Review: Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai (2015)

The pitch: Mai, or Mia as she’s known at school, is the thoroughly SoCal daughter of Vietnamese refugees. Her big beach plans for the summer are cut short when her dad announces a family trip to Vietnam to help her grandmother, Ba, say goodbye to her grandfather’s memory. All Mai can … Continue reading

Review: My Life in Dioramas, by Tara Altebrando (May 2015)

The pitch: Kate has lived her entire life in the rambling, quirky old house everyone calls Big Red. When her parents tell her they have to move, she decides to fight back. The review: Time to ‘fess up: I cannot approach books about homes objectively. My family made a few … Continue reading

Review: Make Lemonade, by Virginia Euwer Wolff (1993)

I still have a handful of books that are on my recommended summer reading list due to general acclaim even though I haven’t read them yet. Sometimes I read one and am embarrassed about putting my stamp of approval on it. But Make Lemonade is staying on the list forever, unless I can get … Continue reading

Review: The Boundless, by Kenneth Oppel (2014)

I picked this up because I loved Airborn, Oppel’s steampunk airship (is that redundant?) adventure, and also because TRAINS. (Unfortunately the Amtrak Pennsylvanian I read it on was not as well-appointed as the opulent Boundless.) This tale takes place after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, on the maiden … Continue reading