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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Sensory Overload for the Toddler Set: Rachel Isadora’s I HEAR A PICKLE

Sensory Overload for the Toddler Set: Rachel Isadora’s I HEAR A PICKLE

Lynn: I have been hanging out with a three-year-old lately (the youngest member of our focus group), and he has reminded what an interesting age three is. He and his cohort are observant, experimental, energetic, and capable of surprising focus when something interests them. They’ve moved beyond board books and love picture books with well-demarcated illustrations, sound effects, […]

Bookends Favorites 2016: Focus Group Favorite Picture Books

Bookends Favorites 2016: Focus Group Favorite Picture Books

Lynn: The youngest members of our focus group members (pictured below) are now six and three. Like the other three boys in the group, they have strong opinions! Here are their 2016 favorites of the many we’ve read together this year. I added three more titles at the end that are personal favorites of mine. 1 […]

Bookends Favorites 2016: Cindy’s Favorite Children’s and YA

Bookends Favorites 2016: Cindy’s Favorite Children’s and YA

Cindy: I managed to keep my list to ten titles this year, a miracle, really. It helps that I can rest easy knowing that other personal favorites are appearing on Lynn’s lists. It’s always hard to pick just a small number as so many books become favorites for different reasons. The Twelve Days of Dash […]

Posted in: Book Lists, Bookends
Bookends Favorites 2016: Lynn’s Favorite Middle-Grade and YA

Bookends Favorites 2016: Lynn’s Favorite Middle-Grade and YA

Lynn: It’s that time again! Time for Cindy and me to announce our favorite books of the year. We are making no attempt to pick the year’s award winners—just to list the books we loved reading in alphabetical order. Because I don’t have Cindy’s discipline and always have a terrible time narrowing my choices, I […]

CLOTH LULLABY: Louise Bourgeois for Kids

CLOTH LULLABY: Louise Bourgeois for Kids

Cindy: Early last year, when I first heard about a forthcoming picture book biography of artist Louise Bourgeois, I wasn’t sure what to think. An abstract expressionist best known for giant spider sculptures and frank sexual themes seemed like an odd choice for a kids’ book; Sarah Hunter noted as much in her starred Booklist review of […]

A POEM FOR PETER Thanks Ezra Jack Keats

A POEM FOR PETER Thanks Ezra Jack Keats

Lynn: This story, my children, begins long ago when I was taking my very first library science class, Introduction to Literature for Children. We were required to read and take notes on a multitude of books during the semester and I was eagerly beginning my work with the picture books list. And there he was, […]

Happy Holidays from Bookends!

Happy Holidays from Bookends!

Cindy: If you work in a public library and have a Pinterest account, chances are you’ve built a Christmas tree out of books for a holiday display—we certainly did. This year, fireplaces are all the Pinterest rage. I put our Something About the Author series (pictured) to use in one library, and our recently withdrawn New […]

Posted in: Bookends
Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Cindy: Moving to a new place and changing schools present challenges for many children, so books that chronicle the experience are always welcome, especially when they are as good as Catching a Storyfish (2016), told in verse, by Janice N. Harrington. Keet moves from Alabama to Illinois (as the author did as a child) and, like all […]

Losing Face

Losing Face

Cindy and Lynn: So many of us are running around frantically—it’s that time of year. Like our mothers told us, we’d lose our heads if they weren’t attached. But recently, some teen books seem to have done just that—well, almost. Lately, we’ve noticed a steady flow of teen books with figures on the covers that, […]

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Lynn: Some kids just don’t like scary or creepy! A physically fearless six-year-old member of our focus group falls into this category; he markedly dislikes scary movies and scary books. So, on a recent visit, I was quite surprised to learn his first choice out of my ever-present book bag was The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo (2016) by Drew […]