Book Reviews

I read nearly 200 books a year. I post short reviews periodically, so you can spend more time reading and less time reading my reviews. See what I’m reading now at Goodreads.


  • 5 Caldecott Honors Books from the 1940’s Worth Looking Up (2/13/2018)- The Caldecott awards and honor books of the 1940’s include some stunners. The 1940’s were a heading time in the US, with first World War II and then the post-war boom. Despite, or perhaps because, of the cultural upheavals, this was a wonderful time for children’s literature. Books have a different tenor than the earliest picture books.…
  • 9 Picture Book Biographies about Strong Women In History (2/1/2018)- Representation matters. Surround yourself with the representation that supports your ideas. Here is a selection of strong women who my kinda gals. These are women who get things done: activists, architects, doctors, explorers. Groundbreakers, all!     ______________________________________________         1. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to FreedombyCarole Boston Weatherford, Kadir Nelson(Illustrator) Beautiful realistic…
  • Black Panther Inspiring You to Learn More? 5 Picture Books About Africa (2/20/2018)- Black Panther is a well-made blockbuster. The art and design draw from many different cultures in Africa.  Your family might be aching for more information and images about Africa. This list offers some of the best. Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions,  by Margaret Musgrove  (Author),‎ Leo Dillon (Illustrator),‎ Diane Dillon  (Illustrator) This book uses the alphabet to help you explore different cultures…
  • Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (2/12/2018)- Rating: 4/5 Mood: Light, funny, cheeky, romantic, easy Description: If Harry Potter and Twilight mated and produced a spawn with a hard-ass edge. Best Elements:  Carry On originated from the fan fiction book within the book Fangirl. Rowell used the narrative of magician boarding school students as the counterpoint to a student at the University of Nebraska,…
  • Book Review: A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold (2/26/2018)-   Rating:4/5 Notable: Female Author: Elana Arnold Neurodiverse Characters Mood: Gentle, thoughtful, kind, matter-of-fact tl;dr Summary: A young neuro-diverse boy comes to make friends with a baby skunk and other students in his class. Best Elements: While the young boy in this book reacts to the world differently than his older sister, the book never explicitly…
  • Book Review: The Red Labyrinth by Meredith Tate (2/7/2019)- tl;dr: Fantasy novel where a girl, at first apparently weak, comes to find her power, survives a nutso labyrinth, and makes a surprising friend. Full Review I can still remember the first time I hear of the Minotaur of Crete. A rainy summer day, I was flipping through a book about William Blake in the…
  • Book Review: We are Okay by Nina LaCour (2/12/2018)- Rating: 4/5 Mood: Dark, thoughtful, bittersweet, nostalgic, quick Description: The worst summer before college turns into an isolating Freshman existence Best Elements:  Literary References: Kids these days are apparently super well-read and quote Emerson and Jane Eyre. I debated if this was a good or a bad element truthfully. Sometimes that type of thing feels…
  • Cowboys to Cuddle Up to (2/26/2019)- I don’t have any manifest destiny dreams. I wasn’t one of those girls who had horse toys. I definitely have never owned cowboy boots. In other words, I am not prone to Western fantasies or cowboy dreams. I give you these comments to help you understand my complete neutrality on the topic of Cowboys in…
  • Newbery Awards : How to Read Them All (2/15/2018)- The Newbery Awards have been given out annually since 1922. Along with medalist, often the Newbery committee nominates a number of honor books. Up to 2017, 409 books have received Newbery Honors. That’s a whole lot of books, like more than 1 a day amount of books. So, when we as a family set our…