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

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 […]

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 […]

Mini Book Reviews

A Tale of Two Castles (MG)

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by Gail Carson Levine A young girl named Elodie leaves home to begin her apprenticeship. She hopes to become an actress, but instead ends up as the assistant to a dragon private investigator. I really enjoyed this book—it was a fun, light mystery with a fascinating cast of characters, all of whom had something to […]

Mini Book Reviews

Tales from Silver Lands (MG)

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by Charles J. Finger This is a collection of folktales from South America. The author learned the tales from native storytellers during his own travels. I love fairy- and folktales, telling how things came to be the way they are, animals talking… This book has all of that. Each of the stories was new and […]

Mini Book Reviews

The Creature of the Pines (MG)

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by Adam Gidwitz In this first volume of the Unicorn Rescue Society, two children discover something extra strange on their most unusual field trip. I first heard about this series on the Books Between podcast, in an episode where she shares her students’ top 20 favorite books. It definitely deserves to be on the list—it […]

Mini Book Reviews

Sweet Home Alaska (MG)

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by Carole Estby Dagg Eleven-year-old Terpsichore Johnson moves to Alaska with her family as part of FDR’s New Deal program to resettle families on relief onto their own farms. Terpsichore has to deal with all of the usual challenges of moving and making new friends along with less common challenges like not having electricity or […]