Book Review: New Kid

Well. It’s cute. It’s relevant. It might even be important. It didn’t shine like a beacon, for me. It has a few issues. It also has a few awards. The “new kid” of the graphic novel New Kid by Jerry Craft is Jordan, and he’s not new to his neighborhood or his house: he has…

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: 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: 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: The Wheel on the School

You  might think, anymore, that I’m pulling your leg when I say a book was my favorite in fourth grade. It does seem like I say that a lot, but fourth grade was a golden year for me, so by “fourth grade” I mean around fourth grade. And in reality, I’ve only made this claim…

Book Review: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

One of the reasons I hadn’t ever read this book before (besides the thousands of other books I want to read) is the title. Another reason was the cover. It just didn’t make me want to pick it up (and it turns out, the copy I have is also not very representative). As for the…

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…

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…