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 […]

On meeting Angie Thomas

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, at our local SCBWI LA/MS JambaLAya conference. As you can see, I was fangirling a little bit, and I hadn’t even read her book yet! I still regret not making intelligent conversation at the signing or later, […]

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. […]

JambaLAya Kidlit Festival tomorrow!

Exciting! I’m attending the LA/MS SCBWI children’s literature festival here in New Orleans tomorrow! AND I might get a chance to meet the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Angie Thomas! Ms. Thomas is a guest author at the conference, offering her insight into writing and publishing her first book. Her story is […]