Review: Adam Bede by George Eliot

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Adam Bede—buy it by George Eliot—wiki her Recommended Ages: 13+ In the imaginary village of Hayslope, on the frontier between the nonexistent English counties of Loamshire and Stonyshire, round about the year 1799, a strong, manly carpenter named Adam Bede lives with his doting mother (who becomes a widow in an early chapter) and his gentle, sensitive brother Seth. The brothers love the two pretty nieces of a prosperous farmer and his wife who live ... Read More »

Review: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

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Maggot Moon – buy it By Sally Gardner – her website Recommended Age: 13+ Standish Treadwill sees the world differently, through his one blue eye and one brown, the letters dancing around in a dyslexic swirl. Yet it is his steadfast Gramps and his wonderful friend Hector who encourage him to continue fighting for all that makes him different. Against the backdrop of the harsh regime of the Motherland, with the help of a small ... Read More »

Review: The Land of Stories The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Land of Stories

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - buy it By Chris Colfer – website Recommended Ages: 9+ Bookish Alex Bailey and her twin brother Conner are navigating sixth grade in very different ways. Struggling with a ‘family situation’, Alex sits at the front of the class and hangs on the stories and words of her teacher Mrs. Peters, whilst Conner is just trying to rest his eyes! The one thing they have in common is their ... Read More »

Review: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

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Unseen Academicals—buy it by Terry Pratchett—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ When you’re following as many series of books as I am (which is currently a three-digit number), you’re bound to get a little behind on some of them—especially when their author is as prolific as Terry Pratchett. This book, for example, is the 37th novel of Discworld out of (at this writing) a total of 39. That’s not too bad. I’ll probably get caught up ... Read More »

Review: Noughts and Cross by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses

Buy Noughts and Crosses and the sequel Knife Edge in a 2 for 1 package here By Malorie Blackman Recommended Reading Age: 14+ Critically acclaimed author, Malorie Blackman, tackles issues of race in this reversing of segregation in an alternate dystopian landscape of England in the 1960s. Persephone (Sephy) Hadley is a dark-skinned Cross and daughter of a successful politician. Her childhood friend Callum is a Nought with light skin and his Mother is a former ... Read More »

Book Review: Spirits in the Park by Scott Mebus

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Spirits in the Park—buy it by Scott Mebus—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ In Book 2 of the trilogy titled “Gods of Manhattan”—which started with the book by the same name—young Rory Hennessy takes big strides toward fulfilling his destiny as the last surviving Light in the city, county, and state of New York. This sentence immediately confronts me with the problem that there is so much to explain, just so you can understand what I’m ... Read More »

Review: The Search for Belle Prater by Ruth White

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The Search for Belle Prater—buy it by Ruth White—about the author Recommended Ages: 12+ In this companion to Belle Prater’s Boy, Gypsy and her cousin Woodrow do a little more growing-up in the small town of Coal Station, Virginia. It’s still the 1950s, when families like Gypsy’s are just getting their first TV set and, by running a wire up to a mountaintop antenna, they can pick up all of two networks. Black people are ... Read More »

Book Review: Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Tanglewood Tales—buy the paperback—free Kindle book by Nathaniel Hawthorne—wiki him Recommended Ages: 11+ You may have heard of the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. This festival is named after the mansion where the festival is held. The mansion was named after the nearby cottage where Nathaniel Hawthorne stayed while writing this book. And the cottage, according to my sources, was named after this book—a sequel to the same author’s A Wonder-Book ... Read More »

Theater Review: ‘Seminar’ starring Alan Rickman

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“Class. Is. Over,” he said with sharp pauses between words, in the deep, tight-jawed, monotone voice that could only belong to Alan Rickman; a spot-on impression by co-star Jerry O’Connell as he walks out from backstage after receiving a standing ovation for Seminar‘s preview performance. “I could understudy for him,” O’Connell jests. “I’d put a couple gray streaks in my hair, it’d be so much fun.” Seminar stars veteran stage actor Alan Rickman as Leonard, an international ... Read More »

Book Review: Snuff by Terry Pratchett

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Snuff—buy it by Terry Pratchett—his website Recommended Ages: 13+ According to Fantastic Fiction, this is the 39th novel of Discworld—taking all the novels featuring Tiffany Aching, Granny Weatherwax, Rincewind, Death, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and whatnot in one heap. It’s an amazing achievement, especially given that I was hoaxed into believing that Terry Pratchett was done writing them half a dozen books back. After all these books about a flat world balanced on the backs ... Read More »