Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Beginning, A Muddle, And An End: The Right Way to Write Writing

Although it’s a sequel, Avi’s A Beginning, A Muddle, And An End is easy to pick up in the midst of a very good friendship between Avon, “a rather small snail” and Edward, an ant. Avon has decided to write. Conversation … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter Books, Character-driven, Children's novels, Word choice | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment


“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.” Neil Gaiman‘s first sentence offers a glimpse of the fascinating story to follow. It has a slightly creepy vibe–you know there’s a strange door that was hidden … Continue reading


Posted in Character-driven, Children's novels, strong characters | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dogsled Dreams

Adventure. Dogs. Snow. Terry Lynn Johnson‘s Dogsled Dreams has it all. Twelve-year-old Rebecca has to convince everyone, most of all herself, that she’s a good enough musher for a real dog sled race. While friends and family throw a few problems in … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian author/illustrator, Children's novels | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

Poems and the ocean fit together like wind and sand. Perfect for summer, Water Sings Blue inspects all the crevices of the ocean’s shore to its depths. Praises for the blue whale: rolling your belly like a tide, and the coral: We are busy. … Continue reading

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Wilma Unlimited

Overcoming multiple obstacles, including crippling polio, Wilma Rudolph persisted and exercised and ran her way to being the first American woman to win three gold medals at one Olympics. In the aftermath of the Summer Olympic Games in London, this … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction, Picture books | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dancing Pancake

Eileen Spinelli‘s The Dancing Pancake is a nice, easy read for summer. Formatted in verse, it doesn’t feel as much like poetry as it does clean, spare prose. The clever title shows up in more ways than one, and the main character’s … Continue reading

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