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 07, 2012
Last updated: August 07, 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 07, 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

Marissa tells lies. To herself, about the fact that her brother abandoned her. To her grandmother, when she says “everything’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Caitlyn is planning on having a carefree summer before she goes off to college. She has left the past behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
After Wendy is kidnapped by her own mother, the only way she can survive wartime Germany is with the help...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Flipping Scales-thumb.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Meredith and Marina’s lives have been flipped upside down. When the translucent skirt that straight-A-student Meredith finds hidden...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Monarch TN.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Some small town secrets need to be told . . . Stealing the family car is not 14-year-old Darby Fletcher’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tandem cover thumbnail.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
An ex-con. A tandem bicycle. And a bike trip through the mountains. Not exactly the ideal conditions for a father-son...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Sword and its Servant Title (with age warning)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Between Our World and Hel, Uncover... Deep lore, Dark intrigue, Depraved enemies. The links between the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
legendary
Aliana Fagan spent her childhood traveling the world, dreaming of legendary heroes and mythical lands. But after the sudden death...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation. She wants to get as far away from her environmental...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day 5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market 4) Crashing a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after...
 
0.0
 
4.0 (1)
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
athousandpiecesofyoucover.jpg
This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author...
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
winterspell
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Indie
Meet Arielle. She loves nothing more than to spend time with her dog, Britches, and her cat, Nosey, in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)