About Me

I started reading books written for young adults when I was about 8 and I’ve never stopped. Fortunately I’ve managed to parlay this into a career which, while not exactly “lucrative,” is a hell of a lot of fun. I’m a middle school librarian at a diverse, urban-ish public school near Boston, and I love (almost) every minute.

me as Specials cover
(This is me as the cover of one of my favorites.)

I read a wide range of middle grade and YA to keep up with my students’ interests, but I’m especially partial to MG historical fiction, YA speculative fiction, and stories about kids doing good in the world. I grew up on a steady diet of dystopias long before they were trendy, and they made me the lefty environmentalist I am today.

I’m interested in the writing, but even more in what the stories say about the world and how they fit into the larger context of YA and children’s literature. I always want to read books that are doing something different: representing diverse characters, questioning society’s status quo, subverting common literary tropes.

I’ve owned this domain since 1999, which makes me an official Old Lady of the Internet. At first it was a “web journal” of the passive-aggressive angst of my early twenties. Since 2006 or so it’s been the “YA reviews and geekery” blog you see today. Welcome! I hope you’ll stick around, leave a comment, start a discussion.

You can reach me at sam at parenthetical dot net.

Review policy: I review YA and MG fiction. These days, I’m much more likely to review on Goodreads than here on my blog, but trust me — way more people are looking over there. Please email me if you’d like to me to consider reviewing your book — I love being asked to review things, but I’ll feel guilty if you just send me an unsolicited ARC and then I don’t get around to reading it. As much as I want to say yes to your NetGalley review request, alas, I spend quite enough time on screens already and e-books just don’t work for me. Thanks for getting in touch!

8 Responses to About Me

  1. Hey,

    I hope that you remember me. We did an interview a while ago and were paired for a few things. I had a few questions for you but I have lost your email and cannot find it on here. If you could email me so I can ask you the questions I would be very appreciative.
    I love the new blog by the way. It is beautiful.

    • Sam says:

      Thanks, Allegra! Of course I remember you and would be happy to answer your questions. :) My email is on this page, it’s just written out so it won’t get picked up by spambots: sam at parenthetical dot net. I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

  2. Ali B. says:

    My mom was a middle school (San Diego, CA) and high school (Memphis, MO) librarian for years. She also spent a few years in a public library before completing her M.A. in Library Science. She LOVED her job, and she LOVED books for kids. She made me the reader/writer/teacher/mother I am today.

    Librarians ROCK! Especially librarians who work to connect to students and make them readers and researchers. My hat (imaginary) is off to you!

  3. Congratulations. I chose you to win The Versatile Blogger Award.
    Go to the link and find out what you need to do to accept the award.
    Congratulations once again.

  4. Sam says:

    We did! Hi Bill, glad you found me.

  5. Prof. Torg says:

    Ah, librarians, some of the saints of the world! We met at BEA, didn’t we? The names, the blog names, they’ve sort of run together on me. :)



  6. I love your web site and believe you’d love my YA fiction novel recently released by Penguin. I’m going on my tenth year as a middle school teacher and penned “Secret Saturdays” to add something great to our library’s shelves. The loads of love from youth across the nation who say it’s their favorite has landed me on NBC and other major appearances. If you’re interested, a review copy is your’s. Just indicate the best mailing address :)

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