Poetry Friday: Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers by Gloria Whelan

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers By Gloria Whelan. Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene. Sleeping Bear Press, 2008. This week and next in our homeschool we’re traveling to Japan: sushi, haiku, kimonos, rice paper, origami, big city, small farm, tsunamis, cherry blossoms. And what else might we discover in our imaginary journey to Japan? When you’re […]

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Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Posted by Sherry on 6/4/2010 in 2008, Children's Fiction |

OK, this one is easily the best children’s fiction title I’ve read this year. It has all the following strengths: 1. It’s funny. Cf. the first chapter, entitled “I Am Not Exactly in the Lake District.” What makes that funny is that Liam, the thirteen year old protagonist and narrator of this adventure story, is […]


What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Posted by Sherry on 1/11/2010 in 1947, 2008, 20th Century History Project, General, Young Adult Fiction |

I just got around to reading Ms. Blundell’s National Book Award-winning young adult novel this weekend. If it wasn’t a 2008 publication, I would add it to my list of Best YA Books of 2009. It was nominated for the 2009 Cybils in the YA Fiction category, probably because it was published toward the end […]


YA Fiction of 2008: The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante

Posted by Sherry on 2/18/2009 in 2008, General, Young Adult Fiction |

At first, I thought this story about two teenage girls fleeing a cult/commune just didn’t ring true-to-life. One of the girls, Agnes, was way too indoctrinated to be believable, but the other girl, Honey, was too rebellious and knowledgeable to have been encased in a religious cult all her life. So, I came to believe […]


2008 Cybils Winners

Posted by Sherry on 2/14/2009 in 2008, Booklists, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, General |

Yeah! Hooray! The 2008 Cybils winners were announced today. Easy Readers: I Love My New Toy by Mo Willems. Mr. Willems is, by the way, Z-baby’s favorite author. She loves all of his books, but she is especially fond of the Pigeon books. Middle Grade Fantasy and Science FIction: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. […]


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Sherry on 1/26/2009 in 2008, General, Young Adult Fiction |

I read a lot about this book, not spoilers just good reviews, before I read it, and I was afraid it might not live up to all the hype. With only one caveat, it did live up to its reputation. If you haven’t heard anything about the book, I’ll give you a quick synopsis or […]


Newbery/Caldecott and Other Predictions

Posted by Sherry on 1/21/2009 in 2008, Booklists, Children's Fiction, General, Newbery Project |

My picks: The Newbery Award is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Winner: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. Honor Books: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall. Alvin Ho by Lenore Look. Masterpiece by Elise Broach. The Caldecott Award is given to the artist of the […]


Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Posted by Sherry on 1/21/2009 in 2008, General, Young Adult Fiction |

“It’s taxi-dancing. The customers rent you, like a taxi. Get it?” Ruby Jacinski is tired of working at the meat-packing plant in Back of the Yards, Chicago. When handsome Paulie Suelze tells her that she can get a job that pays fifty dollars a week —just for dancing—Ruby’s ready and willing. Unfortunately, Ruby’s Ma can’t […]


The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson

Posted by Sherry on 1/16/2009 in 2008, Cybil Awards, General, Young Adult Fiction |

It’s one of the finalists for the Cybils Fantasy and Science Fiction Award, and I can see why. Nevertheless, I thought it was . . . odd. But maybe it’s supposed to be odd. Maybe I just have a low tolerance for odd, or at least for this particular kind of odd. I didn’t dislike […]


A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Posted by Sherry on 1/14/2009 in 2008, Cybil Awards, Fantasy Fiction, General, Young Adult Fiction |

“The story of Rumplestiltskin is what folklorists call a ‘Name of the Helper’ tale, in which a character must defeat a mysterious helper by discovering his True Name (or Secret Name or Hidden Name). . . I’ve also found it fascinating that in Rumplestiltskin, the heroine is known only as ‘the miller’s daughter’ or ‘the […]

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