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 Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove (2014)

Wow, what a gorgeously creative book. It also managed to hit such an unlikely array of my book kinks it’s like S. E. Grove pulled them out of a hat and made a book just for me. Let’s see, we have here some steampunk, maps, time travel (sort of), Boston … Continue reading

Review: Teenie, Christopher Grant (2010)

Teenie’s best friend Cherise has always been a little wild. Now that she’s accepting money from a guy she met online (who goes by the totally non-sketchy name “Big Daddy”), though, Teenie is really worried. Teenie herself is much more straight-laced and studious, but when a few new clothes get … Continue reading

Review: Hourglass, Myra McEntire (May 2011)

For years, ever since right before her parents’ death, Emerson has seen ghosts. She can interact with them, but no one else sees them and they pop if she touches them. Desperate to help, her much-older brother/guardian Thomas sends her to one last specialist: the young, mysterious, and (surprise) devastatingly … Continue reading

Review: A Mango-Shaped Space, Wendy Mass (2003)

In the third book about differences in perception, Mia is not autistic but synesthetic. Her whole life she’s seen letters and numbers in particular colors, and seen colored shapes when she hears loud noises. She learned to hide it at a young age, but now that she’s thirteen she wants … Continue reading

Review: Five Flavors of Dumb, Antony John

Piper, a deaf high school senior who leads the chess team, gets good grades, and generally stays invisible, is a pretty unlikely choice to manage a rock band. But when she mouths off to the cocky lead singer of Dumb about how they could make some money if they’d quit … Continue reading

Review: Quaking, Kathryn Erskine

Orphaned Matt (not Matilda!) has reached the end of a string of distant relatives: a Quaker couple in a small Pennsylvania town who have also adopted a special-needs boy. It doesn’t pay to get attached, Matt has learned, so she keeps every potential family at arm’s length. But Sam and … Continue reading

Review: The Sweetheart of Prosper County, by Jill S. Alexander

Austin’s decided this is the year she’s going to stop watching the town Christmas parade and join in — on the hood of a truck as the Sweetheart of Prosper County. The Sweetheart is elected by the Future Farmers of America (FFA), so Austin joins up, along with her brand-new … Continue reading

Review: So Hard to Say, by Alex Sanchez

When Frederick starts 8th grade in a new state, he falls in with a group of Latinas who call themselves Las Sexy Seis. His new best friend, Xio, has the hots for him, but he only feels tingly when he hangs out with his new soccer buddy Victor. Could that … Continue reading

Review: Little Blog on the Prairie, Cathleen Davitt Bell

4 out of 5 When Gen’s mom drags the family to “Frontier Family Camp” for the summer, Gen is sure she’ll hate it. Who wants to spend a summer milking cows and peeing in an outhouse, cut off from her friends and the whole post-1890 world? She can’t stand the … Continue reading