Children Books

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman - Book Review

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$12.99
ISBN: 9781442472433
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 28th, 2017

I know, I know, I'm very late to the game reading this! But the best compliment I can give it is that I, as a non-sci-fi, non-YA reader, simply could not resist reading this sci-fi YA novel. It really is that good. I particularly enjoyed the structure, which is a patchworked third-person perspective that dips into the consciousness of many different characters, including many minor ones we never hear from again. It gives a satisfying sense that you're getting to know the world itself as a character rather than just the characters themselves. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar - Book Review

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780525516477
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Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - August 25th, 2020

Historical fiction set in late 1930s Cuba, where Esther and her father have immigrated to escape the growing prejudice against Jewish people in Poland. They're saving up money to bring over Esther's mother, Baba, and younger siblings by selling the dresses that Ruth designs and sews. Based on Behar's family history, this novel-in-letters takes a wide view of this time in Cuban history, examining the experiences of Chinese and Black Cubans in Esther's neighborhood as well as the growing population of Cuban Jews. Great if you are looking for a Jewish-perspective WWII story that is empowering rather than a (unfortunately much more commonplace) helpless Jewish victim narrative. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead - Book Review

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781101938096
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Published: Wendy Lamb Books - April 7th, 2020

Stead has always been a master of creating incredibly complex, ultra-realistic characters with layered stories, but she's outdone herself with this one. Bea simply leaps off the page. I adore her, and I adore this book! There's something so delightfully fun about the perspective of a "bad kid" protagonist. Do not read in public unless you want to embarrass yourself by laughing out loud every other page. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson - Book Review

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780399545436
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Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - September 1st, 2020

Next-level good. You will cry the whole way through this book, which is no surprise given that that's Jaqueline Woodson's specialty. This is a sports novel in verse, perfect for fans of Kwame Alexander's The Crossover, but it's technically post-sports: it follows ZJ, whose pro-football-player dad is starting to act strangely: forgetting things, having migraines, and getting so shaky he can no longer play. Set in the early 2000s, this book looks at the dark side of football, examining one man's battle with CTE and its effect on his tight-knit family. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party by Allan Wolf - Book Review

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$21.99
ISBN: 9780763663247
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Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2020

In this carefully crafted historical fiction, written in-verse, Allan Wolf paints a tragic picture of the harrowing journey of the ill-fated Donner party as they traverse a wild landscape in hopes of a better future in California. Told from the perspectives of the travelers - and even Hunger itself - the story peels back the very layers of what makes us human, and reveals a hidden beast that exists within all of us: a raw, untamed animal that will do anything to survive when put to the extreme. This novel is not for the faint of heart. It is a devastatingly woven tale of both fiction - and actual history - that will change the way some of us remember the Donner party. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon


The Giver (Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry - Book Review

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$9.99
ISBN: 9780544336261
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Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - July 1st, 2014

In this very real, possible future, feelings are null, love does not exist, and you are, essentially, the same as everyone else. Cleverly written, Lowry winds a moving, profound, and unsettling story of an idyllic society where Sameness is normal, and uniqueness is frowned upon. A perfect book to spark a deep discussion about controlled communities, embracing your differences, familial ties, and the fine line between doing what's right, and doing something because you don't know any better. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon


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