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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SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

Lynn: In schools these days, we talk about science in terms of the scientific method, theories, observation, and conclusions. Pedagogically, this is excellent, but it is important not to lose sight of something that both drives and excites kids: asking questions. Young biologist Brent Hughes did just that. His question? Why was the fertilizer-polluted Elkhorn Slough […]

THE HATE U GIVE: A Powerful Debut Teen Novel

THE HATE U GIVE: A Powerful Debut Teen Novel

Cindy: I doubt that there are many people who haven’t heard about Angie Thomas’s powerful debut novel, The Hate U Give (2017), which is collecting rave reviews and even has a movie adaptation in the works. Booklist intern Amanda Shepard—who just happens to be a past student and teen book club member of mine—wrote about […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

Lynn: Alice in Wonderland fans all remember the White Rabbit in his waistcoat, holding his pocket watch, and muttering about being late. Did you ever wonder what was actually going on?  Gilles Bachelet steps up to reveal the real story in Mrs. White Rabbit (2017), a shocking revelation of the facts behind the public figure. That’s […]

THICK AS THIEVES: A New Queen’s Thief Tale

THICK AS THIEVES: A New Queen’s Thief Tale

Lynn: Faithful readers know that Megan Whalen Turner’s new book, Thick as Thieves (May 2017), was the advanced readers copy we were most excited to bring home from ALA Midwinter. Well, I greedily inhaled it immediately, and now I will have to wait another excruciatingly long time till the next one. I don’t mean to […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Three Picture Books for the Birds

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Cindy: More snow. It’s for the birds, but at least it’s given me the opportunity to sneak in another snowy book as we look toward spring. Best in Snow (2017), by April Pulley Sayre, contains stunning photos of snowflakes and icicles. Various other forms of snow—from crusty to slushy—show the cycles of changing winter weather. Birds […]

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

Lynn: What do you get when you put an award-winning photographer and a Newbery Award-winning author together? When the photographer is Joel Sartore, longtime National Geographic contributor and creator of the Photo Ark project, and the author is the novelist and poet Kwame Alexander, the result is a glorious celebration of our world’s wild creatures. Animal […]

UNDEFEATED: The Jim Thorpe Story for Teens

UNDEFEATED: The Jim Thorpe Story for Teens

Cindy: It’s March. Madness time. And I’m a basketball fan. But here I am writing about football. It’s all Steve Sheinkin’s fault. His new book, Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team, made me forget about college basketball for a few days. The book launches with a three-page “Tryout” that will have […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Happy National Procrastination Week

Happy National Procrastination Week

Cindy and Lynn: We were going to write a great post about National Procrastination Week (March 5-11, 2017) a few days ago. . . but we put it off.  We were busy building a display for the library. It’s been a hit. (Thanks, Pinterest.) One of the purported benefits of a designated week of procrastination […]

Posted in: Bookends
Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Lynn: Recently, a certain high-level public official seemed to be somewhat uncertain when talking about Frederick Douglass. In the interest of fairness, I should note that, sadly, there are many people who might be hard-pressed to talk about Douglass’s achievements. Lucky for us, helping our students be better-informed about this pivotal figure has been made easier by […]

THE SECRET PROJECT: Building the Atomic Bomb for Kids

THE SECRET PROJECT: Building the Atomic Bomb for Kids

Cindy: The shadowy deeds in the 1940s New Mexico desert that culminated in “the gadget”— the world’s first atomic bomb—come hauntingly to life in Jonah and Jeanette Winter’s The Secret Project (2017). The book’s opening images of boys at play in a remote school juxtaposed with the closed, silent school that will become the headquarters of the titular secret project cast an ominous […]