Book review: The Fifth Season

Mind. Blown. I finished the first book in N.K. Jemison’s Hugo-award-winning The Broken Earth trilogy, The Fifth Season, and I’m reeling from its sheer awesomeness. This speculative fiction novel for adults encompasses a vast, immersive, world that resonates with our own culture, particularly the way we treat anyone we deem “other.” The plot is continually […]

Anthology ahoy!

It’s here!! Of Burgers & Barrooms, an anthology of poetry and prose about fast food joints and bars, arrived on my porch this morning! It’s a gorgeous collection, featuring one of my poems, “Valencia Street, Sunday Morning,” about Clooney’s, a dive bar on the corner near my apartment in San Francisco years ago. I was […]

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 […]

Kidlit writers: Review of Chapter Book Blueprint by Children’s Insider

Writing Blueprints are created by the folks behind Children’s Book Insider, which just celebrated its 27th anniversary! As of today, these are the Blueprints available through WritingBlueprints.com: Picture Book Blueprint  Easy Reader Upgrade Picture Book Blueprint / Easy Reader Upgrade Bundle Chapter Book Blueprint   Self-Publishing Blueprint   I tried the Chapter Book Blueprint, and I loved […]