MADreads

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 ...read 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 ...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 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 ...read 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 ...read 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 ...read 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, ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 21, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The rest of us just live here by Patrick Ness

Typical themes in young adult fiction - zombies, vampires, teens “beautifully dying of cancer,” and alien invasion - are all fair game for raucously being pulled apart and made fun of in this novel. Narrator Mikey distinguishes his group of friends from the “indie kids,” attractive young people with cool haircuts and vintage clothing who always seem to be the heroes of stories, exemplifying great bravery and courage just in time to save the world. But what about everyone else? Everyone else ...read more

Reviewed by Janice - Meadowridge on
December 18, 2015 | 1 comment
Librarians' Picks for 2015 For the last ten days librarians have been tweeting their 2015 favorites using the hashtag #libfaves15. Some titles are familiar and being seen on a lot of other 'best of' lists, but many others are unsung, but still standout, titles of this past year. I tweeted along with the other librarians and here list my top ten titles. 10. ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 17, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision this past June concerning same sex marriage, I think this is an important book to be aware of.  Ms. Kaplan traces the history behind and the staging of the Windsor case regarding equal marital rights which was presented to the Supreme Court in 2012. This decision in favor of Edith Windsor set the stage for the court decision in June. The author writes a clear account, even for the layman, regarding the laws and arguments behind the decision ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Sequoya on
December 16, 2015 | 0 comments
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