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 … [Continue reading]

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 picture-book-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. Laurie … [Continue reading]

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. Owen evades violent bullies and comes home to the bookstore where he lives with his … [Continue reading]

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade series opener, involves two worlds. In one, young Sirin Sharma is in the slow process of losing her only parent to illness (and her cat to hard-hearted caregivers). It seems to be the same … [Continue reading]

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' … [Continue reading]

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin, a review

The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin, a series of two books published in 2016 and 2017, provides a dystopian Jurassic Park tale for middle-graders. Plucky Sky Mundy, in an underground colony in what once was northern Indiana, is just one of a few … [Continue reading]

We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, a review

One thousand refugees from Earth, likely the only survivors, are in a spaceship orbiting a populated planet, hoping for permission to land. If they can’t live on Choom, they’ll perish --their food and fuel are nearly gone. They came because they were … [Continue reading]

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, a review

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012), tells a middle-grade whodunit with the unforgettable Southern voice of a rising sixth-grader, Mo. Mo lives with the eccentric proprietors of the town diner, Lana and the Colonel. No matter that the … [Continue reading]

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, a review

Sal Vidon, able narrator, is somehow calm when outrageous things are happening. And plenty of outrageous things do happen in this book, so the result is hilarious. Carlos Hernandez' middle grade novel Sal and Gabi Break the Universe focuses on … [Continue reading]

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a review

I really enjoy time-slip novels--where two stories are told, one in the past, one in the present, alternating chapters. So I was glad to find this middle-grade mystery novel with time-slip, published in 2018. Also, it focuses on race issues, a topic … [Continue reading]