Book review: Santa’s Gift

Start your holiday shopping early! Children’s book author Angie Karcher and illustrator Dana Karcher have created an adorable picture book sure to inspire the spirit of giving. Told in cheerful rhyming verse with bright, detailed illustrations, Santa’s Gift is the unusual true story of a giant statue of Santa, and what happens when it disappears. The […]

Book review: 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

As my heart breaks watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey pummeling Texas–and I hold my breath that its impact here in New Orleans is minimal–I can’t help but remember that today is the 12-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It’s a tense time of year for New Orleanians, especially those transplanted to places affected by the current […]

Book review: We Fought Back: Teen Resisters of the Holocaust

After this weekend’s horrific events in Charlottesville, I thought I’d share a nonfiction YA book about Jewish teenagers who escaped death marches, labor camps, and ghettos to fight Nazis. This collection of seven individual stories, based on author Allan Zullo’s interviews with each participant, highlights eastern European partisans who “wreaked havoc on the Nazis through […]

Book review: Saints and Misfits

There are three kinds of people in 15-year-old Janna Yusuf’s life: saints, misfits, and monsters. Saints make the world a better place, like Janna’s elder-care charge, Mr. Ram, and her too-good-to-be-true prospective sister-in-law Sarah Mahmoud. They can be a little intimidating. Misfits are people like Janna. Whether she wears her burkini at the beach with […]

Book review: YA fantasy books with strong girls

Welcome to Part 3 of my book review series featuring speculative literature books with strong girl protagonists. In previous installments, I listed books for younger middle grade readers (ages 8-10) and middle grade readers (10-12). This post emphasizes readers 12-16, moving into the young adult category. (By the way, my age recommendations are based on […]