MADreads for Kids

A review of The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is a celebrated book by Lois Lowery. It melds dystopian fiction with action and drama to make a great combination. In fact, The Giver paved the way for the entire genre with help from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451; together, these texts started a movement for this once unrecognized and even unpopular part of science fiction writing. The Giver tells the story of a post-apocalyptic, gated community, where a boy named Jonas is thrust into a job he had not even ...read more

Reviewed by Teen Reviewer on
January 1, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of George by Alex Gino

George is a transgender fourth grader identifying as a girl. Her class is studying Charlotte's Web and all of the students are invited to try out for parts in the school play version. George dreams of playing Charlotte. She rehearses and rehearses and has the part down perfectly. The problem is that George's teacher wants her to try out for the parts of Wilbur or Templeton. And George doesn't want that. What follows is a tender, yet tenacious, story about knowing who you are and ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 30, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec

In this fun police-lineup-style picture book, Olivier Tallec offers an interactive look into cause and effect/ action and consequence, while providing pictorial mini-mysteries to solve. Using simple questions like “Who ate all the jam?” and “Who’s shy about dancing?” and subsequent pictures of suspects, Tallec leaves it to the reader to pick the likeliest culprit from the lineup. Who played with the mean cat? (Probably it’s the unhappy girl with scratches on her face.) And while it’s fun to ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin (Plum Blossom Books, 2015) takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self.  Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 11, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson

Are you looking for a gentle scare? This is a darling book full of zombies and werewolves and inhabitants of the netherworld. The cupcake eating vampire and bat-shaped pig-tails on the cover assure the reader of this!  We are first introduced to Princess Decomposia, an overworked, neglected Princess quietly and competently overseeing the Underground Kingdom while her paranoid and hypochondriac bedbound father, the King, harasses all of his staff. The King refuses to eat anything but broth ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 7, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Pablo & Jane and the hot air contraption by Jose Domingo

Ever wondered what would happen if Where's Waldo smashed into Adventure Time at 70 miles per hour?  You'd get Pablo and Jane and the Hot Air Contraption! Half graphic novel, half seek and find, it's 100% fun and perfect for your next long road trip adventure. Independent and reluctant readers will be quick to gobble this one up--catch a copy today at your Madison Public Library! ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
December 4, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of I Can Roar by Frank Asch

“I Can Roar” is one of Frank Asch’s newest books and it is adorable.  There are pages and pages of various animals, one per page, with a large circle cutout so you can hold it up to your face and make oodles of animal noises.  It is great fun.  I tried this at a daycare and had to be careful not to frighten the young ones with my enthusiasm. I just toned it down a bit…but with your own child it will be a hoot!  You could also sit in front of a mirror and hold it up to your ...read more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
November 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Don't let the hefty size of the book deter you from accompanying an enchanted harmonica through the years as it enters and leaves the lives of four children. Think of it as beautifully crafted short stories that are bound together in one novel. The writing will draw you into the issues of the times such as, the beginning of the Holocaust in Germany, the Great Depression and the effects of WWII in California.  You will rally for the characters and hope that luck and good fortune is in their ...read more

Reviewed by Jody on
November 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

Jackson Greene is the James Bond of Maplewood Middle School; when you have a problem, he's the guy to see.  Everyone still buzzes about jobs like the Blitz at the Fitz and the Shakedown at Shimmering Hills, but after the unexpected fallout from the Midday PDA, Jackson Greene is out of the biz, OUT!  Now his ex-best basketball buddy (and ex-almost girlfriend) is the only candidate for student president left running against Maplewood's richest and meanest kid, Keith Sinclair. Keith's ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
November 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Just Itzy by Lana Krumwiede

Itzy the spider is starting spindergarten and is eager to shed his baby nickname, Itzy Bitzy.  To prove he’s no longer a little spiderling, he needs to spin a web and catch his own lunch.  He tries several different locations, but keeps running into problems; a girl on a tuffet screams and scares the fly away, an old lady accidently swallows him, and the rain washes him right out of the water spout!  Children will easily identify with Itzy’s desire to be more grown up, and will ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
October 23, 2015 | 0 comments