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 ADVENTURES OF JOHN BLAKE, a Graphic Novel Mystery

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN BLAKE, a Graphic Novel Mystery

Lynn: The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship (2017), comes courtesy of Philip Pullman and represents his first foray into graphic novels. Written originally as a comic and then as a film script, Blake has just now been published in the United States. After a storm knocks her overboard her family’s sailboat, teenager Serena Henderson […]

7 Ate 9: a Mathematical Detective Tale

7 Ate 9: a Mathematical Detective Tale

Cindy: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story (2017) by Tara Lazar will have young readers adding up clues in order to understand 9’s mysterious disappearance. A panicked 6 awakens Detective Al F. Bet, snoozing at his desk, to tell him 9 is missing. Rumor has it that 7 ate 9—and 6 is sure that 7 is coming for him […]

WINDFALL by Jennifer E. Smith: You’ll be a Lucky Reader

WINDFALL by Jennifer E. Smith: You’ll be a Lucky Reader

Cindy: I have some eighth-grade girls who felt like they won the lottery when I returned from ALA Midwinter with an advance copy of Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel, Windfall (2017). I did, too. Alice doesn’t know what to get her good friend Teddy for his 18th birthday. On a whim, she gets him a lottery […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Hold the Bulldozers: Middle-Grade Books Take on Developers

Hold the Bulldozers: Middle-Grade Books Take on Developers

Lynn: The theme of kids taking on greedy developers is not new or uncommon in books for kids—remember, Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot (2002) won a Newbery Honor. But this year alone, I’ve already read three books with this central issue. Is this a movement? See for yourself. (And readers, if I’m missing any titles, let me know!)   The […]

True Crime for Middle-Graders: KATE WARNE PINKERTON DETECTIVE

True Crime for Middle-Graders: KATE WARNE PINKERTON DETECTIVE

Lynn: We love finding picture books for Mystery Month! Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective (2017) by Marissa Moss is not only a picture book biography of the first woman detective, but tells the story of Warne’s role in a pivotal case that helped establish the reputation of the Pinkerton Agency. It’s true crime for the middle-grade […]

Shelf Evaluation: Mystery Series Comfort Reading

Shelf Evaluation: Mystery Series Comfort Reading

Lynn: What does a youth book blogger read when she needs a break from beginner readers and teen angst? For me, it is often mysteries and, as you can tell by the battered copies in my Shelf Evaluation photo, old mysteries! Yes, I admit it, this picture reveals some of my most closely held secret […]

Sniffing Out Mysteries: KING & KAYLA

Sniffing Out Mysteries: KING & KAYLA

Cindy: Bookends begins Mystery Month 2017 with a new beginning mystery reading series for young readers about a girl and her dog. Kayla and King are both formidable investigators in their own right, but together, they are invincible. King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats (2017) serves up a simple mystery […]

Two Picture Books Celebrate Spring

Two Picture Books Celebrate Spring

Lynn: It’s hard to get very far from water here in West Michigan! Ponds, lakes big and small, rivers, and creeks are everywhere—and that means ducks and geese are ubiquitous. One sure sign of spring is the sight of duck couples waddling around the neighborhood, looking for the perfect place to make a nest. They […]

Is That a Poem in Your Pocket?

Is That a Poem in Your Pocket?

Cindy: Tomorrow, Thursday, April 27th is Poem in Your Pocket Day, and I hope you’ll celebrate. It’s the perfect chance to encourage sharing poetry; the link above lists many great ideas for classrooms and libraries. Last year, I shared a few display ideas. This year, a volunteer got creative with the big pocket I made and crafted a […]

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

Lynn: Regular readers know that we are seldom speechless—but that’s exactly what I was however when I finished Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2017) by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. My powers of speech have definitely returned, but the awe has remained. There is so much that I love about this book that […]