Review: Doll Bones, by Holly Black

The pitch: In a last-ditch attempt to save their friendship, Zach, Poppy, and Alice go on a road trip led by a ghost. A relatable friendship story with a lot of adventure and just a little bit of creepiness. The review: I loved this! Like When You Reach Me, it can be … Continue reading

“Review”: Charmed and Dangerous, by Lisi Harrison

Ok, let’s get through this as quickly and painlessly as possible. There’s a series of books called The Clique. If you know Gossip Girls, it’s basically the same deal, only for middle schoolers: shockingly privileged, entitled girls who only care about fashion and popularity bitch at each other and name-drop … Continue reading

Review: The Only Ones, by Aaron Starmer

Martin Maple and his dad live alone on an island. Mr. Maple spends all his time building a mysterious machine that he says will bring hope. When the machine is almost done, he rows off to the mainland to bring back the final piece. He never returns, nor do the … Continue reading

Review (Nerds Heart YA, 2nd Round): Tall Story, Candy Gourlay (2010)

This was the other book in our Nerds Heart YA round, against Toads and Diamonds. We ultimately selected that one to go on, but here is my review of Tall Story. Andi adores basketball, and is devastated to learn that her new London school has no girls’ basketball team. Meanwhile, … 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

Review: The Girls, Amy Goldman Koss (2000)

A classic middle-school clique situation: five friends, including one queen bee, one follower, and three quieter hangers-on… And then there were four. The queen bee, Candace, decides she doesn’t want to hang out with Maya anymore. Who knows why? But the rest have to go along with it, lest they … Continue reading