Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: We've Got a Job by Cynthia Levinson

I'd like to echo what Levinson writes in the afterward to her book: "How could I not have known?" I knew a little about the role young people played in the Civil Rights movement before reading this book, but I never knew that children played a pivotal role in reviving the Movement at a time when it was dying out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

I actually convinced my mock Newbery group to read this book, although for some reason I feel sheepish about it.  I think the book was just too much fun and possibly a little derivative.  But it's my favorite children's book of this year.

It begins with the theft of a large piece of meat. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

First of all, Ms. Turnage can really turn a phrase.  Her narrator, Mo LeBeau, had me in stitches with her North Carolina-flavored declarations.  Here's a sample of one of Mo's phone conversations:
"Yes Ma'am," I said, "Anna Celeste's party is Saturday but I don't need a ride ... No Ma'am.  It's because Anna Celeste is my Sworn Enemy for Life and I'd rather go face-down in a plate of raw chicken entrails than go to her party.  Plus, I'm not invited... Yes Ma'am, I'll tell the Colonel you called.  Good-bye."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker

I won't mince words: I didn't like this book.  Like a lot of readers, I was confused about what this book was supposed to be.  I knew the premise--that two girls in foster care find their guardian dead and conceal the body for weeks--but the cover was so summery and beautiful that I thought the novel must really be a sort of caper. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

I think some authors are reluctant to be realistic about the racism of white people in the 1950s--especially the racism of white children.  Because, really, who wants to read a book narrated by a racist kid?  So instead they give their white protagonists an out-of-the-mouths-of-babes precious innocence about race that seems completely unrealistic to me.  So you can see why I was worried I wouldn't like this book.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: Tracing Stars by Erin Moulton

Disclaimer: I know Erin Moulton.  She's a YA librarian at the same library where my mother is a reference librarian, so I've met her a few times and I totally think she's cool.  However, I wanted to review her book, because I truly enjoyed it.  And no one pays me to blog, so I can do what I want!  Ha!