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

Category: Kids Fiction
Mama Rabbit is too sick to leave her bed. Poor Mama! When Papa Rabbit leaves home to get her some...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After and Again
Category: Young Adult Indie
Centuries after a cataclysmic event drastically changed the world, fifteen-year-old Zack McQueen stumbles upon a cave filled with relics from...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
Category: Kids Fiction
This third book in the Alien in My Pocket series is the zaniest yet! Zack and Amp create a massive...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes...
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
Category: Kids Fiction
With her birthday coming up, Jessica hopes that, just maybe, her present will be a real-live potbellied pig. Jessica can...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
An enchanting treasury of fairy lore! Around the corner, behind the bushes, and just out of sight...fairies have spent hundreds...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
blue lily lily blue.jpg
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. Blue Sargent has found things. For...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying new...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Three wishes go awry in a middle-grade debut as comical as it is spooky. Toxic Vapor Worms. Shark Hounds. King-Crab...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are best of friends and swim up, down, around, and through their ocean home. Crabby is...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
From talented illustrator Laura Bryant and gifted newcomer Aimee Reid comes a charming, heartwarming story about a little elephant's love...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
This kid-friendly book offers a first thoughtful glimpse into the world of birds: from eggs to nests, from song to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Hooey Higgins and friends are back for another hilarious madcap adventure — this time, their dubious inventive skills are put...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gene. Sys. Book Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
The world is supposed to end in about a year. For Atom, that means his quest is about to begin....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This novel-in-verse—at once literary and emotionally gripping—follows the unfolding friendship between two very different teenage girls who share a hospital...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Day Human King Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
After he inherited the power of the late sidhe king, Devin thought the battle to protect Nessa and proceed with...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Core.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Are you brave enough to turn the page? Fight with Ava as she battles the blood-sucking shadows of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
How far would you go to save the one you love? Find Max. That's all Layla cares...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)