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Posts by Jody M

A quest to save the future of all creatures

Cover of Wingbearer
A review of Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu

Zuli is determined to find out why the souls of birds have stopped returning to the Great Tree and bring them back. Adventures and mishaps happen one after another as she gets closer to finding out who’s responsible and learns about who she really is and what she’s capable of. There’s magic and a slew of magical creatures like goblins, griffins, a dragon  and the cautious, yet faithful owl, Frowly. The cliffhanger promises more adventures with Zuli’s newfound friends and more information about her past.

Jul 29, 2022

The need to belong

Cover of Belonging in YA (Teen) Gra
Belonging in YA (Teen) Graphic Novels

Belonging is a common theme in many young adult stories. Graphic novels provide an excellent visual of capturing the experiences and emotions as characters grow and find themselves. It’s as if we’re dropping in or hovering over a character’s shoulder to see a slice of  their life. Here are three insightful and at times, humorous graphic novels to check out:

May 18, 2022

Este cuento entró por un caminito plateado, y salió por uno dorado / This story entered through a silver path and left on a golden one

Cover of The Last Cuentista
A review of The Last Cuentista by Donna Higuera

It’s not very often a science fiction book wins the Newbery Award and the Pura Belpré Award but The Last Cuentista did this year. The Last Cuentista is a dystopian story with tales of Mexican folklore woven within. ‘Cuentista’ in Spanish means storyteller and the main character, Petra Peña, is truly the only cuentista left in the world.

Mar 3, 2022

A very sweet story indeed

Cover of Magic Candies
A review of Magic Candies by Baek Heena, translated by Sophie Bowman

Baek Heena is one of Korea’s most famous picture book authors and artists.She grew up with a vivid imagination and her inner child shines through in her books. She makes a conscious effort in her artwork and storytelling to show the perspectives and emotions of children. You’ll definitely get a sense of awe along with a few giggles reading this book.

Dec 17, 2021

Siblings at their best and worst

Cover of Twins
A review of Twins by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and inseparable until the start of sixth grade. Maureen doesn’t understand why Francine doesn’t want things to be as they always have been. Francine’s acting different now. She wants to be called Fran, starts joining other groups, she cares about being stylish, and wants to run for class president?! Tired of not being the ‘smart twin’ and with a twinge of anger at Fran, Maureen decides to run for class president too. Can they be competitive and still be loving sisters? It’s going to be a bumpy election with lessons to be learned on both sides.

Apr 21, 2021

Opening the floodgates about PTSD

Cover of The Valley and the Flood
A review of The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

Somewhere in the Nevada desert, Rose Colter hears her best friend’s last voicemail message broadcasted on the radio. With her car broken down, she runs towards the broadcast tower into a town called Lotus Valley. The townspeople have been waiting for her; in fact, she was prophesied to arrive and in doing so would bring about a great flood within the next three days. Is Rose the cause of the flood and if so, why?

Mar 31, 2021

No need for a microscope

Cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of
A review of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Author Candace Fleming and illustrator Eric Rohmann have wowed the children’s book world with a very engaging and detailed book about bees. Did you know bees are quite hairy?! The oil paintings of bees in this book are so close-up you’ll feel like you’re just as tiny, getting exclusive access of a nest from a bee's point-of-view.

Jan 29, 2021

Not every friend is meant to stay

Cover of The Girl and the Ghost
A review of The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf

Suraya has always found it hard to make friends and being a new student doesn't help. She does have one good friend, although it comes in the form of a grasshopper. It’s a pelesit, a spirit familiar that serves Survaya, inherited from her estranged grandmother. The book begins with the reader being empathetic of lonely Suraya and welcoming of her pelesit. You’ll be rooting for them thinking, “I’m glad he’s there to protect her from those bullies!” But soon things take a wicked turn, reminiscent of a popular horror movie when awful things start happening to Suraya herself.

Dec 28, 2020

A bothersome dilemma

Cover of Scandalous Sisterhood of P
A review of 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 inquisitive constables.

Jul 3, 2020