A review of The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish

Ethan and his family are getting a fresh start in the hot, coastal town of Palm Knot, Georgia, or at least they are trying to. While there's a promise of finding new friends and rebuilding family relationships, Ethan's guilt of who he was and what he did continues to haunt him. Whispered phone calls at night, family secrets and the secrets of his possible new best friend, Coralee, ultimately contribute to Ethan's understanding of the importance of remembering and forgiveness. This is a capably more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 4, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres

When seventh-grader Stef Soto and one of her best friends win tickets to a concert, she tries to prove to her parents that she’s old and responsible enough to go. Her parents are apprehensive about it and more importantly, need help with running the family business, a taco truck named Tía Perla. Amongst juggling friendships, the frustrations of growing up with overprotective parents yet loving them unconditionally, and standing up for what she believes in, Stef has to find her balance and stick more

Reviewed by Jody on
March 10, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport

Rapaport tells of Frederick Douglass's life from being born a child slave to his adulthood as a free man working to free slaves and gaining the right to vote for black men. Douglass 's mother lived twelve miles away , leaving him under the care of his grandmother until he was six. From there, he was gifted to the master's relatives and sent to live in Maryland. He was taught how to read and write and those skills laid the foundation to his path to freedom.Actual quotes from Douglass's more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 27, 2016 | 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 more

Reviewed by Jody on
November 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale

Welcome to the most 'deliciously exotic, delightfully luxurious, and ravishingly beautiful resort on earth.'At the end of the nineteenth century, people from all over the world travel to Ronan Rackham's resort and zoo to experience the jungle. Marvin, one of Ronan's sons, helps at the zoo and is often overlooked because he doesn't say much due to his stuttering.  When Marvin is with the animals though, he can speak with ease.  After a successful hunt for a man-eating jaguar, his more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 15, 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 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 The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

John and Marta are surprised when they find a young boy sleeping on their porch. A note in his pocket states that Jacob is a good boy and they--whoever left him there--will come back for him. As days turn to weeks, John and Marta witness and encourage Jacob's creativity and musical genius, despite his muteness. This is a sweet story about making a hard decision between doing the right thing and keeping something you want so very much. The impact of this little boy affects the way John and Marta more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 14, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon

Penguin finds a new friend, Pinecone, far from home and lovingly cares for him. They become great friends but Pinecone must go back home to the forest. As time passes, Penguin wonders if his dear friend has grown as big and strong as he has. He returns to the forest and finds that Pinecone is no longer a pinecone, but they pick up right where they left off. The illustrations and details depict the fun and warmth of being with a friend. This story is a great reminder for young kids and adults more

Reviewed by Jody on
November 29, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Ghoulish Song by William Alexander

Kaile’s shadow separates from her while playing a bone flute gifted to her by a traveling goblin. Superstition says that once a person loses their shadow, they are really dead. So to everyone in her city, even her family, Kaile is now a ghoul. Kaile and her shadow, Shade, seek out to find the origin of the flute and to prove to everyone she is still alive. Their adventures lead to a music audition, saving the city from an impending danger, and a ghoul made of thousands of drowned bones. Even more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 31, 2013 | 0 comments