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.

rss feed

The Truth Is, There’s a Whole Lotta Lying Goin’ on in YA Lit

The Truth Is, There’s a Whole Lotta Lying Goin’ on in YA Lit

Cindy: After last week’s midterm elections concluded, one issue had bipartisan support: everyone applauded the end of the political TV ads and robocalls. I figure we have six weeks or so before the 2020 ads appear and perhaps some of you don’t know what to do with your free time, now that you’re not fact-checking lies […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Decisions, Decisions: THE APOCALYPSE OF ELENA MENDOZA

Decisions, Decisions: THE APOCALYPSE OF ELENA MENDOZA

Lynn: I thought I had some tough dilemmas to deal with lately but those are nothing compared to what 17-year-old Elena faces in Shaun David Hutchinson’s new book, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza (2018). Here’s the deal: Elena has heard voices emanating from everyday objects her whole life, so it’s not a huge surprise when […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Picture Books about Night Jobs Make Dreamy Bedtime Stories

Picture Books about Night Jobs Make Dreamy Bedtime Stories

Lynn: Shhhh! Nestle in for two sweet bedtime stories that tell tales of people and places most children seldom see. There is something so special about a school after everyone has gone home, and Karen Hesse captures this quiet magic perfectly in Night Job (2018). On Friday nights a school custodian takes his young son with […]

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK! (It’s Full of Germs)

Cindy: What a surprise awaits inside these pages! The warning in the title, Do Not Lick This Book (2018), should be heeded—it is, indeed, full of germs! But don’t let that steer you away from reading it. Journey along with Min, a microbe who travels, via your finger, from the paper of the book’s pages […]

A Halloween Treat for High-Schoolers and Middle-Schoolers, Too: Cherie Priest’s THE AGONY HOUSE

A Halloween Treat for High-Schoolers and Middle-Schoolers, Too: Cherie Priest’s THE AGONY HOUSE

Lynn: Looking for a great spooky book to hand teens as Halloween approaches? Cherie Priest’s The Agony House (2018) is a perfect choice! High-school senior Denise, her mom, and new stepdad are the newest residents of Argonne House in New Orleans. Over 100 years old and standing alone on a hurricane-ravaged block, the house is literally falling down […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
“Riders on the Earth together”: APOLLO 8: THE MISSION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING, by Martin Sandler

“Riders on the Earth together”: APOLLO 8: THE MISSION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING, by Martin Sandler

Lynn: Here at Bookends, we do our best to review books in the old-fashioned sense, by using literary standards and keeping personal responses out of the mix as much as possible. For this review of Apollo 8: the Mission that Changed Everything (2018) by Martin W. Sandler, I want to say strongly that our literary […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Do Not PASS GO Until You Read This Book!

Do Not PASS GO Until You Read This Book!

Cindy: Monopoly has an interesting history and Tanya Lee Stone has produced a thought-provoking picture book about it: Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented (2018). Originally called The Landlord’s Game, it was created by Lizzie Magie, who was looking for a way to demonstrate the unfair relationship between landlords and tenants […]

Running toward Healing: Deb Caletti’s A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD

Running toward Healing: Deb Caletti’s A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD

Lynn: It happens without warning: Annabelle has been trying to hold it together for a long time but suddenly she snaps and, in one panicky moment, she is running. “Snapping is easy when you’re already brittle from the worst possible thing happening,” she says. This is the reader’s introduction to Annabelle Agnelli and her journey […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
So You Think You Want to Be a Reviewer?

So You Think You Want to Be a Reviewer?

Lynn: Make no mistake, I love writing Bookends. I love getting to read the fabulous new books that we get sent by generous publishers. Cindy and I are lucky people. But for all of you out there who think that you, too, would like to be book reviewers, I feel honor bound to point out […]

Enjoy the Seasons with Sam Usher

Enjoy the Seasons with Sam Usher

 Lynn: The seasons are a perennial topic in primary and preschool classrooms. Especially for children who live in places where the seasons change dramatically, it is a fascinating one. Author and illustrator Sam Usher began his picture-book appreciation of the seasons with Rain (2017), and each subsequent tile has been a joyful appreciation of seasonal fun […]