A review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill

A bird? A bunny? A trained seal? A young girl wants the perfect pet . . . however, her mother says no to all of these ideas. In fact, she says no to any pet that needs to be “walked or bathed or fed”. What’s a girl to do? Do research, find a pet that fits those criteria, and mail order one – of course! In Sparky! by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014) the mail ordered pet turns out to be a sloth. A hang-from-the-tree, do-not-much-of-anything, except-if-it’s-really-really-slowly, kind more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 6, 2015 | 0 comments
Domestic Thrillers Gone Girl was a huge success, both as a book and a movie, and that success means one thing. It means that publishers have become determined to find that next breakout hit. And that push has spawned a sub-genre. Let's call them Domestic Thrillers. The underlying theme to the genre is the knowledge that everyone has secrets (big and small) and that sometimes what you don't know about the person who is closest to you might get you killed. A book that's been getting a lot of buzz more

Reviewed by Jane J on
March 5, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel

Sea Creatures is a story of escape, but from what, we’re not sure at first. It is clear that there are demons lurking in the life of Georgia and her recent move to a houseboat in Miami with her husband and son. That her husband is a chronic parasomniac and her toddler son an unexplained mute are the first clues. With recurring imagery from the sea and its mysterious denizens, we dive deeper, alongside Georgia to shed light on long-buried darkness, and an uncharted route back to more

Reviewed by Carra on
March 4, 2015 | 0 comments
New Mysteries For a number of years now I'm been sharing a list of mysteries, both new characters and old. Here is my spring 2015 list. (I've already got a few titles for my summer list.) I have read the first one on the list (see my review) and am looking forward to reading rest on the list. Which character are looking forward to reconnecting with? Are there any new mysteries that you would recommend? more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
March 3, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder edited by Pamela Smith Hill

It is not every day that a beloved author, dead for sixty years, hits the bestseller list with an entirely new memoir. Yet that is the case with Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose long-unpublished work Pioneer Girl gets its full due in a brand new edition curated by Wilder scholar Pamela Smith Hill. Wilder’s Little House books, based on her family’s pioneering experiences in Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota and South Dakota, became central in children’s literature canon, inspired a hit more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
March 2, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

What are seven young ladies to do when the headmistress and her brother abruptly falls over dead during dinner? They don't want to go back to their homes and there may be a killer amongst them. The solution: bury the corpses in the garden and dress up one of the students as their headmistress. The mystery thickens as the young ladies, each with her own unique characteristic,  tries to keep up this farce and deal with meddling neighbors, a lovestruck admiral, long-lost relatives, and more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 27, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

The reader is transported to Bascom, North Carolina, nine years after we left the Waverley sisters and their magical gifts in Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells.  Claire Waverley has left her successful catering business behind to start Waverley's Candies and has married Tyler, the artist from next door. They are parents to nine-year-old Mariah and it's yet to be determined if Mariah has a "Waverley gift." Wild more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 26, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices by Mitali Perkins

Reviewed by Ali Khan of The Simpson Street Free Press When confronting problems regarding race and ethnicity, many attempt to challenge stereotypes with protests, heated discussions, and even aggression. While these options may be effective, Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, edited by Mitali Perkins, uses a different tactic against racial prejudices—humor.Open Mic is not the average teen novel. Rather than share the perspective of just one author, it more

Reviewed by Jesse on
February 24, 2015 | 1 comment
A review of Revolution by Deborah Wiles

The town of Greenwood, Mississippi, is being invaded. Young college students from the North are coming to help register voters. This story is told from two different viewpoints, Sunny, a twelve year-old white girl, and Raymond, a black boy from Baptist Town. Their paths intertwine as their families and communities take on the challenges of understanding and implementing civil rights.The audiobook version is superbly done with a full cast of actors, laden with commercials, reporter interviews, more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Board Stiff by Annelise Ryan

There’s no better way to spend a snowy afternoon than curled up with a good cozy mystery. I recently discovered a Wisconsin author, Annelise Ryan, who has a charming series featuring a character named Mattie Winston and the latest installment Board Stiff was delightful. Mattie Winston is a coroner in fictional Sorenson, WI and has just settled back into her old job after taking a brief leave of absence. Her absence included frequent trips to the local casino and her pesky gambling more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
February 19, 2015 | 1 comment
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