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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THE LAKE EFFECT: Still Time for a Beach Book

THE LAKE EFFECT: Still Time for a Beach Book

Lynn: Those of us who live on the shores of the Great Lakes are very familiar with the term “lake effect.” It makes temperatures milder while also dumping great amounts of snow on the shoreline in winter. Erin McCahan’s book, Lake Effect (2017) explores another meaning of the term: the calming, reflective, introspective feeling that […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
It’s a Small, Colorful World After All: The Life of Disney Artist Mary Blair

It’s a Small, Colorful World After All: The Life of Disney Artist Mary Blair

Cindy: It seems we have a penchant here at Bookends for featuring books that celebrate color, especially when they mention fabulous names color names. Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourvilee is one such delight (and one of those biographical nonfiction picture books with […]

Learning the Code of the Road: SOUPY LEAVES HOME

Learning the Code of the Road: SOUPY LEAVES HOME

Lynn: Cecil Castellucci’s new graphic novel, Soupy Leaves Home (2017), offers a terrific way to absorb some fascinating history. Set during the Great Depression, it tells the compelling story of Pearl, a young girl who runs away from her abusive father. Desperately unhappy and with nowhere to go, she decides to disguise herself as a boy […]

A Summer Story in Poems: WHEN MY SISTER STARTED KISSING

A Summer Story in Poems: WHEN MY SISTER STARTED KISSING

Lynn: For many lucky families, summer means time at the lake, with swimming, boating, fishing, cozy cottages on rainy days, and the ever-present sights and smells of the water.Helen Frost’s new verse novel, When My Sister Started Kissing (2017), gets all these details just right. Ten-year-old Claire, her older sister Abigail, and her widowed father have always […]

Hidden Lives of Toads Revealed!

Hidden Lives of Toads Revealed!

Lynn: Yes, there are a zillion books for kids about toads, frogs, and tadpoles. Trust me, few are as terrific as The Hidden Life of a Toad (2017), photographer Doug Wechsler’s up-close and personal look at the fascinating stages of metamorphosis. Most kids will have seen tadpoles, or at least books about them, but here the […]

Learning to Write Children’s and YA Nonfiction from the Masters

Learning to Write Children’s and YA Nonfiction from the Masters

Cindy: After more than three decades reading and reviewing other authors’ books, in the last few years I’ve started writing my own. Writers work alone, but they don’t succeed alone. You may have noticed a rise in solo posts by Lynn here at Bookends and that is a result of her generous offer to provide […]

Underground, Unmasked: Frances Hardinge’s A FACE LIKE GLASS

Underground, Unmasked: Frances Hardinge’s A FACE LIKE GLASS

Lynn: Frances Hardinge is a spinner of words and worlds who makes magic with language. I am always so blown away by her writing that my copies of her books grow soggy with highlighted phrases. A Face Like Glass (2017) is Hardinge’s latest book to arrive in the U.S., although it was first published in England […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
THE PHOTO ARK: A Delightful Deluge of Animal Portraits

THE PHOTO ARK: A Delightful Deluge of Animal Portraits

Lynn: We focus on youth books here at Bookends, but every so often, an adult book comes along that we think would be of special interest to kids. The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals (2017) by Joel Sartore is just that sort of book. In fact, this book may be […]

Bookends Fan Club: Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co.

Bookends Fan Club: Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co.

Lynn: Being a reviewer and blogger is the best job ever, but there are a few drawbacks. We get so many books (I know, tough problem, right?), and keeping up can be challenging. What often happens is that sometimes later books in series get postponed till. . . well, later, and sometimes never. So it says […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
This Trio of Picture Books is the Bee’s Knees

This Trio of Picture Books is the Bee’s Knees

Lynn: Although it’s not unusual for children to be afraid of bees, bees are struggling, and they need all the help we can give them. Winning over a new generation of bee protectors has never been more important. Happily, I’ve read a trio of fun picture books starring our stripey friends that should help the […]