Banned Books Giveaway: 15 Books I’ve Reviewed on the Krause Banned Books List

15 Books I’ve Reviewed on the Krause Banned Books List

What happened: Recently a Texas congressman compiled a list of hundreds of books he feels could cause students distress based on their race or sex and has asked school libraries to alert him about how many titles they have on their shelves. The governor has been conducting similar inquiries, and it looks like at least one district has pulled over 400 books from their shelves in response to pressure from politicians and some parents.

It seems really weird to me that politicians in a state which values personal freedom over protecting the community from a potentially deadly virus through mask wearing, think they should … Continue reading

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published February 21, 2012

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About Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the … Continue reading

Review: Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe cover shows a yellow spiral journal with ink drawings of binoculars, a moose, and other things.

Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Ben Philippe
Balzer + Bray
Published January 8, 2019

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About Field Guide to the North American Teenager

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to … Continue reading

Review: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Moonrise by Sarah CrossanMoonrise
Sarah Crossan
Bloomsbury Children’s
Published on May 8, 2018

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About Moonrise
‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’

As Joe’s older brother nears his execution date, Joe journeys to visit him before the end. He struggles to understand what happened from the night Ed’s accused of murder through the twists and turns in the justice system. Now, barely able to provide for himself, Joe tries his best to support his brother and hold onto the hope that his brother will … Continue reading

Review: Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom's Just Another WordFreedom’s Just Another Word
Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Available September 6, 2016

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Summary (from Goodreads)

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart – and her voice – in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins an unusual … Continue reading

Review: That’s Not Hay in My Hair by Juliette Turner

thats-not-hayThat’s Not Hay in My Hair
Juliette Turner
Zonderkidz

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Jules finishes fifth grade just in time to move from her tiny New York apartment to a 300 acre ranch in Texas. While her mom overflows with confidence that she and Jules can care for the longhorn cattle, horses, dogs and cats on their own, Jules carries some doubts. Sure enough, zany adventures abound as she and her mom struggle to find their inner cowgirls. Through it all, Jules determines to remain positive. When tragedy strikes, though, she’ll have to reevaluate her feelings for her new Texas life.

Turner really hits her stride in the scenes in which one wacky event follows another. In one, Jules … Continue reading