Book Reviews

Cloud and Wallfish

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet; Candlewick Press, 2016; $16.99 Who knew that a regular-looking book could have such an impact on readers and how they view the world? Going into Cloud and Wallfish, a historical fiction novel, I was a bit doubtful on how Anne Nesbet was going to weave such a tragic and […]

Heart of a Samurai

Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus Abrams/Amulet: New York, 2010; $12.45 What would you do if you were stranded on an island with your friends and you were rescued by people you know as barbarians? Now you have to live with them. You must feel hopeless, dreadful, desperate. Step right into the shoes of […]

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, by Firoozeh Dumas; Clarion Books: New York, 2016; $16.99 Have you ever desired to be like someone else or to lose everything that makes you different and just blend in? Desperate to belong in a foreign country, Zomorod Yousefzadeh is tired of who she is and that is exactly how […]

Ghost Girl: A Blue Ridge Mountain Story

Ghost Girl: A Blue Ridge Mountain Story, by Delia Ray; Clarion Books: New York, 2016; $6.99 “I stopped cold, then turned around real slow. ‘What did you say?’ I asked. A big grin spread out over Dewey’s wide face. ‘I said, the Hoovers say they’re gonna build us a school.’ Set in 1930, Ghost Girl […]

The Boy on the Wooden Box

The Boy on the Wooden Box, by Leon Leyson; Atheneum Books for Young Readers: New York, 2015; $8.99 Leon Leyson’s memoir of his experiences of Nazi Germany is a testament to the power of family and the amazing ability of kindness and good even in the darkest of times. Born Leib Lejzon, the author chronicles […]

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 2009; $17.99 Calpurnia Tate is the kind of eleven-year-old who is always asking questions—questions about nature and animals and insects, such as why do dogs need eyebrows, or can earthworms be trained? Such topics fascinate her. The only person who can […]

The Queen of Katwe

The Queen of Katwe, by Tim Crothers; Simon & Schuster: New York, 2016; $16.00 The Queen of Katwe is a true story about an amazing Ugandan girl named Phiona Mutesi. Phiona grew up in the slums of Katwe. Life in Katwe is tough—little or no education, poor sanitation, crimes, violence, and extreme poverty. People search […]

“George,” Reviewed by Samuel Phillips

  George, by Alex Gino; Scholastic Press: New York, 2015; $16.99 George could not have come out at a better time. LGBT rights is an important issue, yet for kids unfamiliar with the acronym or those interested in the subject, like me, seeing this in a kids’ novel had never happened, until George. The main […]

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery; Simon & Schuster: New York, 2014; $7.99 Few books copy the whimsy of childhood. Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is a remedy to that lack of […]

Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso

Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso by Susanna Reich; Clarion Books: New York, 1999; $18 As her tender, pale fingers grasped the ivory keys of the grand piano, she could feel herself shaking with nervousness. If you are a musician, or have another talent which requires you to perform in public, then you have probably experienced the […]

Seeing Lessons

Seeing Lessons by Spring Hermann; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 1998; $15.95 This book takes place in Andover and Boston, Massachusetts during the 1830s. Blind at birth, a ten-year-old girl, Abbie, and her sister Sophia, who is six, go to the first school in America for the blind. Dr. Howe, with a kind heart, […]

When the Soldiers Were Gone

When the Soldiers Were Gone by Vera W. Propp; G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York, 1999; $14.99 When I first saw the book When the Soldiers Were Gone by Vera W. Propp, it sounded boring. Then as I started reading it, it was sad and fun to read and soon I couldn’t stop. Henk (the […]