A review of The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems

A small white dog with a pink bow named Diva and a green-eyed black cat named Flea become unlikely friends and adventurers in this story set in Paris, just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower. A self-identified flâneur, or idle man-about-town, Flea finds the serious, somewhat-nervous, somewhat-sheltered Diva guarding the whole of 11 avenue Le Play, including the courtyard. Their friendship develops and they both gain something valuable from the other. Diva and Flea think like small children more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 7, 2016 | 0 comments
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A review of Radiance by Grace Draven

I've been perusing a lot of "best of" lists for the end of 2015 and have found several great reads from those lists. One of them has been hitting a lot of romance "best" lists and I have to say I agree with the accolades. Radiance** is a fantasy romance that is solid from beginning to end (though I had a slight quibble with the epilogue) and I loved it. At it's heart Radiance is really more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 6, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Drowning Ground by James Marrison

Mystery is not usually my thing, but I was gratified to enjoy this British whodunnit (similar in setting and mood to the Broadchurch series) spanning many years and six unexplained murders. Marrison scaffolds the plot carefully, providing enough information to piece clues together along the way, but not so many as to provide the reader a premature solution. While there was a brief scare at one point that “the whole thing was a dream!” (ala Dallas), the author reined it back in for a more

Reviewed by Carra on
January 5, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe

Anna Blanc is bored.  With a father who treats her like the prize in a business deal, Anna is forever plagued with chaperones that neither let her out of their sight nor leave any door in daddy’s sumptuous mansion unlocked. But it’s 1907 Los Angeles, and Anna is determined to get out and experience what she knows she was meant to do—become a detective. Such is the premise behind The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, a mystery/caper/romance that sees our heroine get her wish and oh so more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 4, 2016 | 0 comments
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 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 more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 30, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Clarinet Whale by Kimberly Sailor

When you get to a certain age it often feels like when you read a book it begins to remind you of similar plot done by another author. I just finished a book that was completely unique and well written. Clarinet Whale by local writer Kimberly Sailor came out earlier this year and was part of a list I am reading for the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards and I can’t quit talking about it with more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
December 29, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

Someone once said that looking good is the best revenge. For Tilly Dunnage, the titular character of Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker, revenge goes beyond simply looking good. After years of studying dressmaking and couture in Paris and Milan, Tilly returns to the small 1950s Australian town that ostrasized her and her mother for years. Looking to start over again, Tilly first faces the challenge of rehabilitating Molly, her mother, from years of neglect while establishing a fledgling more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 28, 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 more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Oh, Mindy. It's official. I will read anything that you write. Thank you for telling us that you stopped at McDonald's after a difficult Hollywood meeting to eat not one, but two Egg McMuffins. It does not get more real than that. It's no secret that I enjoy reading comedy memoirs. It's one of my best things. At the top of my list include the books written by Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Jim Gaffigan. At the very tippy top of my list are the books written by Mindy Kaling. Her books are humorous, more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 21, 2015 | 0 comments
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