How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, a review

I couldn’t put this book down, and it’s been a while since that happened! How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, published in 2019, gives us a gripping middle-grade mystery about World War II. Thirteen-year-old Bertie starts volunteering as a bicycle messenger for the civil defense organization. It’s early 1944. The Germans are bombing […]

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, a review

Louisiana’s Way Home, a middle-grade historical novel by Kate DiCamillo, took ahold of my heart somehow.

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review Published 2015 by MacMillan, 245 pages Genre: Middle grade, realistic with a touch of fantasy Crenshaw, a huge cat, used to be Jackson’s invisible friend — when Jackson was three years younger. So now that Jackson’s starting fifth grade, why is Crenshaw showing up again, unasked for? Jackson’s family […]

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, a review

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, illustrated by Katie Hartnett Published by Chronicle Books, 2018, 299 pages Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Grisha the dragon had a very unfortunate encounter with a sorcerer named Leopold, and as a result spent a century or so as an enchanted teapot. After he’s freed, soon he’s confined to […]

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara LaReau, a review

The Jolly Regina and The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau, Books 1 and 2 of the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, a review. Published 2017 and 2018 by Amulet Books, New York, each about 160 pages, illustrated by Jen Hill Genre: Middle grade, aimed at kids about twelve years old These books both break a […]

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, a review

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, Book 2 of the Littlest Bigfoot series, a review Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, 317 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approximately 12 years old I was trying to get a recently published book to read and ended up with this one, which […]

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, a review

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz series #1, a review Published 2007 by Scholastic, 308 pages Genre: Middle grade humorous fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old This engaging and funny book promises to encourage reluctant readers with plenty of improbable silliness. Its only flaw is that it isn’t all that […]

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, a review

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Book 1 of The Seelie Wars, a review Published 2013 by Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, 232 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old Snail is her name, and she’s an odd person in the Unseelie Court. She’s a midwife’s apprentice, clumsy, […]

Prince Oleomargarine, Mark Twain’s new book for kids: a review

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illus. by Erin Stead Genre: Middle Grade read-aloud picture book, 8 1/2 x 11-inch format, 152 pages Published 2017 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers Great news for Mark Twain fans! An unfinished children’s tale was found in 2011 in Twain’s papers–misfiled under recipes, […]

I am hopeful about my latest book!

As you know, my loyal fans, I’ve been working on learning the novel-writing craft for about twelve years. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’ve been able to bless others as an editor and publisher. But my own fiction work remains unpublished. That’s because the genre I choose to write in, aimed at […]