Fans of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books and readers of Roald Dahl will find a similar “imaginormous” story line accompanied by pictures in David Walliams latest tween novel, Grandpa’s Great Escape.  Illustrations by Tony Ross add humor to the story of Jack and his Grandpa, a legendary World War II pilot in the Ro yal Air Force who has begun to exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Set in 1983 in London, the book begins like a theatrical production, with a list of opening credits followed by the cast of characters who are drawn with humor and a lively use of line.  Featured later in the text,Read More →

“Sometimes we hold on to guilt or grief because it’s the last thing we have that ties us to the person we miss” (329). Ethan Truitt’s been holding onto his grief and guilt every moment since he’s lost his best friend, Kacey. He feels responsible for what happened to her and his frustrations fill him with the urge to run, to find Kacey and feel whole again. After his third attempt at running, where his older brother Roddie catches him, Ethan’s parents decide to move the family from their home in Boston to Palm Knot, Georgia. The family moves in with Grandpa Ike, who isRead More →

With pollutants and poisons pouring into the earth and air, the humans aren’t so easy to befriend by the faery folk whose hesitation is warranted since their very existence depends on clean air, soil, and water.  Still, LilyDark, who will be crowned the new heir to the throne, is determined to proclaim peace.  In One Blood Ruby, a sequel to Seven Black Diamonds, Melissa Marr continues the saga of the seven half-fae, half-human beings, that the Queen of Blood and Rage has converted into weapons to advance her cause. But the cessation of war turns out to be far more dangerous than any of theRead More →

As far as the world is concerned, Jonathan Grisby is a trouble-making delinquent, a criminal. As far as Jonathan is concerned, the world is right. After a mysterious incident leaves Jonathan riddled with guilt and pain, he is sent to Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys, “a dark place for dark youths” (2). Slabhenge is a building made of decaying, grey stone, sitting far from land in the foaming sea. The tall, jagged building has no land surrounding it, only a small dock where mail, supplies, and new criminal boys are delivered. When Jonathan first arrives, it’s clear that Slabhenge is not the “kind ofRead More →

Some books engender an anger and a disgust so intense that readers want to reach inside the pages to yank an abuser right out of a child’s life.  A List of Cages by Robin Roe is one of those books.  Julian Harlow’s Uncle Russell joins Dave Pelzer’s mother from the A Child Called It trilogy and Liam’s father from King of the Screwups by K. L. Going as characters with diseased brains. Having lost his parents in a tragic accident, Julian is orphaned and spends some time in a foster home before his Uncle Russell takes him in.  However, Russell is unfit for parenting, abusingRead More →