Author Archive: Cindy Dobrez & Lynn Rutan

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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SAM SORTS: Categorization for Young Readers

SAM SORTS: Categorization for Young Readers

Cindy: If Melvil Dewey had focused on toys instead of books, he might have encountered some of the same issues as Sam does in Sam Sorts (2017), by Marthe Jocelyn. Sam has a big pile of toys in his room. He enjoys making toys, playing with them, and especially sorting them into different categories. Some toys […]

17 Black Hairs: KARMA KHULLAR’S MUSTACHE

17 Black Hairs: KARMA KHULLAR’S MUSTACHE

Lynn: OMG—those middle school years! So much change and heartache, and the smallest of things can cause such anguish. Individual circumstances may differ, but exquisitely painful emotions are the same. Kristi Wientge brings a welcome new voice to the middle-school experience in her funny debut novel, Karma Khullar’s Mustache (2017). As though starting sixth grade […]

Halloween Picture Books: Scary or Not-So-Scary?

Halloween Picture Books: Scary or Not-So-Scary?

Lynn and Cindy: Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to round up of some new picture books for trick-or-treat season. Kids vary, of course, in the degree of scariness they are comfortable with, so here are some of this year’s Halloween books in ascending order of shriek level.     […]

Running for his life: Michael Currinder’s RUNNING FULL TILT

Running for his life: Michael Currinder’s RUNNING FULL TILT

Lynn: In Michael Currinder’s unusual debut novel, Running Full Tilt (2017), we meet high school junior Leo Coughlin, a boy running for his life both literally and figuratively. Leo’s family moves to a new part of town when Leo’s 18-year-old brother upsets the old neighbors. Brother Caleb has autism with other cognitive disabilities, and has started […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Lady Liberty On the Move: HER RIGHT FOOT

Lady Liberty On the Move: HER RIGHT FOOT

Lynn: Every now and then, a book comes along that makes us want to cheer and wave wildly. Picture us doing that right now for Her Right Foot (2017), by Dave Eggers. Full of fascinating facts about the iconic Statue of Liberty, it tells us the statue turned green around 1920, and that it was shipped […]

Arturo Schomburg’s Book Hunting Disease

Arturo Schomburg’s Book Hunting Disease

Lynn: I wish I could have known Arturo Schomburg. Not only was he passionate about his research, tireless in his efforts to locate information, and relentless in his pursuit of dismissed history, but he strove to give children something he never had: the knowledge of what people with African roots had given to the world. […]

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: Practice Recognizing Fake News

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: Practice Recognizing Fake News

Cindy: There have been a number of YA fiction books with the title “Two Truths and a Lie,” but we’ve found a creative, informational book for middle-grade students that reinforces evaluating information for truth. Fake news, anyone? Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive (2017) by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson is the first […]

INVICTUS: A Wild Ride Through Time for Teens

INVICTUS: A Wild Ride Through Time for Teens

Lynn: Ryan Graudin has created another high-octane science fiction thriller in Invictus (2017). Unlike the alternate histories presented in Graudin’s earlier novels like Blood for Blood and Wolf by Wolf,  Invictus takes on time travel. Born outside of time to his time-traveler mother and a Roman gladiator, Farway Gaius McCarthy dreams not only of becoming a time traveler, […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
BOUND BY ICE: A True North Pole Survival Story

BOUND BY ICE: A True North Pole Survival Story

  Bookends is thrilled to participate in our first blog tour. At the end of this post, find details about the rest of the stops on the tour!     Cindy: If you thought Shackleton’s three months trapped in the ice in the Antarctic was a gripping survival story, wait until you hear about George […]

Save the Trees! Fairies, Fracking, and Environmental Fights

Save the Trees! Fairies, Fracking, and Environmental Fights

Lynn: The bare bones of Emma Carroll’s In Darkling Wood (2017) seem simple enough. Alice’s little brother Theo desperately needs a heart transplant, and the call from the hospital has finally come. Alice goes to stay with Nell, the spiky, strong-willed grandmother Alice doesn’t remember, in a cottage surrounded by ancient forest. Nell hates the […]