Reviews written by Beth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer

310 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
January 15, 2023
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Indie
Truth and Lies

‘Our Own Little Paradise’ by Marianne Kaurin follows main character Nora as she tries to fit into middle school social circles. The last day of school has her nervous since everyone is talking about the amazing summer trips they have planned, and she isn’t going anywhere. Not only is she...

January 07, 2023
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Angry and Empowered

‘Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One’ by Maggie Horne will make readers feel equally angry and empowered. When Hazel hears stories from Tyler about the girls he likes and how they've snubbed him and the like, she shrugs them off and doesn’t think much of them. She’s just someone...

January 07, 2023
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Indie
Truth and Self-Worth

‘The Blueberry Balladeer’ by Andrew Frodahl is a tale of truth and discovering one’s self-worth. When Darcy Pickens plays a nasty trick on a friend to damage her reputation, she finds herself in hot water. With eighth grade finally over and ninth grade looming, her parents send her away for...

January 01, 2023 (Updated: January 01, 2023)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Not Just a Baker

‘The Baker by the Sea’ by Paula White contains beautiful images that paint a provocative picture of how the roles people play in a town are all important, no matter how they might seem to the naked eye. The young boy in the story is enthralled by the fishermen. He...

January 01, 2023
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Creativity and Innovation

‘Symphony for a Broken Orchestra: How Philadelphia Collected Sounds to Save Music’ by Amy Ignatow, illustrated by Gwen Millward, shows how the power of music, even through unconventional means, can bring about newfound possibilities. When it is discovered that schools in Philadelphia are chock full...

December 26, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Learning Value
 
4.0
Friendship During War

‘Brothers in Arms: A True World War II Story of Wojtek the Bear and the Soldiers Who Loved Him’ by Susan Hood, illustrated by Jamie Green, tells the story of an untraditional war hero. When Wojtek joined the troops, he learned to walk just as they did, to be friends...

December 26, 2022
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Imaginative and Preposterous

‘The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense’ by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman, combines definitions, Morse Code, comics, news articles, recipes, hieroglyphs, crosswords, haikus, and more, in expertly wacky fashion, to create a book that contains exactly what the title implies—nonsense! ...

December 25, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.3
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
Working at the Capitol

‘The Capitol: A Meet the Nation’s Capitol Book’ by Lindsay Ward contains easy to follow wording and pictures that emphasize what is happening on each page. With fun facts on many pages, including information such as how Congress first met in the Capitol building on November 17, 1800, to the...

December 14, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Middle Grade Fiction
Home for the Holidays

‘The Zee Files: A Very Malibu Vacay’ by Tina Wells takes Zee Carmichael back from her new home across the pond to sunny California, where she will spend Christmas with her family. While she’s excited about the trip and meeting up with best friends Chloe and Ally while there (since...

December 07, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Kids Fiction
Fun Reading

‘When PB Met J’ by Katelyn Aronson, illustrated by Sarah Rebar, tells the story of the best friendship since sliced bread. Filled with cute puns and adorable illustrations of the various items that can be found in a kitchen, this story illustrates the way in which peanut butter and jelly...

November 28, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Middle Grade Fiction
Trouble with Friends

‘The Zee Files: Girl/Friend’ by Tina Wells launches Zee into the world of being a girlfriend, but she’s not quite sure how she likes it. Archie seems needy at times, and Zee doesn’t know if being with him is right for her. She does know how she feels when she’s...

November 28, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
Kids Nonfiction
The Beauty of the Unknown

‘What About the Universe: An Illustrated Q&A Book for Kids’ by Bertrand Fichou, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre, asks the questions all kids (and even adults!) have about the universe and its infinite wonder. From how planets and stars get their names to learning exactly what the Milky Way is (no,...

November 28, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Engaging, Enjoyable Facts

‘Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures’ by Arnaud Roi, illustrated by Charlotte Molas, includes ten awesome pop-ups, from land creatures to those in the sea. Each page names the dinosaur, along with the time period and region in which it lived, its maximum size and weight, and a paragraph of detail...

November 10, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Middle Grade Fiction
"Cool" is in the Eyes of the Beholder

‘The Cool Code; by Deirdre Langeland, illustrated by Sarah Mai, is a graphic novel that does a nice job capturing not only the angst of being a teenager, but the desire to find a way out of that angst. For her whole life, main character Zoey has been homeschooled, but...

October 29, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Middle Grade Fiction
Family, Friends, and Anxiety

‘Surely Surely Marisol Rainey’ by Erin Entrada Kelly follows Marisol and her best friend, Jada, as they try to navigate the perils of elementary school gym. The fact that they have to play kickball is not something Marisol wants to remember, but lo and behold, her gym teacher is dedicating...

310 results - showing 1 - 15
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