Book Review: In the Reign of Terror

I have been really enjoying history, lately. Perhaps it’s my age showing. Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the overwhelming amount of “history” that’s happening to us right now. It makes me feel like I have more perspective and I also feel like I relate to the people on the pages of history more…

Book Review: Amal Unbound

My twelve-year-old son joined a book club this year. Okay, that’s a bit of a laugh. I forced my son into a book club. Yes, I am the dentist with the kids with bad teeth, or more literally: the writer with a son who can’t stand the sight of the printed word. He is too…

Book Review: The Sign of the Beaver

If this were an adult fiction book, it would be considered a novella. At 132 pages formatted for a middle grades reader, this is a very slim novel. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons it is one of my son’s favorite books. Not that anything is missing in this novel. It’s all there:…

Book Review: Calico Captive

This is my second year teaching Literature/Language to a home school co-op class of middle schoolers. Of course, last year was rudely interrupted in March by a pandemic, and this year we are going to begin on Zoom. Anticipating that I will be teaching this for three years total, I have decided to step up…

Book Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw

I already like Beverly Cleary, but I wasn’t sure about this book because it seems so outside of what Cleary usually writes (Ramona, Henry Huggins, cute stories about animals). Published in and taking place about in 1983, it’s a more modern book than her typical fifties neighborhood kids. It features a more “modern” family and…

Book Review: Flora & Ulysses

I haven’t really jumped on the Kate DiCamillo train, though it seems everyone else has. I suppose that she has been on my radar, just out of sight, for several years. She just keeps going—getting movie deals, winning awards, and taking names. Her books boast the Newbery Medal (twice!, and also an honor and finalist),…

Series Review: Maze Runner

I am not going to review the whole series. Why? Because I read the first book and have decided that this series is really not meant for me. It is meant for someone, but it is not me, and I have so many other books that I am itching to read right now, but not…

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

It may seem like there are a whole lotta books that I have been enthusiastically looking forward to reading. It would seem that way because it is that way. I have always been an avid reader and a curious individual, and there are so many books that I haven’t quite got around to yet, including…

Book Review: The Thing About Jellyfish

This book will forever be a little mixed up in my consciousness with the place and circumstances under which I read it. Sometimes that happens to a book—like if you read it while on bedrest or on a bus on the way to Florida. This one has a stronger association for me than some. To…

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is my daughter’s favorite book (and she is not alone). I’ve been meaning to read it for at least a year, and I have even already watched the movie (because my daughter wasn’t going to wait around for me). Having barely set the book down over the past two days, I…

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…

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…

Author Review: Roald Dahl Novellas

My fifth-grade son has finally started reading novels on his own, and I am very happy to announce that his first, second, third, fourth, and fifth novels are by Roald Dahl. If you didn’t catch it already on the blog somewhere, I am a huge Roald Dahl fan, and so I of course would prefer…

Series Review: How to Train Your Dragon

It’s hard for me to believe that I didn’t do this review earlier, though we did finish reading as I was tackling a sizable backlog. Boo! This series deserves better than a months-stale review. But it is what it is, and the least the series deserves is a late review. Amazon’s blurb for the first…

Series Review: Fablehaven

I had this whole list of novels that we were going to cover in fourth grade. About halfway through the year, my husband and son were wandering a bookstore when Eamon saw the cover for a Fablehaven novel and said, “I think that one looks cool.” My husband, bless his heart, ran to the library…

Book Review: Half Magic

When I made the Best Books list and started on the adventure of reading to children as they grew, I did not realize that so many of the “classics” of children’s chapter books come from the 50s. Even if they weren’t written in the 50s, many of them take place in or around the 50s.…

Book a Day: Ghosts

As mentioned before, I grabbed a few graphic novels from the library to add to the Book-a-Days, but they are not necessarily the ones from the TBR. Then again, I was bound to eventually read this Raina Telgemeier as well as the other review you have coming, Anne of Green Gables: a Graphic Novel. I…