A review of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Bear’s hat is missing. After a simple, somber interrogation of every forest animal he sees, Bear has given up hope of ever finding his hat. Until he suddenly remembers something curious on the head of one of the animals he spoke to…. This book’s understated illustrations match the dark, dry humor of the dialogue perfectly. Although it is a picture book, the simple text would also be a good choice for beginning readers to try out. I won’t spoil the end of this book for you, but I’d recommend you more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
January 20, 2012 | 3 comments
A review of This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia

You would think one starred review and knowing someone with the author’s last name wouldn’t be the best criteria for choosing a book but it actually worked for me! This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia, a debut novel for the New Yorker, turned out to be a really enjoyable read. Set in a boarding house in upstate New York, the story involves three people whose lives in one way or another more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
January 19, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

You're likely quite familiar with at least one story about a girl who gets swept up by the wind from her Midwestern home into another world that desperately needs her help, but I hope you'll make room for another.  September, the 12-year-old girl who circumnavigates Fairyland in Catherynne M. Valente's beautiful story The Girl Who Circumnavigates Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, definitely holds some similarities to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, but once the Green more

Reviewed by Kylee on
January 18, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Sometimes the most interesting year- end lists of books are those of "overrated" or "worst" books; these are often paired with the ubiquitious "best of lists".  And often when persusing different lists, the same titles turn up both the best and worst lists. This year there are two novels that seem to be showing up frequently in both categories. One is 1Q84 by more

Reviewed by Mary K. - Central on
January 17, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Eyes on the Goal by John Coy

Hey all you soccer players and sports enthusiasts! Check out John Coy’s book (in his “4 for 4” series) Eyes on the Goal. In this book, we catch up with middle schoolers Jackson, Gig, Isaac and Diego, as they head to soccer camp for the summer. Although Jackson is new to the sport, he’s willing to give it a try. While Diego and Gig shine on the field, Jackson and Isaac end up on the second, less experienced team. Jackson and Isaac are discouraged, especially because they are used to more

Reviewed by Tracy on
January 13, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

Every year one of my New Year’s resolutions is to go through an enormous tub of pictures, letters, ticket stubs and other memorabilia from my past and paste together an old fashioned scrapbook. This intimidating task was once again put to the backburner, but this time for a good reason, to READ a scrapbook. There are plenty of books written in letter form (epistolary fiction) but Caroline Preston’s latest book The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
January 12, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Hangman's Daughter: A Historical Novel by Oliver Potzsch

This is a bright translated gem from Germany. It's based on the true history of a family of executioners named Kuisl from a small Bavarian town in the 1600s. The author is a descendent of the Kuisl line, which adds another element of interest to this book. It's thrilling and suspenseful, but like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, I needed a map and a translator to muddle my way through. Luckily for me the book came with a map. And I have a friend that helped with the German. What' more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 11, 2012 | 2 comments
A review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Recently I read a review of Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn which is a futuristic take on the classic novel Jane Eyre. I'd read this book years ago but reading the review reminded me of why it's never been my more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 10, 2012 | 2 comments
A review of The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

With the recent translation of The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen, we can add Denmark to the list of Scandinavian countries that have produced terrific mystery and suspense authors. This book is the first in a best-selling series in Denmark; hopefully the rest of the books will be translated and released in English soon. Copenhagen police detective Carl Morck has survived a very traumatic  incident, one that left a partner dead and another hospitalized more

Reviewed by Mary K. - Central on
January 9, 2012 | 1 comment
A review of Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

When I think of Lane Smith, I think of silly stories with a snarky sense of humor. So, I was surprised by the simple beauty of his latest work, Grandpa Green. With lush, green illustrations, Smith depicts the garden of Grandpa Green through the eyes of his great-grandson. Around every corner, topiaries depict scenes from Grandpa's life -- the time he got the chicken pox, scenes from his favorite books, the day he met his wife. And, while Grandpa's memory may be fading, his garden holds more

Reviewed by Krissy on
January 6, 2012 | 0 comments
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