Author Archive

Mock Newbery Awards

January 14, 2021

Later in January the 2021 Newbery Awards will be announced for the best children’s books of the past year. One way to stay updated on the best reviewed titles is to peruse the mock Newbery lists for your what-to-read-next book. Anderson’s Bookshop in Illinois is a reputable source of recommended children’s books. This year’s list of 25 books has some recognizable and new authors. Even if the winner is not on their list you’re sure to find a great read.

Newest Louise Penny mystery

January 7, 2021
All the Devils Are Here (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #16)

Penny’s latest Gamache mystery is set in Paris. Armand and his wife, Reine-Marie, are visiting their children and grandchildren in France when his godfather gets run down in a hit-and-run accident. Early on, Gamache suspects the accident was planned and begins investigating along with his son-in-law, Jean-Guy, his ex-sidekick in the police force. As a fan of the Penny series, I enjoyed reading more about the Gamache family as the individual characters are revealed more at length. Armand is friends with the police chief of Paris who turns out to be the number one suspect along with the director of Jean-Guy’s company. As more details are exposed, Armand begins to unravel the complicated cover-up his wealthy godfather was involved in. I enjoyed this Gamache mystery as much as the others although the usual residents of the Three Pines village are absent. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss this one. This review is based on the audio edition.

Troubled Blood

December 19, 2020
Title: Troubled Blood, Author: Robert Galbraith

J.K. Rowling’s 5th adult detective novel in the Cormoran Strike series will be sure to please fans. Writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Rowling’s newest tops out near 1,000 pages as the 2 detectives are hired to solve a 40 year-old murder mystery. Robin and Strike are hired by a woman whose mother disappeared about 40 years ago. The case was never solved and no one knows what happened to the young doctor who was supposed to be meeting her friend for a drink in the pub, but never showed up. There was a serial killer on the loose at the time and some people believe that must have been how Margot Bamborough met her fate. Others suspect her husband. Most agree she would not have walked out on her young 2 year-old daughter. As Strike and Robin interview witnesses and gather clues, we are given a further glimpse into their personal lives as well. We also wait to see if the romantic attraction that is obvious between them will be addressed. I enjoyed the personal parts of the novel most of all as the cover is slowly lifted to reveal a bit more of Strike’s vulnerable side. As the book ended with a cliff-hanger, it appears Rowling is planning another in the series.

Graphic Disney Biography

November 21, 2020

Everyone is fascinated by Walt Disney and his many successes. This December 15th, look for a new comic book style biography of Walt and his brother, Roy. The new graphic is a sneak peek at various obstacles Disney faced including creative differences, employee disagreements and union fights with his employees. All told in a colorful format, The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy by Alex Nikolavitch and Felix Ruiz  is sure to please Disney fans who aren’t afraid of learning more about their imperfect idol.

2020 Election for kids- ADL

October 30, 2020
Election Diverse Voters

The ADL Anti-Defamation League has great educational resources for children. The ADL provides anti-bias education, bullying, cyberbullying, webinars, podcasts, black lives matter, LatinX and early childhood tools. The ADL has lots of information about how to talk to young people about difficult topics. Check out their lesson plans and teaching tools about the election if you’re looking to explain the 2020 vote to the young people in your life.


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