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 […]

Book review: Younger fantasy books with strong girls

I love a good fantasy (or speculative fiction). Transport me to another realm and I don’t wanna come back. Well, unless it’s a dystopian world. Then where we are now doesn’t look so bad. Usually. So imagine my delight in finding a batch of recent fantasy books for kids featuring strong female leads. I plan […]

Book Review: The Hate U Give

Believe the hype. This book is as good as everybody says it is. From its elegant front cover to its subtly devastating back cover (of a barely visible, faceless, brown-skinned young man) this book had me riveted. Sixteen-year-old Starr attends a party she shouldn’t (her parents would freak) with a friend she barely knows anymore. […]