Reviews written by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer

728 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
October 04, 2021 (Updated: October 04, 2021)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
You Are A Star, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

What worked: Great intro to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This picture book shows the early life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her fight for the rights of all. She truly was a trailblazer of her time! But this book doesn't stop there. It shows how Ginsburg loved such...

October 04, 2021
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Indivisible

What worked: This story gave me lots of feels. As a former bilingual teacher, I had former students like Mateo and Sophie. INDIVISIBLE gives a voice to what many undocumented families endure in our country right now. It's an important story that needs to be told. ...

September 30, 2021 (Updated: October 03, 2021)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Roxy

What worked: Intense, gripping portrayal of the recent opioid epidemic. In this novel, the Synthetic Gods toy with human souls. Roxy and Addison make a wager on two siblings that lead to deadly results. Though the world of the Synthetic Gods is a fantasy, there is unfortunately so much real...

September 23, 2021
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Buried

What worked: Intriguing dystopian tale told in the POV of three friends who live with their families underground. Dr. Imogen Moran is their leader who tells them that life above ground no longer exists. She's charismatic and a cult-like doctor who has endless rules for all in the bunker to...

September 21, 2021
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
AfterMath

Twelve-year-old Lucy’s family moves to a new city right after the death of her younger brother, Theo. Her parents feel this will be a fresh start. Only Lucy finds they moved into the house of a victim of a horrific elementary school shooting. Lucy doesn’t know how to fit in...

September 12, 2021
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
Passport

Fascinating memoir told in graphic novel format of a teen who figures out her parents work for the CIA. This story follows Sophia as she questions why her family has moved so many times and why friendships aren’t encouraged. A chance peek at a letter from her older sister to...

September 10, 2021
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Corpse Queen

Seventeen-year-old Molly Green’s life in an orphanage takes a twist after her best friend Kitty’s tragic death. Molly expects to be thrown out when she confronts a nun over the death but finds a mysterious aunt has a place for her. This place is among the rich in town. But...

September 10, 2021 (Updated: September 10, 2021)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Beyond The Mapped Stars

Elizabeth Bertelsen loves the stars. More than anything she wants to go to school and study them, but her Mormon family has other plans which include marriage and a family. When an opportunity comes for her to help her older sister in Wyoming, she goes. After a train robbery,...

August 19, 2021 (Updated: August 22, 2021)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

What worked: This is a hilarious twist on a secret society of lady pirates who have the ability to fly houses into battle. I was laughing throughout this story. It has a The Gentleman's Guide to Virtue and Vices vibe going for it. These women...

August 15, 2021 (Updated: August 15, 2021)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
Code Breaker, Spy Hunter

What worked: Fascinating story of American cryptanalyst Elizebeth Friedman and how her work helped break codes during two world wars. Her story only came to light decades after her papers were declassified. I love how the author not only gives the history of Elizebeth...

August 15, 2021 (Updated: August 16, 2021)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed

What worked: Rich collection of essays from fifteen Latinx authors on finding one's identity. I loved these tales, where Latinx authors shared their own experiences and discoveries. Some of my favorites: The Mark of a Good Man by Meg Medina....

August 02, 2021 (Updated: August 06, 2021)
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
Mary, Will I die?

It started off as a prank among friends five years ago. All they had to do was say Bloody Mary thirteen times. Little did the friends know what they had released. Now they're in high school and none are friends. Elena, who dared her friends to do the chant, senses...

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...

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