Reviews written by Beth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer

188 results - showing 1 - 15
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April 11, 2021
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Adventure and Bravery

‘The Mother of Monsters’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, tells the story of Ntombi, the chief's daughter. She lives her life without fear, doing what she likes when she likes. However, her father, the chief, wants her to be married. As she tries to cross adventures off of...

April 11, 2021
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Monsters and Princesses

‘Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, is great for younger elementary readers and anyone who enjoys a good story. When the king gets upset with his daughters, he decides to turn them into oranges. Yes, oranges. While far-fetched, it showcases how the...

March 05, 2021 (Updated: March 05, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Kind, Relatable Morals

‘The Story Blanket’ by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by Elena Odriozola, is the story of Babba Zarrah, who tells stories to children who come to visit her. They love to sit on her story blanket to hear the tales. Babba Zarrah, the...

March 05, 2021
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 and Love

‘My Best Friend Prince Charming’ by Cindy Ray Hale tells the story of Ryker and Shannon, two best friends who care deeply about each other, but are too afraid of their relationship unraveling if either reveals the truth. While Ryker has known of his feelings for Shannon for some time,...

March 02, 2021
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Questioning Perceptions

‘Admission’ by Julie Buxbaum is a modern and definitely current read on a topic that has been in the news. When Chloe Berringer is admitted into her college of choice, she is thrilled. Or, she should be, but she just can’t help but feel that something is wrong. Her SAT...

March 02, 2021
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A Transformative Anthem

‘Running’ by Natalia Sylvester is a trend-setting anthem for anyone who has ever wanted to be the change they wish to see in the world. When Mari’s father decides to run for president, she gets a lot more than she bargained for in return. She learns that it isn’t just...

January 07, 2021
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
Perception vs. Reality

'My High School Royal Boyfriend' by Kylie Key follows new River Valley High students Blaire and Alex, as they try to escape the troubles that plague them by starting anew. While Blaire comes from an extremely wealthy family who owns the town's well-to-do ice cream shops, she has been accused...

November 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Generous and Engaging Compilation

'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, includes a generous compilation of stories and essays, alongside writing advice and story prompts that any young adult reader or writer will appreciate. There are thirteen options to choose from...

November 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Fun with Travel

'Amazing Islands' by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman is a beautifully illustrated book, chock full of valuable information about islands around the world. From discussion of what an island is to how islands are made, on to people who live on islands, and a world map that shows a smattering...

November 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
A Tale of Creation

'The Walrus and the Caribou' by Maika Harper, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, is an endearing tale of creation, based on a traditional Inuit story passed along through the generations through oral retellings in communities across the Arctic. Both the walrus and the caribou are shown how they were “originally” created,...

November 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Nature and Birds

'About Seabirds: A Guide for Children' by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill, lends credibility to the power of nature and how it can be an appealing topic for kids. The writing is simple and clear, focusing on the main ideas of what seabirds are, including what they do, what...

November 11, 2020
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
Finding Strength

'My High School Rebel Boyfriend' by Kylie Key follows main characters Harper and Mitchell as they have to find a way to work together. While Harper is on the volleyball team, Mitchell is a basketball player. Besides sports, they don't seem to have much in common, and Mitchell doesn't try...

September 22, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Interactive and Unique

'Meanwhile' by Jason Shiga is a graphic novel adventure that will remind readers of the types of books in which you can choose your own adventure. The book has 3,856 story possibilities. The way it is laid out is quite unique, in that you have to follow a thin tube...

August 14, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0
Young Adult Indie
Chasing Love, Chasing Truth

'Chasing the Sun' by Melanie Hooyenga captures the raw emotions felt after a breakup, as well as the ones that can throw anyone for a loop as they enter into something new. When Sage and Pax break up, she doesn't know if her heart and her mind will ever be...

July 27, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Happiest Place on Earth

'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails, and posts on social media, it does a nice job capturing the essence of teenage life nowadays. The six friends who make up the chain of texts are all on...

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