Reviews written by Beth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer

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Young Adult Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   October 23, 2017
(Updated: October 23, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Trouble at Home

'Swing It, Sunny' by Jennifer L. Holm is a graphic novel about middle school student, Sunny, and her strained relationship with her older brother, Dale, set in the 1970s, with ample pop culture references to make it as realistic as possible. While Dale is away, Sunny finds it hard to...

Young Adult Indie
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   October 23, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Accepting Yourself

'The Law of Tall Girls' by Joanne Macgregor is a lighthearted and enjoyable read about Peyton Lane and all of the insecurities that she fights to hide behind her tall exterior. After all, Peyton is tall - very tall - and what she considers her freakish height gets in the...

Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   October 17, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Fighting for the Future

'Choices: The True Story of One Family's Daring Escape to Freedom' by J.E. Laufer is a short, yet instantly compelling story. A little more than a decade after the horrific acts of the Holocaust have ravaged innocent families, young mother Kati and her husband, Adolf, come to the conclusion that...

Young Adult Indie
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   September 29, 2017
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
3.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
3.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0

A Girl Among Boys

'The Anchor Clankers' by Renee Garrison has an interesting premise. The main character, Suzette, is shuttled around with her parents as her father moves from job to job. His current job placement is at a boys' naval academy in Florida, outside of Orlando. Life is not necessarily easy for Suzette,...

Kids Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   September 12, 2017
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Looking at All Sides

'Blue vs. Yellow' by Tom Sullivan focused on the creative ways in which those two colors can be used, along with the ways in which they are both similar and different. The give and take between the two colors and how each felt it was best was written in a...

Young Adult Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   September 09, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Figuring Out What Nothing Really Means

'Nothing' by Annie Barrows has an intriguing premise. The two girls in the story - Charlotte and Frankie - feel that nothing in their lives ever happens in the way that it does in young adult novels. To prove this, Charlotte begins writing their story. She calls it 'Nothing' and...

Kids Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   September 09, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Coming to an Understanding

'Confiscated' by Suzanne Kaufman tells the story of two dinosaur brothers who each want the same toys. When their mother finally gets fed up with their insistence on arguing, she takes all of the toys away. Boredom eventually kicks in, and the brothers realize that they can actually have a...

Young Adult Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   August 16, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Christa's Journey

'The 12 Dares of Christa' by Marissa Burt is a sweet story of friendship, determination, strength, and forgiveness. Main character Christa is taken aback when, as she starts with her yearly Christmas preparations, she finds that her parents are throwing her a pretty large curveball - they're divorcing, and Christa's...

Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   August 16, 2017
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Adorably Realistic

'Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes' by Booki Vivat is an adorable, illustrated story that not only proves a fast read, but also a truly enjoyable one. From the accurate and telling illustrations, to main character Abbie Wu's questioning and uncertain attitude about life in general, Vivat has crafted a...

Kids Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   August 16, 2017
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Fred's Adventures

'See Fred Run' by Kevin Bolger, and illustrated by Ben Hodson, is a story about main character Fred and his desire to do anything but what the book's pages are telling him to do. There is another character in the book named Ed, but his purpose is not overly clear,...

Young Adult Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   July 31, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Middle School Dilemmas

'11 Before 12' by Lisa Greenwald will put you right back in that time of your life when everything mattered too much and nothing at all mattered more than your best friend. Kaylan and Arianna find this to be true as they gear up for sixth grade. They are chock...

Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   July 31, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Worldly Approaches

'It's Your World' by Chelsea Clinton does a nice job of anticipating questions teens (or adults) may have about a wide variety of topics, including, but certainly not limited to, poverty, inequality, illnesses, hunger, and many, many more. It also focuses on routes that will hopefully lead to solutions for...

Young Adult Indie
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   June 27, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Contemporary Time Travel

'Flicker' by Melanie Hooyenga is a very gripping novel. The concept behind it - that the main character, Biz, has the ability to go back in time eighteen hours if she so chooses - is quite intriguing. Biz's ability, which she refers to as "flickering," has never really been used...

Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   June 23, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Staying True to Opposite Day

'Dill & Bizzy Opposite Day' by Nora Ericson, illustrated by Lisa Ericson, is an adorable story about two best friends who can't seem to come to an understanding. This is mainly caused by Bizzy's insistence that Dill take part in opposite day, a day in which they do everything opposite...

Young Adult Fiction
Beth Rodgers, Staff ReviewerBeth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer   June 23, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Staying True to Yourself

'Deacon Locke Went to Prom' by Brian Katcher was different in many ways from many young adult novels. Even though there are YA novels that have a male protagonist, many of the ones I read and review on a regular basis have a female main character. It was also interesting...

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