Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard, a review

In Merlin’s Blade (2013), the opening book in Robert Treskillard’s Arthurian saga, Merlin begins as a bashful, gawky teenager, son of a blacksmith, nearly blind. Some unknown druids come to his tiny town in post-Roman Britain, bringing with them a mysterious, demonically mesmerizing stone.

Kubo and the Two Strings, a review

I’d heard this anime-style 2016 feature film praised by some in the industry, so I decided to watch it. My takeaway: religious families will want to discuss various elements of the story together. An example: identifying ancestor worship as a substitute for knowing and loving the real God. Kubo’s story is a hero tale, where […]

The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes, a review

In The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes (2012), Marcus Frye has learned a bit of magic that sometimes works. He’s the 14-year-old orphan apprentice to the magician Master Zyll.

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson, a review

In the book Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson (2006), Silver is a plucky 11-year-old whose parents and sister vanished four years ago. She’s being cared for by a selfish mean woman in the family mansion, Tanglewreck, one of those old English manor houses with a lot of mysteries to it.

Diary of Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney, a review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007) is a hot book where middle-schoolers are concerned. It’s a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its sequels are too. Many parents, though, aren’t so thrilled. So what is it about this book that is so appealing to kids?

One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, a review

In One Realm Beyond (2014), a YA series opener from Donita K. Paul, Cantor D’Ahma has grown into a young man. He leaves his elderly mentors and sets off to learn how to become a Realm Walker, using the gifts he was born with. His mentors don’t tell him much about what to expect, though. […]

Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, a review

How to engage kids in STEM subjects? One way is to have them read intriguing biographies of STEM scientists of note, especially ones that have an engaging story or two in their past. Grace Hopper is one of these people.

The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, a review

The Book of the King (2007), by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, tells a tale full of the supernatural. Its young protagonist, Owen, is one courageous guy.

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade novel and series opener, involves two worlds.

So, what’s happening with your book, Phyllis?

Getting published take time when you’re not indie publishing. Which I am not. So, I have five book manuscripts in various states of finish. I’m hopeful for all of them, of course! And so glad to have an agent, Bob Shuman! I went to two writers’ conferences so far this year, one in Chicagoland for […]