On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells

Posted by Sherry on 4/19/2012 in 1929, 1941, 2010, Children's Fiction |

Another boy’s book in which time travel makes my head hurt. “Time is a river in which we can travel both forward into the future and back into the past.” The urchins watched Back to the Future 2 last night, and it made my head hurt, too. With The Blue Comet I just gave up […]


Middle School Boys: Just Keep Swimming

Posted by Sherry on 5/6/2011 in 2010, Children's Fiction, General |

Ratfink by Marcia Thornton Jones. How To Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart. How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) by Art Corriveau. Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg. Logan is the fifth grade ratfink in Marcia Thornton Jones’ story of the same name, and he has a […]


The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli

Posted by Sherry on 1/25/2011 in 2010, General, Young Adult Fiction |

Ms. Napoli has novelized several folk and fairy tales already, and The Wager is another good entry in that genre. It’s the story, taken from a Sicilian fairytale “Don Giovanni de la Fortuna“, of Don Giovanni who makes a wager with the devil: he can have riches unimaginable that will never run out if he […]


Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Posted by Sherry on 1/17/2011 in 2010, Cybil Awards, General, Young Adult Fiction |

Ship Breaker is on the shortlist for the Cybils YA Fantasy/Science Fiction Award. Ship Breaker was a finalist for 2010 National Book Award in the category of Young People’s Literature. (The winner was Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine.) Ship Breaker won the 2011 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. And, having just finished reading […]


Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

So, on Monday Moon Over Manifest was something of a surprise winner of the Newbery Medal for “the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year” (2010). And I just happened to have a copy of the winning book in my library basket, a leftover from the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction panel that I […]


Awards Time: Newbery and Such

Posted by Sherry on 1/10/2011 in 2010, Children's Fiction, Newbery Project, Young Adult Fiction |

Newbery Award: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. This book was on the list of nominees for the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. About a week ago I finally got it from the library, and it’s in my library basket waiting for me to get around to it. I guess […]


The Many Faces of Homeschooling in Cybils Middle Grade Fiction

Posted by Sherry on 1/3/2011 in 2010, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, General |

The Ignorant Abusive Religious Zealot Homeschoolers: Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth by Sandra Dutton. The “Christian” mother in the story threatens to homeschool Mary Mae if Mary doesn’t forget about fossils and quit asking so many questions about the Bible. Then Mama slaps Mary Mae for being sassy. That was the last straw for […]


Semicolon’s Twelve Best Young Adult Fiction Books Read in 2010

Posted by Sherry on 1/2/2011 in 2010, Cybil Awards, General, Young Adult Fiction |

Honestly, the best books I read in 2010 were mostly young adult fiction books. These novels, marketed to young people ages 14-21, are the work of some of the best writers working today. Because of the age group, the authors are required to keep it simple, not simplistic, but too many fancy tricks or philosophical […]


Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell

Posted by Sherry on 12/31/2010 in 2010, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, General |

Several of the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction nominees deal with kids who get themselves into a heap of trouble by lying. In I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog), the title character finds himself enmeshed in a web of lies when he tries to investigate the history of his new dog, Reggie. […]


Semicolon’s Twelve Best Middle Grade Fiction Books of 2010

Posted by Sherry on 12/30/2010 in 2010, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, General |

When Molly Was a Harvey Girl by Frances M. Wood. Semicolon review here. Thirteen year old Molly pretend to be eighteen so that she and her old sister Colleen can get jobs together as Harvey girls at the famous restaurant chain in Raton, New Mexico. I liked the vivid portrayal of what it was like […]

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