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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A Pair of Historical Mysteries Evokes the Jim Crow South

A Pair of Historical Mysteries Evokes the Jim Crow South

Cindy: A pair of recent Southern historical mysteries raises the issue of racism. I read the first, Bobby Lee Claremont and the Criminal Element (2018) by Jeannie Mobley, on a recent destination wedding trip to New Orleans. I like coordinating book settings with my travel, and I was on deadline for Booklist’s #MysteryMonth, so this novel […]

Solving a Teacher’s Mystery Stumper

Solving a Teacher’s Mystery Stumper

Cindy: I felt like Nate the Great or Encyclopedia Brown earlier this school year, when an eighth-grade science teacher surprised me by asking for help with this reader’s advisory mystery stumper: “So, we’re studying Newton’s laws of motion, and I remember an Encyclopedia Brown mystery case story about someone riding in the back of the truck and when the […]

TRULY DEVIOUS is Truly Devious

TRULY DEVIOUS is Truly Devious

Lynn: Maureen Johnson sets her latest mystery, Truly Devious (2018), at Ellingham Academy, a unique private school in Vermont where all the students have a “spark.” “If interested,” reads the school literature, “[just] get in touch.” Ellingham Academy is famous for more than its unique approach to education: It is the site of a famous, unsolved 1936 kidnapping […]

Sarah Albee’s POISON: A History of Horrifying Substances for Middle-Graders

Sarah Albee’s POISON: A History of Horrifying Substances for Middle-Graders

Lynn: Author Sarah Albee makes it clear right at the beginning of Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions and Murderous Medicines (2017) that her book is NOT a how-to manual for murder! Rather, it’s a history with far more than murderous intentions. But what mystery fan doesn’t want the inside scoop on this crime-writer favorite method? Authors from […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE: A Mashup of Mystery and Fantasy

ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE: A Mashup of Mystery and Fantasy

Lynn: Many mystery fans will happily follow the trail of a good mystery into a wide variety of other genres. Mystery and fantasy fans take note: Makiia Lucier’s Isle of Blood and Stone (2018) is right up your dark alley! In the prologue, we learn of the tragedy that has befallen the island nation St. […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Mystery Month? Bookends Has You Covered!

Mystery Month? Bookends Has You Covered!

Cindy and Lynn: It’s May, and you know what that means! Booklist is rolling out their May 1 Mystery Showcase and The Booklist Reader will be focused on mysteries, crime, and sleuthing all month long. We have been training our magnifying glasses on recent book covers to fit the theme. It’s no mystery that despite admonishments […]

Don’t Bite Your Classmates (or Worse)

Don’t Bite Your Classmates (or Worse)

Lynn: Small children have so many things to learn, and dealing with frustration and anger is one of them. As parents and teachers know to their sorrow, some toddlers resort to chomping the object of their ire. It’s a tough problem, and when I read a book recently that addressed biting, I told Cindy I […]

WORLD MAKE WAY, a Poetry Collection for the Eye and Ear

WORLD MAKE WAY, a Poetry Collection for the Eye and Ear

Lynn: Renowned editor Lee Bennett Hopkins opens World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018) with this important thought from Leonardo da Vinci: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” This book, a glorious new celebration of art […]

Cover Trend: Teen Paper Dolls

Cover Trend: Teen Paper Dolls

Cindy: Unlike Lynn and me, few teens today probably grew up playing with paper dolls, but that hasn’t kept them from gracing teen book covers in recent years. Mary Hogan may have started this cover trend in 2006 with the first of her Susanna paper doll covers, Susanna Sees Stars. Then the memoir, Popular: Vintage Wisdom […]

Rain, Rain, Come Again! Two Picture Books Celebrating the Pleasures of a Good Soaking

Rain, Rain, Come Again! Two Picture Books Celebrating the Pleasures of a Good Soaking

Cindy: No one likes a rainy day more than a young child who gets to splash in a puddle . . . or two. We have two books for young children that celebrate the pleasures of a good soaking. Even if you’re not eager to get wet, you can read these to a young rain […]