Although some people believe that facts are more important than fiction, Phineas Taylor Wilkie—who prefers to be called P.T.—isn’t a believer in the “truth conquers all” motto because he thinks that some stories have more power.  Chris Grabenstein–the award-winning bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library–shares that theory with tween readers in his recent book, Welcome to WonderLand: Home Sweet Motel, a book cleverly illustrated by Brooke Allen.  P.T. and his mom Wanda live in a Florida motel on St. Pete’s Beach with Grandpa Walt, who wants nothing more than to snatch from “the other Walt,” the title of “Hottest Family Attraction in the Sunshine State” (12). P.T. lovesRead More →

David Neilsen is a professional teller of spooky, horrific tales for all ages. For his first novel, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, he’s chosen to stick to what he’s good at. Intended for readers between the ages of 8 and 12, Neilsen offers a quirky, uniquely chilling story that provides an engaging and suspenseful read for everyone, especially if you are afraid of going to the doctor. It all starts when someone buys the abandoned house on Hardscrabble Street. It’s a house “of imagination, a blank canvas just waiting to be painted with the gleeful brushstrokes of youth” (2). The kids from theRead More →

The only thing certain in life is that it will change, and how we adjust to those changes will determine our satisfaction on the journey.  Sharon Creech weaves this thematic thread into her new novel, Moo, a clever blend of the prose and poetry genres with a target audience of tweens. Moo features twelve-year-old Reena and her brother Luke, “a seven-year-old complexity” (6) with a talent for drawing and an aversion to animals and to being touched.  Inspired by both his imagination and what he sees, Luke has the eye and the demeanor of a creative soul.  His sister, too, has an artist’s eye, but sheRead More →

What if there was an invention that could create ANYTHING you could imagine? For ten year old Tim, this invention is not only real, it is life changing! Tim was recently adopted by Elisa and Chris Green, owners of the Dawn Store Hotel. Tim’s adoption was finalized just two weeks before the hotel opened, which means Elisa and Chris have been very busy working. This gives Tim plenty of time to roam the hotel and even run into trouble at times. One day, Tim stumbles across a peculiar hotel guest, Professor Eisenstone. The professor’s hotel room happens to be across the hall from Tim’s, and afterRead More →

There are many, many, many adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in this world and only a few are capable of standing on their own. The Season by spouses Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer is the newest adaptation of Austen’s classic story, one that, while a bit cliché, is a memorable version of a beloved tale. Megan McKnight fills the role of Elizabeth Bennet as a soccer player in her early twenties, someone who is definitely not a girly-girl. It’s her sister, Julia, who likes dresses and makeup and dances. When their mom enrolls them in the super exclusive Bluebonnet Club’s 2016 Dallas DebutanteRead More →

Twelve Reasons to Read (and Enjoy) The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily Rachel Cohn’s and David Levithan’s novel Is a “mittens and hot chocolate and snow angels that lifted from the ground and danced in the air” (3) romance, until it’s not. Confirms that some people together are toxic. Shares multiple definitions of love, including a piece of exquisite pattern prose on pages 28-29, and explores the paradox: “The people you know the most, the people you love the most—you’re also going to feel the parts of them you don’t know the most” (80). Shows why “trying too hard plus good intentions does notRead More →

Of all the revelations that her afterlife brings, perhaps the most startling for Molly Bellamy is the discovery that being dead doesn’t mean being done with life.  Murdered by a trusted friend when she was sixteen and in love, Molly finds herself, not in heaven, but trapped in a valley of nonexistence beside a lake—like being in a snow globe but without glass walls.  She shares this virtually unchanging place devoid of sensations with others like her who have also died young and in a violent, sudden, and painfully brutal way. All of the ghosts beside the lake occasionally travel back into the real worldRead More →

The amazing orphans are back again in the second story of the Curiosity House. Pippa, Sam, Max, and Thomas are relaxed now that the villain, Nicholas Rattigan, is in jail and far away from their home. The orphans have continued working on their show at Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. However, business is not picking up as expected, and the orphans are worried that the museum will be closing soon. Before the children have time to worry, Mr. Dumfrey, the Museum’s owner, and the person the kids call “dad”, comes across a newspaper headline that is sure to bring in business. “RICHSTONE TO FRYRead More →