Review: Skinny, by Donna Cooner (Oct. 2012)

The pitch: Fat girl Ever is miserable with the weight she’s gained since her mother’s death. She feels “trapped in a fat shell.” After losing weight with gastric bypass surgery, she gains enough confidence to let her gorgeous voice shine in the school musical. The review: First of all, I … Continue reading

Reviews: Al Capone Does My Shirts (2004); Anything But Typical (2009)

I’ve just read three books about kids with different ways of perceiving the world, and because they’re thematically linked (also to catch up on reviews quicker) I’ll review two together: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko, and Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Al Capone, my favorite … Continue reading

Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan

Naomi and her little brother Owen are content living with their great-grandmother in a trailer park — Naomi carves soap into animal shapes, hangs out with the (clearly flaming, even though the text doesn’t say so explicitly) librarian at school, and watches Wheel of Fortune every night with Gram and … Continue reading

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos

In two weeks I’ll be heading to the Simmons College Children’s Literature Summer Institute. Three days of talks by and schmoozing with fabulous authors, editors, and other people working in the children’s lit field (not to mention some dear friends). So excited! I realized that I’m unfamiliar with the work … Continue reading