norms of the wake, he draws on humor, heartfelt concern, and a … Continue reading

Review: Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

Born Scared by Kevin BrooksBorn Scared
Kevin Brooks
Candlewick Press
Published on September 11, 2018

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About Born Scared
Elliot is terrified of almost everything.

From the moment he was born, his life has been governed by acute fear. The only thing that keeps his terrors in check are the pills that he takes every day.

It’s Christmas Eve, there’s a snowstorm and Elliot’s medication is almost gone. His mum nips out to collect his prescription. She’ll only be 10 minutes – but when she doesn’t come back, Elliot must face his fears and try to find her. She should only be 400 meters away. It might as well be 400 miles…

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Review: A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlayA Single Stone
Meg McKinlay
Candlewick Press
Published on March 14, 2017 (Orig. May 1, 2015)

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About A Single Stone
Every girl dreams of being part of the line—the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important.

Jena is the leader of the line—strong, respected, reliable. And—as all girls must be—she is small; years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first.

But what … Continue reading

Review: It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt

It Looks Like This by Rafi MittlefehldtIt Looks Like This
Rafi Mittlefehldt
Candlewick Press
Published September 6, 2016

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About It Looks Like This
A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike’s father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don’t want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands.

Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and “hey” becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach. The fierce colors … Continue reading

Review: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses
Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press

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When Flora saves a squirrel from a powerful vacuum cleaner, she discovers that he has super powers. She names him Ulysses and brings him home to teach him what it means to be a hero, and she watches and waits for his true superpowers to emerge. Ulysses’ powers do emerge: a deep love for Flora and the gift of poetry. Her desire to protect him and his power to communicate changes Flora’s life in unexpected ways.

My family and I listened to this as an audiobook on our vacation. I loved the comics that Flora reads and how they were a bond between her and her … Continue reading

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