Reviews written by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer

1132 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
November 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Lovely gift edition

Jack and Annie get an invitation from "M" to spend Christmas in Camelot, which excites them since they haven't heard from Morgan much lately. They manage to travel there without a book, wishing on the letter. Once there, they find out that things are not good in the kingdom, since...

November 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Kids Fiction
Awesome Crazypants Fun

Marty Fontana and his mother move to a new town for her job, and have a house that belonged to a scientist, who left lots of dusty boxes in his wake. Marty is scared to start fifth grade, because he knows that the simplest missteps will ruin his entire year....

November 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Learning on the field and off

Danny lives in Texas with his mother and former Pittsburgh Steelers player father, who now sells farm machinery. The father pushes Danny to be great at the game, and he's also a fairly nice, polite kid. When the father dies of a heart attack while out on a run with...

November 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Great Machinations

Pippa loves to play basketball and struggles a tiny bit in school. She lives with her much older sister, Mina, and Mina's husband, and works in her sister's laundry to help out. Her mother's visa has expired, and she has returned to Korea. Mina pressures Pippa to do well in...

November 25, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Comedy and Tragedy

Izzy is very interested in comedy, perhaps because her own life is anything but humorous. Her parents are divorced, and she rarely sees her father, who lives a distance away and is busy with his new wife. Her mother is a bit stressed, and dating Izzy's dentist, Dr. Gustino! Her...

November 25, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Moonshine Mystery!

Keenan ends up living with his father on an island that is part Canada and part US when he is diagnosed with tuberculosis. He got the disease in his travels with his mother, who flits from country to county, and being in Canada is both restful and boring, especially since...

November 25, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Futuristic Skate Boarding

The town of Callaway, Texas, is a refuge from the global war that is going on and affecting Los Angeles. Avery has moved there because it was where her mother grew up, and when her parents divorced, her father was too busy with everything to spend any time with her....

November 25, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Moving- The worst that could happen

Gabby travels from Peach Tree to Seattle with her family for a vacation, but it ends disastrously. Not only is it gray and rainy the whole time, but she trips over a hot dog at a Mariners' game and breaks her arm! Back at school, she's upset she can't play...

November 25, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Sporty Dork Diaries Read Alike

Gabby's year is going very well, and she's just about to make the most brilliant baseball play of her life when her world comes crashing down-- the principal tells everyone that the area around the school must be evacuated because of asbestos. Even worse, the students will all have to...

November 20, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Kids Fiction
Tween Witch

Moth lives in Founder's Bluff on the east coast, and her town has an annual celebration that celebrations the founders, the Kramers, triumphing over a group of witches. The problem? Moth finds out after a small incident that she and her mother are, in fact, witches! She keeps this fact...

November 20, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Cub
Kids Nonfiction
We've Come a Long Way, Baby!*

Cindy finds that middle school in the early 1970s is fairly stressful-- all the cool girls are wearing elephant bells and blue eyeshadow, but her parents are more conservative and make her wear longer dresses and sensible shoes. She also finds that they encourage her brothers more than they encourage...

November 20, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Air Boo & Boo!

Danny's family lives in a two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. The family has struggled financially, with his filmmaker father doing contract work, and in order for Jake and Danny to have their own space, Danny ends up with a closet bedroom. When Jake heads off to Cornell on a scholarship,...

November 19, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Presidential resilience and determination

There was a recent Jeopardy! champion who apparently got himself up to speed on many areas of knowledge by reading children's nonfiction books. This would have been an excellent one to consult for information about presidents and their lesser known brushes with death! The most interesting...

November 18, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Challenges with Optimism

Ellie and her mother live in Nashville; her father left when she was young and has another family. Ellie loves baking, and gets along okay at school. She has an aide who helps her navigate with her wheelchair, but Lauren is also another level of supervision that makes it really...

November 18, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Baking up a storm

Zoe lives in Boston with her mother and stepfather. Her best friend, Trevor, lives next door, but as summer starts, Zoe is still smarting from comments she heard Trevor make to his sporty friends about her, so she doesn't want to hang out with him. Luckily, her mother has a...

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