Bravely Book Review

Maggie Stiefvater whisks readers away to long ago Scotland in Bravely, a novel continuation of the Pixar movie Brave. As a longtime fan of Brave, I was both ecstatic and apprehensive about a novel continuation. The same conundrums that put fear in the hearts of readers as their favorite books are adapted into films persists [...]

Top Reads for 2022 (So Far)

It's almost June, somehow, and I just finished my first semester as a graduate student. I'm working towards earning my Master of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults, and so I have been doing a LOT of reading. Here are my top reads of 2022, so far: Picture Book: Fry Bread, Kevin [...]

Jennifer Chan is Not Alone Book Review

Tae Keller's Jennifer Chan is Not Alone is an engrossing and relatable novel for middle grade and adult readers alike. Insightful and incisive, Jennifer Chan is Not Alone tackles crucial topics with authenticity and vulnerability. Mallory has survived middle school--so far-- because her best friend Reagan has taught her how to fit in. Mallory's world [...]

Summer Reading Recommendations and Rewards with Knoxville Moms

My latest post with the Knoxville Moms is available here! See below for a sneak peek! Somehow, summer is just around the corner. Reading is a wonderful way to maintain those hard-earned skills developed during the school year, all while encouraging imagination and building empathy at the same time. But staring down shelves and shelves [...]

Part of Your World Book Review

Abby Jimenez's Part of Your World is the perfect blend of fun rom-com, depth, and humor that make for a memorable read. The well developed characters, idyllic setting, and a plot that tackles heavy topics make this a summer must-read. Alexis has grown up shouldering the weight of a lengthy family legacy that ultimately makes [...]

Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend Book Review

Sixth grader Winnie Zeng has two goals: survive middle school and beat her longtime opponent David at Chinese school and piano competitions. To prepare for middle school, Winnie has studied comic books and anime. The only problem is that one common thread in those stories is magical powers, and she obviously doesn't have those. Or [...]

Year on Fire Book Review

Lies, privilege, and family drama combine into one explosive novel from Julie Buxbaum. In Year on Fire, friend group Paige, Arch, and Immie have their lives turned upside down days before the first day of Junior year by a single kiss. When the girl's bathroom is set aflame and rumors of arson start swirling, the [...]

Does My Body Offend You? Book Review

Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas and Marie Marquardt is a fantastic YA novel that tackles tough, relevant topics in an engaging and engrossing way. Full of visceral moments that will pull you right back into those high school days, where at any moment you could be forced to stand and have your [...]

Novel in Verse Book Recommendation List: Middle Grade and Young Adult

Novels in verse are books with a full and complete plot told in poetic verse. These novels lend themselves to topics that have emotional depth and resonance. Novels in verse can also be laugh out loud funny, and have all the great qualities prose novels have as well, including well-developed characters and an interesting plot. [...]

Sari, Not Sari Book Review

Sonya Singh's Sari, Not Sari is a delicious treat of a rom-com, the perfect spring and summer read. It's the book that once you finish the last sentence, you clutch it to your chest and start counting down until it makes its appearance on the silver screen (because you just KNOW it is meant to [...]