Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
Lemony Snicket
HarperCollins
Published September 30, 1999

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About The Bad Beginning

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this … Continue reading

Review: The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis

The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis

The Raven Heir (The Raven Crown #1)
Stephanie Burgis
Bloomsbury Children’s
Published September 14, 2021

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About The Raven Heir

Deep within an enchanted forest lies a castle where a set of triplets and their sorceress mother have lived for years — safe from the decades-long war for the Raven Throne that rages in the kingdom beyond. Cordelia, one of the triplets, has the power to become any animal with just a thought, and she yearns to discover more about the world outside her castle.

But one day, the world comes to her, when the eldest of the triplets becomes the newest heir to the throne. … Continue reading

Review: Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz

Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler-Fritz

Everywhere Blue
Joanne Rossmassler Fritz
Holiday House
Published June 1, 2021

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About Everywhere Blue

After twelve-year-old Maddie’s older brother vanishes from his college campus, her carefully ordered world falls apart. Nothing will fill the void of her beloved oldest sibling. When her parents fly out to Strum’s college to search for answers, Maddie is left in the care of her sixteen-year-old sister, who seeks solace in rebellion and ignores Maddie. Drowning in grief and confusion, the family’s musical household falls silent.

Though Maddie is the youngest, she knows Strum better than anyone. He used to confide in her, sharing his fears about the climate crisis and … Continue reading

Review: Misfit in Love by S. K. Ali

Misfit in Love by S K Ali

Misfit in Love
S. K. Ali
Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads
Published May 25, 2021

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About Misfit in Love

Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.

And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too.

Sweet, constant Nuah.

The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.

It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding.

But it wouldn’t be a wedding … Continue reading

Review: Phoenix Flame by Sara Holland

Phoenix Flame by Sara Holland

Phoenix Flame
Sara Holland
Bloomsbury USA
Published March 2, 2021

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About Phoenix Flame

Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.

As she tries to … Continue reading

Review: Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee

Brother's Keeper by Julie Lee

Brother’s Keeper
Julie Lee
Holiday House
Published July 21, 2020

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About Brother’s Keeper

North Korea. December, 1950.

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don’t trust your neighbors. Don’t speak your mind. You are being watched.

But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos–and war is the perfect time to escape. … Continue reading