Book Review: One Crazy Summer

I found One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia on a list of recommended reading for fourth or fifth grade, and we finally got around to it this year. I didn’t really know what I was about to read, though I could see all those awards, all but covering the front of the book. I enjoyed it. It’s…

Author Review: The Brothers Grimm

In all the slickness of the modern world and with my kids’ gut-level avoidance of “old” movies and books, I’m always so surprised by their love of traditional fables and fairy-tales. Their most beloved book (together) growing up was this random book of fables that used to make regular appearances at bedtime. They loved to…

Book Review: Inside Out and Back Again

The first thing you’ll want to know about this book—for better or worse—is that it is a novella in poem form. Of course, even if you don’t know it, you’ll notice it the second you open the book. A pleasant free verse type of poetry, it is a painless way to introduce poetry into a…

Cookbook Review: Deep Run Roots

I am picky about what cookbooks I buy, so my cookbook review should mostly be positive. Deep Run Roots, the much-anticipated book by Vivian Howard, is a hefty, pretty thing with an IACP Cookbook of the Year emblem on it, as well as “New York Times Bestseller” emblazoned across the top. Still in doubt? The cover…

Book Review: Shiloh

Another month, another read-aloud middle grades novel about nature, pets, and a boy coming of age. After the last few classics with their super sad endings, my son and I were both hoping for Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, to be more light-hearted. I wouldn’t call it light-hearted, but I would say you don’t have to…

Book Review: Old Yeller

I was reluctant to read Old Yeller by Fred Gipson to my son. I had never read it, but I knew, just from being an observant American, that it was not going to end well. My son loves books with boys in nature, especially involving animals and coming-of-age, but we had already endured Where the Red…

Series Review: Calpurnia Tate

These two books—The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly—have been sitting on my daughter’s shelf for a while, and I think that she’s just about outgrown them before she even got to read them. Perhaps she’ll come back to them as an adult, because as a grown-up who…