Kenny and the Dragon

Tony DiTerlizzi’s Kenny and the Dragon tells how Kenny befriended a dragon and taught his whole town about acceptance and not judging someone based on something you heard about them. Its a fun story with a little rabbit racing his bike alongside a giant dragon.

I read this with my son’s 3rd grade class.

Read February 2018


Hearse and Gardens

Hearse and Gardens, by Kathleen Bridge, is a light hearted murder mystery in the luxurious, wealthy world of the Hamptons. Its a cute story that has an Interior Designer searching through secret passageways of huge mansions for clues.

Cute, fun read. Read February 2018

The Book of Unknown Americans

Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans follows the story of a group of immigrants living in an apartment building. I read this without knowing it was a Young Adult novel, and didn’t enjoy it much. It adds a lot of details on how immigrants got to DE, the types of challenges they’re facing, and how they interact with each other and those in their communities.

While there interesting back stories, the relationships and stories that are told in current time don’t seem to have much in common until the very end. It felt like a hodgepodge of stories that are only linked because they live next door to each other. If someone thinks immigrants all have similar backstories, this novel might open their eyes on how different the experiences of immigrants can be. I don’t fall into this category and expected more than a collection of stories.

Read February 2018

Right Behind You

Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You captivated me from the beginning. The current story of a murdered wanted for the killing of his foster parents and two random people at the convenience story, is intermingled with the story of the tragic upbringing of the shooter and his sister, now being fostered by former criminal investigators helping on this case. The relationships between all the parties can be complicated, but the desire to find the shooter alive is critical to all involved in the investigation. This novel shows the importance of how your past can always catch up with you.

Read December 2017

The Rules of Magic

In The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman tells the Owens’ Family story from the perspective of the newest generation. Three siblings, Franny, Jet, and Vincent are raised with very specific rules about magic and how to keep it out of their lives. Their mother cannot protect them forever and they are soon called to the family home in Massachusetts when Franny comes of age. The three siblings grow together as witches and farther apart as adults, but magic becomes an important part of their lives.

A very fun, witchy read! Should’ve read it around Halloween!

Read December 2017

Death on the Riviera

John Bude’s Death on the Riviera was definitely written in a different time. Where crime didn’t seem to hurt anyone who wasn’t already breaking the rules. Usually I like a quaint crime story from another era for its simplicity, but this one was a bit too much. CID Inspector Meredith and his sidekick travel to the south of France looking for a British counterfeiter selling his bills to unsuspecting British tourists looking to skirt the law. The crimes were convoluted but not in a good way. More in a ridiculous way.

Read December 2017

Ella Enchanted

As part of my son’s 3rd grade class, I’ll be reading some books with a small group for discussions. Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine, is a Cinderella-like story about a young girl who loses her mother, an absentee father, and a disagreeable step-mother and sisters. We learn that shortly after Ella’s birth a fairy gave her the gift of obedience. By the time she’s 5, her mother and kitchen servant realize that this wasn’t a gift but a curse.

Within the story, there’s lots of magical creatures: elves, ogres, fairies, all who have different abilities and languages. Ella must find a way to end her curse before her Step-family take everything from her.

Cute variation of the traditional Cinderella story, where Ella has more power and control over her life and doesn’t depend on magic or a man to save her. Still plenty of young romance too.

Perfect for a 3rd – 5th grader.

Read December 2017