Reviews written by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer

883 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
May 27, 2024 (Updated: May 27, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
An Impossible Thing To Say

It's 2001 and Omid tries to make sense of his recently arrived Iranian grandparents. He starts high school and has a crush on Emily a girl who introduces him to theater and Shakespeare. Omid's parents are from Iran and expect the best from him. Then 9/11 happens and he witnesses...

May 25, 2024 (Updated: May 25, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Solis

What worked: Horrific dystopian world where undocumented citizens are rounded up and forced into labor camps. This novel follows the first book SANCTUARY where readers are introduced to a world that goes topsy-turvy and where a nightmare world comes to those not deemed citizens of the US. ...

May 16, 2024 (Updated: May 16, 2024)
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Castle Of The Cursed

What worked: Intriguing paranormal world-building where a girl finds she plays a part in a tragic past. This novel introduces readers to Estela who after a horrific accident ends up in Spain with an aunt she knows nothing about. The gothic atmosphere grows with evocative hints of her true heritage....

May 02, 2024 (Updated: May 02, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Hearts Still Beating

What worked: Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance where not even a plague can stop love. This story had me glued right from the start. Fifteen-year-old Rory and Mara shared a kiss. Then hours later the plague hits. In this case, those bitten by the deadly virus become 'Ticks'. It's kind of like...

April 28, 2024
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
Kids Nonfiction
Mummies Unwrapped

What worked: Fascinating portrayal of what was behind the process of ancient mummies. There's a lot to love about this non-fiction factual account of one part of ancient Egypt. Published in collaboration with the British Museum, the author goes step by step on what was involved in the mummification process....

April 06, 2024 (Updated: April 06, 2024)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Speculation

When eleven-year-old Winna's younger sister Tupelo breaks her glasses, Winna's grandfather gives her some older glasses that once belonged to her great-aunt Estelle. Through these lenses, Winna can see the ghost of Estelle. She also finds out about a history that involves Estelle's grandmother Winona some hundred years ago. Winona...

March 26, 2024 (Updated: March 26, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Tangleroot

Noni Reid is beyond upset when her mother, Dr. Radiance Castine, a renowned scholar of Black literature, uproots her from their Boston home to move to a Virginia town. Noni has to give up a prestigious internship, and her friends. Noni hasn't forgiven her mother. To make matters worse...

March 16, 2024
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Under The Surface

Ruby is excited to be with her friends on a school trip to Paris. One of the things on her must-do list is to visit the catacombs. When her friend Val is distracted by a cute Parisian guy's promise of a party, Ruby's gut feeling is to make sure Val...

February 24, 2024
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
All Roads Lead To Rome

Introverted Astoria 'Story' is on the outside of the other Diplomat kids at her school and she can't wait to start Princeton in the Fall. She loves and knows a lot about Rome. It's one chance encounter at a gelato shop that turns her life topsy-turvy. When she bumps into...

February 16, 2024 (Updated: February 17, 2024)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Our Wicked Histories

What worked: A wicked twist on THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. This Gothic horror tale starts slowly and builds when some friends meet during Halloween at an Irish manor. Mix in some Irish urban legends of the Banshee and this is one thriller guaranteed to keep the reader...

January 28, 2024
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Learning Value
 
4.0
Oprah Winfrey

What worked: As a former first-grade teacher, I love Little Golden Books. These books are perfect for both school and home libraries. These biographies are a great start to learning about popular celebrities and other well-known figures. In this biography readers learn about Oprah Winfrey's...

January 27, 2024
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
A Place For Vanishing

What worked: Creepy gothic horror with insects, masks, and seances. The eerie backdrop with a family house of secrets is riveting. Add to this there's an element of not knowing if what Libby is witnessing is part of her bipolar disorder or the paranormal. I...

January 19, 2024
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Love requires Chocolate

What worked: Warm, engaging story of a Black teen whose love of Paris and Josephine Baker leads her to the city where she finds along the way just how enchanting the city really is. I really loved this romance. Whitney Curry's enthusiasm and love of...

January 12, 2024 (Updated: March 23, 2024)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
The Night War

What worked: Engaging tale of a twelve-year-old Jewish girl from Paris who flees being rounded up by Nazis during WWII. In this story, we meet Miri who lives in Paris, and the horror she witnesses as French police officers round up all Jewish citizens and send them off to Auschwitz....

December 23, 2023 (Updated: December 23, 2023)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
The Grinch Returns!

What worked: I'm a huge fan of Dr. Seuss books. I used them often as a first-grade teacher. The rhyme and pacing of these books were perfect for early readers. I especially love the classic Grinch tale. So I was excited to see a new book that has been released...

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