Book Review: Number the Stars

The books we’ve been reading for middle school literature lately (I teach a co-op class) have been so short that the students have actually asked for more reading suggestions. Not all of the students, but still. After Animal Farm and then War Horse, we landed on another super-short novel (which we’re not going to call…

Book Review: We Were Liars

Okay, whatever you do, do not read this book and then watch the book trailer. It will make you so very sad that since its crazy popularity in 2014 and its release to be adapted, there has not been a movie made. The book trailer is so good. It doesn’t help that I love that…

Book Review: War Horse

This book was not what I expected, though if I had seen the movie that came out several years ago, I wouldn’t have been surprised. To be frank, War Horse sounds like a book I would not enjoy, but it was on the required reading list for the middle schoolers I teach this year, so…

Book Review: Life of Pi

I have read Life of Pi a couple of times and I like it. I have reasons, and I’ll give them to you in a sec. I also always leave it a little disappointed. I think my main beef with this book is that Yann Martel tried too hard to sell us his perceived moral.…

Book Review: Lyddie

Lyddie was another in a line of middle grades historical fiction that I have read as the Middle School Language Arts teacher at the homeschool co-op I am a part of. I’ve been more impressed by the selections for this year (part of a writing curriculum based on Modern History as opposed to last year’s…

Book Review: The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, is one of the best modern books written in the English language and I don’t know how anyone can argue otherwise. Okay, maybe I can, but this is the third time I’ve read this book and it still amazes me. The writing amazes me. The structure amazes me.…

Book Review: Anxious for Nothing

Note: This book review is for a Christian book. I expect to review a Christian book about once a month, this year. You have been warned. When I was a teenager, I found my way to Max Lucado. A pastor and Christian writer, I read everything of his. Why? Because he’s an image-painter, a word-player,…

Book Review: Outlander

Well! There are gushing reviews of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and there are scathing reviews of Outlander. No one expects it to be literary fiction—it’s popular fiction—though many claim it is great historical fiction (though it incorporates time travel), but the real discrepancy revolves around “rape culture.” I would say one out of ten, maybe…

Book Review: A Christmas Memory

When I finally—after years of meaning to read it—ordered Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory from eBay, I did not expect what I got. Full disclosure: I have not read Capote, ever. I have meant to, of course, but have never gotten around to it. Yet. My impression, however, is true crime with a literary swagger.…

Book Review: Home Cooking

I have a new favorite food writer and—like my other favorite food writer, Bert Greene—she is someone you don’t hear about every day. She whisked into my life with an aroma of days gone by and required me to do a little searching for her titles. (I still have one last Greene book that I…

Book Review: Greenglass House

Another week, another middle grades book under the bridge. It is true: I seem to read almost nothing but middle grades book these days. You’re just going to have to take my word for it that I have much wider interests in literature than middle grades books. However, between curriculum-writing for seventh and eighth grade…