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: 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: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (Sept. 2011)

Conor has had the same nightmare every night since his mother began her treatments. But one night he wakes up to a different dream: a monster has come calling. The monster wants to tell him three stories, and in exchange Conor must tell the true story of his nightmare. Conor … Continue reading

The Teashop Girls, by Laura Schaefer

It’s the end of 8th grade, and Annie and her BFFs-4-eva Genna and Zoe appear to be growing apart. They’ve always hung out in Annie’s grandma’s tea shop, the Steeping Leaf, where Annie works after school. Since they were little they’ve called themselves the Teashop Girls. But Genna and Zoe … Continue reading

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly

Callie Tate lives on a wealthy farm of pecan trees and too many brothers in turn-of-the-century Texas. One day she gathers the courage to ask her intimidating grandfather about the two different kinds of grasshoppers she sees in the fields, and he tells her to figure it out herself. From … Continue reading