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The noisiest kid in class is either called Ann Marie or Jack David, depending on which version of this book you’re reading. It’s interesting for adults read aloud and realize how differently …
You don’t say “sick as a dog” in Hound’s Glenn, and you’d better not say “pig out” in Pig City either. “‘[M]an’ is a serious cuss word,” …
A lovely large-format picture book with bright colors, full-page illustrations, and a thoroughly modern feel, Jay James Gordy’s A Christmas Star’s Wish is beautifully designed for a young …
Many cultures enjoy their different versions of the flood story. This picture book, by Gerald Hausman, beautifully illustrated by Ramon Shiloh, tells a version known to Creek Indians, and ends with an …
The American Oscars are on TV and the unknown English actor is hoping a rather more famous English actor will garner an award. There’s a nice touch of name-dropping and name-twisted in this short, …
reviewed Dead Dreams Book 1. October 30, 2013
   It’s tough being the sister of an almost perfect brother, but eighteen-year-old Brie plans to make her own way in the world, and if a life without sleep can earn her enough money to …
   Did you go to Woodstock in 1969? I didn’t, and it’s hard, as Chris Blamires’ A Time of Myths begins, to believe the businesslike Jacques was ever there either. But Woodstock …
   Jennifer Strange isn’t really a female Harry Potter—she can’t do magic for a start. But Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer could be the beginning of similarly enticing …
If you’ve watched Downton Abbey you probably know all about entailed English estates. But Peter Maughan’s The Cuckoos of Batch Magna concerns a Marcher village in more modern times, set on …
reviewed Division. October 28, 2013
Twins share many things, but Karen Wyle's novel, Division, explores what happens when twins grow up sharing even more than most, including the same body. Gordon and Johnny are so close they cannot …
   Illustrated with family photographs of people, animals and places, and told with simple diary-like text, Luna Challis’s Luna, the Autobiography of a SuperCat (offspring of mom, Batman, …
Dance-hall girl Molly is completely committed to caring for her brother Donny, risking her life to save him, and enduring the taunts of others in order to earn money to buy his food. But everything’s …
reviewed Angel Bones (Angel Cats). October 08, 2013
Fleeing her home, with Yannis at the oars, a small cat on her lap, and her children by her side, Melita hopes to find a better, safer life. Linda Dean’s enjoyable short book, Angel Bones, follows …
A family in crisis; a teen protagonist who’s real, normal, honest and interesting; a real-world drama with genuine characters, powerful emotions, and the sweet touch of hope—what more could …
   I don’t usually enjoy memoirs, but this YA book pulls you in straight away, fueled by a reluctant teen traveller’s abrasive moods, a quality writer’s powerful and evocative …
Judy and Jim go out on the lake to fish—Jim with ill-prepared delight, and Judy with wise trepidation. The conversation of this aging couple is amusingly real, with happy insults and a powerful …
   Author Jason D. Morrow brings his Starborn saga to a satisfying conclusion with this third volume, Even in Death. The story starts with its protagonist already dying, already making plans …
reviewed Dark Children of Naor. October 08, 2013
   Beautiful and immensely detailed world-building characterizes the three short stories in Justyna Plichta-Jendzio’s collection, Dark Children of Naor. Geographically the world encompasses …
reviewed Rogue Hunter: Inquest. October 08, 2013
Rogue Hunter: Inquest
Action, politics, sex, drama, romance, temptation and more... this opening volume to a space opera series has it all, as bounty hunter Zyra Zanr pursues the lone male on a planet full of females, intending …
reviewed Rogue Hunter: Gaia #3: Legacy. September 26, 2013
Fast and furious, choppy and filled with action, not necessarily consistent, but definitely fun, the final story in the trilogy leads to a surprisingly haunting ending, where even bad guys might have …
reviewed Rogue Hunter: Gaia #2: Intruder. September 26, 2013
In Rogue Hunter, Gaiai #2, there’s a nice sense of the alien. The world of Zyra Zanr comes into closer focus. She learns at last (maybe) what Molly has stolen, and the battle’s more than simply …
Life is cheap in the far-future world of Rogue Hunter, Gaia #1. Hormonal impulses are the stuff of jokes as female protagonists conquer the opposition, only to fall prey to each other. Readers might wonder …
If It Kills Me (Book 2 of 3 in The Starborn Saga)
Second out of three novels in the Starborn Saga, If It Kills Me continues the story of teenager Mora as she struggles to come to terms with her new powers, keep her family safe from the zombie-like greyskins, …
She’s the girl who lost her parents. She’s the victim of a horrifying crime. She feels like everyone’s staring at her in school. And she’s trying to pick up the pieces of her life.   …
reviewed Come Home to me, Child. September 26, 2013
Elaine needs peace and quiet and rest after a brain injury. So her family moves to the small sleepy town of Veil, Texas, just for a while until she recovers. They’re a nice family, kind to each …
Susan Orlins has collected blogposts and essays together into a pleasingly low-key memoir of her life. By turns intriguing, frustrating, humorous, empowering or simply annoying, she lets readers into …
reviewed Ctrl Z. September 25, 2013
Indigo wants to “forget about the mess of her life. Say ‘F**k you’ to all the broken promises...” but nothing’s ever so simple. Fate has offered her a glowing future, but …
reviewed Bike. September 25, 2013
The voice is real. The dilemma is real. The short story is hauntingly real, and, sadly, all too hauntingly plausible. A young boy’s afraid his dad will be angry, and everything’s gone wrong, …
A wonderful novel for young adults, old adults, and everyone in between, Paula Hennessy’s Harper Lee and Peppermint Candy offers humor, wisdom, pathos, honest down-to-earth drama, insights into …
Brandy (The Good Servant Series)
The battlefield warrior experiences many horrors, but author Doug Lucas reminds his readers some of war’s horrors weigh heaviest on those we rarely even think of as warriors. In particular women, …
Author Stan I. S. Law draws his readers in quickly with a convincing narrative voice in this “memoir” of life with Jesus, as told by Jesus’ best (Hindu) friend. Fiction ties in swiftly …
A god for all seasons, by Patti Tingen
   “The seasons of the year have often been used as pictures of life; I think the months are also such pictures,” says author Patti Tingen in her introduction to A God for All Seasons. …
There’s fuel enough for several novels in this installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series, with a young married couple seeking a larger home, an older unmarried couple …
In the early 1800s, a slowly declining Turkish empire abandoned Muslim Algeria and the Christian French moved in. Leading resistance to the French was a learned religious leader called Abd El-Kader. The …
With fun illustrations and a casual journalistic writing style, Chas Elliot offers essays on the delights of late home loans, home inspectors, absent moving guys, excess yard work and more in his new …
reviewed Burning Sky, by Lori Benton. September 17, 2013
Burning Sky was Willa Obenchain’s Mohawk name when she was adopted into a new family, replacing a daughter lost to war. Lori Benton’s novel, Burning Sky, set entirely in the white world Willa …
reviewed Montana, by Gwen Florio. September 17, 2013
Montana’s surely as far as you can get from the killing hills of Afghanistan. No interpreters needed for an American reporter here. No threats around every corner. No sudden death.      …
An author’s note at the start of this Christian novel offers encouragement through faith to readers suffering trials and loss. The story continues that encouragement as the protagonist slowly overcomes …
Author Melissa Foster continues her Sisters series with this second title, Sisters in Bloom. Wild sister Kaylie is the blooming one. While Danica, Blake and Chaz undoubtedly play their parts in this novel, …
First in a series, Sisters in Love by Melissa Foster is a complete story on its own, with romance, character development, and small-town drama offered in almost equal portions. Well-crafted conversations …
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