Reviews written by Francesca Amendolia, Editor

66 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5  
 
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     February 21, 2013
Last updated: February 21, 2013
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Magical Sequel

What kid doesn’t love magic, in any form? Sure, there’s the lovely, wish-it-were-so magic of Harry Potter and Oz and a million other books, but real-life magicians and their fabulously complex illusions are just as intriguing. This kind of magic also has the added bonus of being REAL, being about...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Zounds! It's Zita!

Zita, plucky intergalactic adventurer and deep-space heroine, is back, but the alien paparazzi are getting to her. Constantly surrounded by admirers, she longs to return to Earth, or maybe just for a bit of peace and quiet to wander around by herself. A lonely, discarded android, capable of taking...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Dickensian nightmares abound

Eddie Pipkin, called Pip, is an orphan. One fateful night, before the drunk, cruel, greedy Mr. Oakes who runs the orphanage can sell Pip to a pirate, the brave, skinny lad pushes his captor into the brine and escapes. He sneaks onto a wagon belonging to a group of traveling...

Kids Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

A halo for Mr. Spinelli!

The world is full of ordinary kids doing ordinary things: going to school, thinking about life, playing with friends, taking baths, reading books. You know. Stuff. It doesn’t seem at first glance that there are a lot of stories hiding among those ordinary kids and their ordinary days. Jerry...

Kids Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Floored!

I have promised myself I will never compare anyone to Roald Dahl. Only Roald Dahl is like Roald Dahl. Only he manages to be so perfectly creepy and so perfectly safe, all at once. Only he seems to manage to call things Snozzwhizzlers and Wangdoodles without sounding twee. Other writers...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 29, 2012
Last updated: August 29, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

HIDDEN DEPTHS AND YOGA MATS

In SINCE YOU LEFT ME, the new book by Allan Zadoff, Sanskrit is confused, although at first, he doesn't seem too bothered by that. Life is confusing, parents are confusing, religion is really confusing, and so on. That's just sort of how things are, and he's resignedly, if not happily,...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 28, 2012
Last updated: August 28, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Quantum Leaping

A few years ago, when I first noticed the 39 Clues series, I was very dismissive. "Boy band books," I called them, because they were sort of reverse-engineered. What I mean is that first, a group of editors came up with an idea for a series, and then asked writers...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 21, 2012
Last updated: August 21, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

More Miri! Marvelous!

When I first heard Shannon Hale had written a sequel to Princess Academy, I admit, I was worried. I loved Princess Academy, and felt utterly satisfied with how it ended. I adored Miri and Mount Eskel, and all the girls, but I was content for their stories to continue in...

Kids Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 08, 2012
Last updated: August 08, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Another triumph for the Newbery-winning Rebecca Stead

While it must be utterly wonderful to win a Newbery, as Rebecca Stead did in 2010 with When You Reach Me, I imagine it must be terribly difficult to write the next book. Oh the expectations! The pressure! I loved When You Reach Me, and resonated with its New...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 08, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Wondrous indeed

The imagination evinced in THE WONDROUS JOURNALS OF DR. WENDELL WELLINGTON WIGGINS is astounding, and quite enjoyable. It’s not easy to conceive of one entirely new fantastical creature, never mind several dozen, yet that is what Lesley M. M. Blume has done, and what the illustrator David Foote has visualized....

Kids Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

What's the magic word?

HOCUS POCUS HOTEL, by Michael Dahl, is two stories in one, kid-friendly mysteries set in the marvelous, mysterious, almost magical Abracadabra Hotel. A quickly read, nicely designed book, it certainly held my interest, even if it only rarely piqued my curiosity. The action begins when the school tough,...

Kids Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Dirty Bertie strikes again!

FANGS! by Alan MacDonald and illustrated by David Roberts (and based on characters created by David Roberts) is a fun, lively early reader – three early readers, in fact, since three separate stories are housed in this one volume: Fangs! Hairy! and Fashion! First published in the UK, the...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Katie Woo strikes again!

The latest offering in the Katie Woo series, KATIE WOO RULES THE SCHOOL, by Fran Manushikin, is an early-reader with lovely watercolor illustrations and simple text, perfect for those readers just risking the giant step away from picture books. The main character, Katie Woo, wears bright blue spectacles –...

Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     July 19, 2012
Last updated: July 19, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Atmospheric and compelling

It was while reading Tim Conrad's graphic novel retelling of Victor Hugo's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME that I realized how very visual the story is, how the story hinges on appearance, and how that can disguise what lies beneath. How apt, then, to have the opportunity to read the...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia, Editor     July 10, 2012
Last updated: July 10, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A story of scales, both musical and other

Rachel Hartmann’s astounding debut novel, SERAPHINA, is an utter joy. Set in a refreshingly original world of dragons, music, princes and revolution, the book unfolds organically – and compellingly. Like the title character, the tale seems quiet, almost unassuming, at least at the beginning, but it quickly swells to full...

66 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5  
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Leon Harris is perfectly satisfied being a slacker. In fact, he's embraced it. But when Anna B. -- yeah, that...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Seventeen-year-old...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Best Friend's Brother
That's right. I was in love with my bully." Having a best friend with a cruel older brother is a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Watchers Book Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
The Colony. Perfect. Safe. Wholesome. Not a single violent crime since its creation. People are given jobs based on...
 
0.0
 
4.9 (2)
Category: Kids Fiction
Maddie is desperate to keep her favorite horse from being sold in this first book in a contemporary middle grade...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The Brewster triplets, Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, would usually spend their summer eating ice cream, playing with their dog, and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Patriotism across the generations as a little girl and her great aunt learn the Pledge of Allegiance together. Libby's great...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
From bestselling author Patricia Polacco's family tree -- the true story of young Clara Barton. Animals and flowers were Clara's...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
An action-packed fracture fairy tale featuring a free-spirited princess and her quest to achieve the elusive happily-ever-after that she always...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas' Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two sisters are summoned to their aunt's Greenwich Village flat, where they must start dressing like young ladies, cultivate their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hunter becomes the hunted. . . . West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
All sixteen-year-old Sam wants in her life is a guy who doesn't suck blood, and has a pulse. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Spiders. Spiders everywhere. All sizes and shapes, crawling down the walls and up through the cracks in the floorboards. Then...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An original eNovella set in the world of the Lotus War before the events of Stormdancer... Your blood-red skies are...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katarina ~ a Royal Knight bound by honor and duty who steals a powerful relic from a sorcerer in a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . ....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1994, French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert befriended an American veteran named Alan Cope and began creating his new friend's graphic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)