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…

Book a Day: Bridge to Terabithia

When I saw this movie with my kids, a few years ago, I was really expecting something like The Spiderwick Chronicles or The Chronicles of Narnia. Perhaps the absence of “Chronicles” in the title should have been a sign, but this book (and movie) are nothing like either of those books/series. Terabithia–despite its fanciful name–is not…

Book Review: Holes

I had seen the movie. It was popular, in its time, with the kids. I wasn’t especially impressed. But I knew that didn’t mean I wouldn’t like the book. So when I found myself at a Cracker Barrell in upstate New York, facing a solo twelve-hour drive and perusing the audio book rentals, this one…

Series Review: The School for Good and Evil

I found this trilogy—at least the first two books (which was all that was available at the reading)—to be very, very confusing. Let’s get this established: I don’t confuse easily, especially when reading. The confusion with these books is three-fold, and it is reflected in the contradictory reviews. First, the plot it confusing. Second, the…

Book Review: When You Reach Me

In my daughter’s sixth grade class for the recent semester, the kids had to read one of four selections that their teacher presented. My daughter did the first read and turned in the assignment, then decided to read the other three before the semester was through. She has always said this teacher had a great…

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

This is a classic. I chose it from a third grade reading list, to read out to my son at bedtime. I had read it—finally, as an adult—maybe fifteen years prior, but had basically forgotten the entire thing. When I started reading, though, the basic feeling came back to me, and I was in the…