American contemporary, Award Winners, Bullying, friendship stories, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Positive LGBT characters

Middle Grade Monday: The Thing About Jellyfish

Multiple people, including author Carrie Mac, Danielle at Bookish Notions and Michelle from Mabel's Fables told me that this would be a book I would love. They were correct. This National Book Award nominated title falls under one of my favourite categories, Poignant Coming of Age Story, and is particularly adept at detailing not only… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: The Thing About Jellyfish

Animal Stories, Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Fairytales, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Good Books for Boys, Graphic Novel, Magic, middle grade, Readalouds

Middle Grade Monday: Harriet the Invincible

If you don't already know Ursula Vernon, you will soon. This author-illustrator is on the verge of making it big. The creator of the very funny Dragonbreath series as well as a few equally hilarious middle grade novels, Vernon's new series Hamster Princess casts my new favourite rodent in a proposed series of fractured fairytales.… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Harriet the Invincible

American contemporary, Author Interview, Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Classics, Funny Books, grief, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, The Penderwicks

Happiness is a Penderwicks Novel: The Penderwicks in Spring Review

How can a book that is ultimately about an eleven year old's belief that she is responsible for the death of those she has loved be so funny and charming? Such is the magic of The Penderwicks in Spring, the fourth in the truly classic and heartwarming Penderwicks series. We throw words like "modern classic"… Continue reading Happiness is a Penderwicks Novel: The Penderwicks in Spring Review

Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Canadian, Events, friendship stories, Funny Books, middle grade, multicultural cast, News, Personal Faves, picture book, Positive Gay Characters, Uncategorized, Writing, YA

The Best Moments in Children’s Books, 2014

There were some shining moments in the children's book world in 2014. This year we encouraged children to practice their reading with cats, celebrated graphic novels, established a new YA award in Canada, and took a stand on diversity. Mac Barnett's TED talk Barnett's books are funny, clever, and sophisticated, but never at the expense… Continue reading The Best Moments in Children’s Books, 2014

American contemporary, Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Classics, Fantasy, friendship stories, Ghost story, Historical Fiction, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Uncategorized, Writing

Thank You for the Borderlands: RIP Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, 1927-2014 When I was a kid I got a box of books at a garage sale. I don't remember how old I was. It was the summer, possibly between grades 3 and 4, or 4 and 5- but I do remember that box vividly. I discovered some of my favourite authors in… Continue reading Thank You for the Borderlands: RIP Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Award Winners, Classics, Fairytales, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Ghost story, Gothic, Magic, middle grade, Mystery, Personal Faves, Uncategorized

Of Ghosts, Mice & Manors: Goth Girl Review

There are ghost stories and there are mouse stories, but to my knowledge Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is the first book to weave both together and boy is it a charmer! One of our favourite gems at the Flying Dragon Bookshop was the Ottoline series by UK National treasure, Chris Riddell. These deluxe little… Continue reading Of Ghosts, Mice & Manors: Goth Girl Review

Award Winners, Fantasy, Good Books for Boys, Historical Fiction, Magic, middle grade, Mystery, Uncategorized

Nancy Drew and the Cold War: The Apothecary Review

I love all things apothecarial, I always have. Something about creating poultices, potions, and magic out of earthly elements has always appealed to the latent pagan in me. Maile Meloy's middle grade novel is billed as Nancy Drew meets Harry Potter, and while this was more far more Nancy than Harry, it's a fairly accurate… Continue reading Nancy Drew and the Cold War: The Apothecary Review

Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Classics, Cross over, Events, film, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Post-Apocalyptic, Realistic contemporary, Uncategorized, YA

My Favourite Book is Coming to TIFF!

How I Live Now  by YA literary darling Meg Rosoff, who basically bleeds award nominations, is on my top 5 books of all time, regardless of genre. I'm terrible at describing it because I love it too much: haunting, gorgeous, sexy, violent, heartbreaking, spectacular- so many adjectives! It's the only book that I reread on a semi-regular… Continue reading My Favourite Book is Coming to TIFF!

Award Winners, Canadian, Contests, Days That End in Y, Events, Love is a Four-Letter Word, middle grade, Words That Start With B

WINNERS of Clarissa & Benji Video Contest!

After months of not-so-patiently waiting, I am thrilled to announce the winners of the video contest and share their wonderful creation, inspired by my book Words That Start With B, here! From River Oaks PS in Oakville: Jessica, Albert, Ashley, Devon and Elijah: Congratulations to everyone for such clever, imaginative, and faithful imaginings of Words That Start… Continue reading WINNERS of Clarissa & Benji Video Contest!

Award Winners, Bullying, Cross over, Good Books for Boys, Post-Apocalyptic, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, YA

Out of This World: Maggot Moon Review

The always fabulous Sally Gardner has outdone herself with a chilling speculative vision of a fascist 1950s regime in her Costa award-winning novel, Maggot Moon. Standish lives in Zone 7, a forgotten slum of The Motherland where every day is bleak and violent. Without Gramps and his friend Hector, life would be unbearable. But when… Continue reading Out of This World: Maggot Moon Review