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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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 […]

SMALL SPACES: Huge Shivers for Tweens

SMALL SPACES: Huge Shivers for Tweens

Lynn: Do you love a scary book? Well, Bookends readers, have we got a treat for you! Katherine Arden’s new middle-grade book, Small Spaces (2018), is the most deliciously scary book you could hope for. This is a just-one-more-chapter-gulp-it-down-in-one-sitting book, and it’s the real, eerie deal. Grieving her mother, 12-year-old Ollie has withdrawn from friends, activities, and even her […]

NIGHT FLIGHTS: A Return to MORTAL ENGINES

NIGHT FLIGHTS: A Return to MORTAL ENGINES

Lynn: When I heard that a movie of Philip Reeve’s brilliant Mortal Engines (2003) was in the works, I immediately wanted to reread the series. (I hear a chorus of “Sing it, sister!”) If you HAVEN’T read the series, RUN to get the first book NOW! If you’re a fan of world-building, this series is like […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Losing a Pet: THE ROUGH PATCH

Losing a Pet: THE ROUGH PATCH

Cindy: Lynn found The Rough Patch (2018) by Brian Lies at our local public library and was hesitant to give it to me even though she liked it a lot. The story concerns a fox and his pet dog who did everything together: ate ice cream, listened to music, and went on adventures in the truck. […]

HOW WE ROLL: A Novel of Identity and Friendship

HOW WE ROLL: A Novel of Identity and Friendship

Lynn: On the first day of high school in a new town, with a chance to make a new life, Quinn looks at the two wigs on her bureau. Should she be Guinevere or Sasha? It’s been 408 days since she lost all her hair to an autoimmune disorder, during which time her eighth-grade friends drifted […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
UNEARTHED: Indiana Jones in Outer Space

UNEARTHED: Indiana Jones in Outer Space

Lynn: I have great respect for teen readers. They eat up books dealing with serious social issues, books that open doors to diverse cultures, and books carefully examining different points of view. But hey—sometimes even teen readers just want to have fun! So, librarians and teachers, when teens come looking for fun, here’s something to […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
SPOOKED! A 1938 Radio Broadcast Reveals Our Gullibility

SPOOKED! A 1938 Radio Broadcast Reveals Our Gullibility

Cindy: Lynn and I teased Bookends readers about this fascinating book in an earlier post after we both read it on the plane home from the ALA Annual Conference. This week, we’re participating in the blog tour for Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America (2018). For […]

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

Lynn: When you’re a six-foot tall, 180-pound eigth-grader known as the Mastodon of Montgomery Middle, what do you do? If you’re cash-strapped Marcus Vega, the titular protagonist of Pablo Cartaya’s second book, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, you run an escort service walking kids to school past bully Stephen Hobert for a fee. Responsible and caring, Marcus does […]