Showing Tag: "fiction" (Show all posts)

"Flora & Ulysses" by Kate DiCamillo

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Monday, October 20, 2014,

"Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures" by Kate DiCamillo is a delightful and engaging story for tweens.  It justly won the Newbery Award this year for its contemporary yet timeless story of superheroic, poetry-writing squirrel Ulysses and his cynical yet hopeful human sidekick Flora.  Their adventures rival those of any dynamic duo.

Ulysses becomes aware after a close encounter with a powerful vacuum cleaner. At first, only Flora appreciates that he is now sentient and can understand hu...
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“Friends Forever” by Amy Ariel

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Tuesday, July 31, 2012,

Local St. Paul author Amy Ariel has written a charming novel that gives a glimpse of what life was like in St. Paul in 1912 and how that view might seem both familiar and alien to a contemporary child.  In the process, the reader is transported, just like the character of Hannah, back to a world that makes us appreciate what we have now and anticipate with curiosity what may come in our future.

Our narrator is Abigail, a thirteen year old girl writing in...


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“Into the Unknown” by Stewart Ross, Illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Friday, July 27, 2012,

Exploration across human history has made us and revealed us as who we are: curious, adventurous, daring.  “Into the Unknown:  How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air,” written by Stewart Ross and illustrated by Stephen Biesty, does an excellent job of capturing this side of humanity.

Ross has chosen an interesting spectrum of people to discuss, and not all of them are familiar household names.  Because of his focus on journeys he deems “amazing,” he can choose pe...


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“If You Lived Here: Houses of the World” by Giles Laroche

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Wednesday, July 4, 2012,



“If You Lived Here:  Houses of the World,” written and illustrated by Giles Laroche, provides lovely and informative looks at various houses throughout history and the world.  The collages give intricate details that draw a reader in and make the accompanying text that much more interesting.

I have a few minor observations though.  When I first looked at the book, I was confused by the very first house.  Nothing in the title or on the cover made clea...


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“Soldier Bear” by Bibi Dumon Tak

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Thursday, June 21, 2012,



“Soldier Bear” is an entertaining but curious amalgam of fiction and history.  Set mostly during World War 2, “Soldier Bear” follows a group of Polish soldiers, displaced by the Nazi invasion of their homeland, and their animal mascot, Voytek the bear.

This book is billed as fiction, but draws on an actual historical event.  The author includes photos of Voytek and some of human and animal friends.  As an adult, the choice to call this fiction made me wonder—how much is true?  ...


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“Bread and Roses, Too” by Katherine Paterson

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Wednesday, June 20, 2012,

 like historical fiction.  Sometimes children like it too.  But often, I find, children’s historical fiction reads as if it were written according to some curricular checklist, to fit a particular set of standards in the most careful and efficient fashion possible.

“Bread and Roses, Too” by Katherine Paterson seems just such a novel.  Here’s the checklist I envisioned.

  1. Will it appeal to both boys and girls?  Yes, it will, because it ...

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For Good Measure: The Ways we say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big , How Old

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Tuesday, August 2, 2011,

Ken Robbins has done something with this book that I often despair of finding -- he has created an entertaining, truly informative, well-written non-fiction book for kids in middle grades.  I found this book to have information I didn't know, which is an added plus.

"For Good Measure" looks at one of those topics that people of all ages often obsess about -- how do we measure what we see or experience and why do we do it the ways we do.  (If you don't think we obsess about it, just try t...


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An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

Posted by Lydia Schultz on Wednesday, August 12, 2009,

One of my favorite books from my childhood from the realm of children’s literature is An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.  I first read this novel when I was about 10 years old, in a 1960s edition with quirky, anachronistic illustrations that I adored.  This book was truly formative for me;  in fact, enough so that I have often given it as a gift and have written an academic e...


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About Me


Lydia Schultz I am a school librarian and part-time college English teacher. I hope to review many of the books I read, both in the context of my research about children's books as well as in my pursuit of recreational reading. I want to share what I read--so what else is new?


Please feel free to contact me.  I welcome hearing feedback and advice.  If you would like to comment on a particular post, click on the title of the post and a comment box will appear after the post when the page reloads.

Thanks!

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