Princess of the Wild Sea, A Fairytale Mash-Up

The latest by Megan Frazer Blakemore has her trademark fairy tale feel and even incorporates elements from specific fairy tales that will, I think, help young readers engage with the story. At the very least it’ll feel like finding an Easter egg, a little nugget...

Book Banning Effort Unites Characters

“Answers in the Pages,” by David Levithan (Knopf), is an interesting and maybe ironic title choice for this new novel.   Because, while that phrase makes life sound cut and dried, it turns out that, as readers know, not all the answers ARE in the pages. We all bring...

Our Friend Hedgehog; The Story of Us

“Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us” is a book that has the feel of a classic. The reading level is on the young side of middle grade, so for those readers who devour chapter books, this would be a perfect next step. “Hedgehog” is an origin story, a story that...

Cracking the Code

Not being a huge fan of secret codes and cryptography, I did not open this book, “Can You Crack the Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography,” by Ella Schwartz, (illustrated by Lily Williams), for several months after I got it. How would a book like...

Dogs, Divorce and Dancing

I picked up “I, Cosmo” by Carlie Sorosiak from the new releases at my local library, but I hesitated to get started. I love books with dogs in them, but I have mixed feelings about books narrated by dogs (or cats or parakeets, etc). It’s not that I’m not game to go...

Two Stories for Fans of Drama (as in Theater)

I recently read two different middle-grade books set in the school theater world. The school in “Meow or Never,” by Jazz Taylor, is doing a student-written, contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet in which the rival families own feuding donut shops. “Meow or Never”...