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: The Center of Everything, by Linda Urban

The pitch: Ever since her grandma died, Ruby has felt like everything’s wrong. She’s hoping her birthday wish will set things right at her town’s founding day parade. The review: Let me say up front that I loooove Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect. One of my favorite MG books ever. My … Continue reading

Review: The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta

This is a sequel (companion?) to Saving Francesca, though it can entirely stand alone. This time the story is from Tom’s point of view. After his uncle got blown up in the London Tube, he and his family fell apart. His  dad became an alcoholic and drove his mom away. … Continue reading

Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta (2003)

It’s an eventful year for Frankie: she starts a new school (the formerly all-boys St. Seb’s, at which girls are welcome officially if not in practice), her normally outgoing mother becomes so depressed she won’t get out of bed, and… y’know, boy stuff. It’s YA, after all. I didn’t love … Continue reading