Reviews written by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer

716 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
July 31, 2021 (Updated: July 31, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Traitors Among Us

Sisters Krystia and Maria think they're safe after WWII ends. They've seen the horrors of the war ravage their native Ukraine and lost their mother after she was caught hiding Jews from the Nazis. But that isn't the end of their trials after Soviets kidnap them from a refugee camp...

July 29, 2021 (Updated: July 29, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust

What worked: This haunting memoir is about two young sisters who helped each other survive the Holocaust. Both of the girls parents are deaf. So is Herta. Renee is the one who helps her family know whenever the Nazis are close by. Their parents end up sending the girls to...

July 23, 2021 (Updated: July 29, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Bluebird

It's 1946 and Eva and her friend Brigit leave behind destroyed Berlin for New York City. Eva carries a deadly secret. One that others want. She thought she left behind the horrors of what happened at the end of WWII, but they follow her as she is determined to bring...

July 13, 2021
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Dust & Grim

Thirteen-year-old Molly finds out she's entitled to part of a mortuary business after the death of her father. She also finds out that she has a brother. Now she wants what she feels is rightfully hers. Her uncle Gordo pushes her to find some secrets inside the creepy mortuary and...

July 11, 2021 (Updated: July 14, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Ciao, Sandro!

What worked: This is an adorable story of Sandro who gives readers a quick peek of Venice. Sandro is the loyal dog mate of Nic, an Italian gondolier. One day Sandro decides to visit some of his friends and readers get to see parts of the Italian city. Readers...

July 05, 2021 (Updated: July 14, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
I Am Margaret Moore

Each summer four friends of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. Since this summer is the final one, all the friends want to make it memorable. But some things refuse to be silent which include a deadly secret no one will speak of. A secret that might drive...

July 01, 2021 (Updated: July 01, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Wide Starlight

Sixteen-year-old Eli doesn't remember much on what happened that fateful day that her mother disappeared in Svalbard, Norway. She does remember some of the tales her mother told her as a child. Then the Northern Lights appear over Cape Cod and Eli sees her mother again. Only there is something...

June 26, 2021 (Updated: June 26, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Tokyo Ever After

What worked: This is a refreshing twist on the whole teen finds out she's a Japanese princess. Izumi 'Izzy'Tanaka never felt like she belonged in her mostly white Northern Californian community. When she finds out the truth about her father's identity, that he is in fact the Crown Prince of...

June 22, 2021 (Updated: June 22, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
In A Flash

What worked: Engaging historical set in WWII where two Italian sisters survive after being forced into a Japanese internment camp after Italy signs an armistice with Allie forces. I didn't know that there were Italian citizens living in Japan during WWII that ended up being...

June 19, 2021 (Updated: June 19, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Sky Above Us

What worked: Unique coming-of-age story that tackles grief and tragedy. Told through the eyes of six teens, this story starts with a horrific tragedy and later with those who remain trying to make sense of what happened. What happened that fateful day is a mystery...

June 16, 2021
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Shadow War

What worked: Intriguing mix of Sci-fi with historical set during WWII. There is a lot going on in this engaging novel. Liam is determined to crack a code to open another alternative world before Hitler does. Simone is Arabic and part of the French Resistance. Daniel and Rebeka lost their...

June 12, 2021 (Updated: June 12, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Heiress Apparently

What worked: This was a fun take on Crazy Rich Asians meets descendants of Empress Regent of China. Gemma Huang is taking a Gap year after high school to focus on an acting career. This is very realistic portrayal of what some teens do now. Her Chinese mother pressures...

June 08, 2021 (Updated: June 08, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

What worked: I loved this engaging, heart-felt story with one strong Chicanx protagonist. Think I'M NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER set in a Mexican restaurant. The portrayal of the Mexican food is amazing and mouth watering! I really love Pen. She's determined, strong-willed, and has...

June 05, 2021 (Updated: June 11, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Heartbreak Bakery

Seventeen-year-old agender Syd loves baking, but when her brownies set off a string of breakups-including her own-she comes up with a plan to get people back together such as baking delicious treats like the Very Sorry Cake. Through this all, Syd finds that maybe the magic isn't really in the...

May 14, 2021 (Updated: May 23, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Finding Junie Kim

Junie Kim faces racist comments from a school bully at her middle school. Along with that her school is vandalized with hateful, racist graffiti. When her friends want to make a stand, Junie doesn't want to as she doesn't think it will matter. Then she is given a class assignment...

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