Reviews written by Beth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer

126 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
July 03, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Famous Transformation

'Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)' by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ted Young, is an interesting look at the life and makings of Charlie Chaplin and his most well-known character, The Tramp. It starts off telling about his life, including how his mother and...

July 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Sisterly Perspective

'She's the Liar' by Alison Cherry is about sisters Abby and Sydney and their time together at Brookside Academy. Abby, who has decided to rebrand herself as 'Abbi' and be a newer, cooler version of herself upon entering sixth grade, comes to learn that with her newfound role comes heartache....

July 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Entertaining and Fun Facts

'From an Idea to Disney: How Branding Made Disney a Household Name' by Lowey Bundy Sichol provides the inspirational backdrop to Walt Disney's enduring legacy that readers didn't necessarily know they needed, but will be excited to learn. There are facts about Disney's childhood and the beginning of his career,...

July 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Online and in Reality

'My Virtual Prince Charming' by Maggie Dallen brings together Suzie and Luke. Neighbors who have never really thought much of each other, they find themselves thrown together by circumstances that Suzie feels are beyond her control, but are entirely working in Luke's favor. When he realizes that Suzie is one...

July 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Struggle and Heartache

'A Straw Man' by Amalie Jahn is the third and final installment in her 'Clay Lion' series. Melody, the sister of the main character in 'Tin Men' (the second in the series), is now in college. She and longtime boyfriend Nate are having their fair share of struggles, due mostly...

May 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Great Workbook!

'Counting to 100,' a Scholastic workbook meant for kindergarten preparation, does a fine job of engaging young children and making them interested in the activities. With pages devoted to counting by different intervals or forward and backward, writing out numbers, matching, grouping, and figuring out which option has more or...

May 05, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
An Honest Glimpse into Middle School

'New Kid' by Jerry Craft follows main character Jordan, a seventh grader who wants to go to an art school, but has his parents end up sending him to an academically-oriented private school. He is one of a few kids of color in his class, and even though he does...

May 05, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Friendship and Self-Discovery

'Just Jaime' by Terri Libenson captures the truth of middle school – a time when friendships are haunted by worry over whether or not one fits in with the group. This issue plagues Jaime and her best friend, Maya, as they find themselves becoming more and more set apart. Maya...

May 05, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Lessons Learned

'Tin Men' by Amalie Jahn is the second in her Clay Lion series. The story revolves around Charlie, who learns of his adoption after his father dies. Not knowing what to make of his life, and trying to decipher the truth from the lies he has grown up with, he...

May 05, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Friendship, Fun, and Crushes

'The Trouble with Kissing Frogs' by Seven Steps tells the story of Sophia and Joe, two people who seemingly find love at first sight, only to have it ripped away by lies. While Sophia never means to hurt Joe, she lies to him about her name in...

March 10, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Sweet and Sentimental

'We Thought We Knew It All' by Michelle Lynn follows the plot that readers found themselves immersed in when reading 'We Thought We Were Invincible'. Callie McCoy finds herself back in Gulf City, Florida, dealing with a divorce, three kids, and a secret that she worries will tear everything apart...

February 11, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Pretend or the Truth?

'Meet Me There' by Judy Corry follows main characters Luke and Ashlyn. They don't get along too well, especially since he likes playing pranks on her, and she tries to best him with each one. When he gets the opportunity to play out the biggest prank of all - pretending...

January 14, 2019 (Updated: January 14, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Feeling Lost and Then Found

'The Next to Last Mistake' by Amalie Jahn will have readers considering their own lives through a bittersweet lens as they work through feelings of security, happiness, separation, loss, and inequality, among others. Jahn has written a story that will resonate with readers of all ages, as main character Tess...

December 19, 2018
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Life and Love

'We Thought We Were Invincible' by Michelle Lynn engages readers with twisting plotlines and searingly romantic scenes. Main characters Callie and Jamie have a lot going on in their lives, from their relationships with their family members, to the losses they've sustained in their lives, to the day-to-day issues that...

December 12, 2018
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
Young Adult Indie
Working Toward a Goal

'The Secret Lives of Princesses' by Seven Steps is yet another enjoyable addition to the St. Mary's Academy series of books. Main character Jasmine Patel knows what she wants out of life, but she isn't quite sure how to take charge and make it all happen. Worry envelops her as...

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