Mini Book Reviews

Writing Magic (MG)

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by Gail Carson Levine Writing Magic is a collection of writing advice geared specifically for young writers, covering everything from voice to characters to dialogue to point of view, using examples from her own books and others to illustrate her point. Carson Levine is thorough, addressing nearly every aspect of storytelling, while keeping chapters short, […]

Mini Book Reviews

Red Queen (YA)

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by Victoria Aveyard This is a story of “haves” and “have-nots,” where the “haves” have superpowers and the “have-nots” get trampled underfoot. A “have-not” girl gets unexpectedly thrown in among the “haves,” for surprising reasons and with dire consequences. It’s like X-Men meets Gladiator meets British history’s War of the Roses, where everyone did whatever […]

Mini Book Reviews

Thirteenth Child (YA)

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by Patricia C. Wrede This is a coming of age story of a girl on the frontier in an alternate America where magic is a part of daily life and woolly mammoths and steam dragons threaten the settlements. Eff Rothmer must sort out her relationships with magic, her family, the frontier, and herself, while confronting […]

Mini Book Reviews

Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It (MG)

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by Gail Carson Levine This collection of false apology poems (where the poem comes from someone who is not sorry at all) covers a range of topics from sibling fights to fairy tales to nursery rhymes and beyond. I didn’t know what to expect when I discovered this book at my library, but I thought […]

Mini Book Reviews

The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (MG)

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by Hugh Lofting This is one volume of the classic story of Dr. Dolittle, the English naturalist who can talk to animals. He and his young protegee Tommy Stubbins go on an epic adventure, meeting many interesting people and creatures along the way. I found this book light, funny, and an easy read, but at […]

Mini Book Reviews

Fairest (MG)

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by Gail Carson Levine Fairest is Levine’s retelling of the story of Snow White, set in the world of Ella Enchanted. I was hooked from the start—I loved seeing the occasional cameo appearance by characters from Ella Enchanted, and the narrative voice was wonderful. The characters were fully formed, the setting was beautifully described, and […]

Books I've Read

Books I’ve Read: 2019 and 2020

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I love books. I love talking about books and recommending books, but most of all I love reading books. In light of this, I’m posting the list of books I read last year. Technically this time it’s a year and a half—I started keeping track in June 2019. This list is just MG/YA—join my newsletter […]

Mini Book Reviews

The Dark Frigate (MG)

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by Charles Hawes Philip Marsham goes to sea as an honest sailor in a merchant fishing vessel, which is taken by pirates in the Atlantic. Forced to join them or die, Philip and the crew have a series of misadventures before they are captured by a British naval ship and brought back to England for […]

Mini Book Reviews

The Language of Spells (MG)

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by Garret Weyr A young girl befriends one of Vienna’s remaining dragons, and together they confront the mystery of the dragons who disappeared at the end of World War II. This was a beautiful book, told from the perspectives of both Maggie and the dragon Grisha. It explores friendship, being different, love and loss, and […]