Book Review: Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M. Barrie
Book Reviews / October 20, 2004

Written in 1906 to benefit a London children’s hospital, this classic has gone through such a wringer of stage, film, and animated adaptations, not to mention picture-book retellings, that reading or hearing the original text is now somewhat unusual; but not nearly as unusual as the story itself, which is by turns witty and bizarre and melancholy and gruesome, and always narrated in a uniquely teasing way.

Book Review: Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary
Book Reviews / October 20, 2004

Second-grader Ramona Quimby is distressed when her father loses his job. This brings changes in her family, which includes an older sister “Beezus” (given name Beatrice) who is going through that “difficult age,” a cat who snubs cheap cat food, and a mother who has to work so hard to support the family that she doesn’t have time to do things like sewing a sheep costume for the Christmas program. But what worries Ramona most is her father, who is moody and smokes too much.

Book Review: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
Book Reviews / October 12, 2004

Dicey is the oldest of four siblings who are in the process of being adopted by their grandmother, after being abandoned by their mentally ill mother, and making their way alone from Boston to Eastern Maryland. Now that school has started and a little normalcy has come into their lives, they should live happily ever after, right?

Book Review: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Book Reviews / September 29, 2004

From this author of many children’s picture books and several young readers’ novels comes this 1986 winner of the Newbery Medal. It is a short novel, quickly read, yet one that you may want to savor. For not only is it a sweet story, but it is told with exceptional beauty.