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

HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE: Lessons in Living from Sy Montgomery

HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE: Lessons in Living from Sy Montgomery

Lynn: Sy Montgomery is a familiar name to nature-loving readers of all ages. The author of more than 20 books, she is a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of many awards including the Sibert Award, the Henry Bergh Award for Nonfiction, and others. Her most recent book, How to Be a Good Creature: A […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Happy New Year! Here’s a Peek at 2019 Reading Fun

Happy New Year! Here’s a Peek at 2019 Reading Fun

Lynn and Cindy: Happy New Year from Bookends! ALA Midwinter and the big Youth Media Awards for the 2018 publishing year are just a few weeks away. Here at Bookends, we are simultaneously winding up our 2018 reading recommendations and ramping up for hot-off-the-press 2019 books. Watch for our annual “Bookends Favorites” lists, which are […]

MAPPING SAM: Creating a New Generation of Map Enthusiasts

MAPPING SAM: Creating a New Generation of Map Enthusiasts

Lynn: Don’t get me wrong, I love having maps on my phone and a GPS in my car. Using these tools, we’ve managed to easily locate rental apartments in the twisting, narrow streets of many a small village instead of wandering around lost! There is a downside to electronic dependence, however. I clearly remember our […]

THE STUFF OF STARS: A Truly Stellar Collaboration

THE STUFF OF STARS: A Truly Stellar Collaboration

Lynn: Can a picture book take on the enormously complex concept of the big bang theory—the origin of all things—and do it well? I would have said no, but I know by now not to underestimate the talents and artistic mastery of those working in the picture-book world! In The Stuff of Stars (2018), author Marion […]

Wicked Nix, “The Foulest of Fairies,” Will Win Your Heart

Wicked Nix, “The Foulest of Fairies,” Will Win Your Heart

Lynn: “There is a people in our forest,” Nix, “the foulest of fairies,” worriedly announces in the first chapter of Lena Coakley’s Wicked Nix (2018). Left behind when the other fairies went home to the Summer Country, Nix has lived in the forest alone for almost a year. Was he left to protect the forest for the Fairy […]

This All-of-a-Kind Family Picture Book Is a Gift to Readers

This All-of-a-Kind Family Picture Book Is a Gift to Readers

Lynn: I’m not usually one to gush nostalgically, but Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky have me doing just that. Their new picture book, All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah (2018), is a joyous celebration of both the holiday and one of my all time favorite series. As a child, I adored Sydney Taylor’s original All-of-a-Kind Family books […]

Understanding Immigration and the Refugee Experience through Graphic Novels

Understanding Immigration and the Refugee Experience through Graphic Novels

Lynn: Like the picture books in our earlier post, several graphic novels published this year also offer the opportunity to walk in the shoes of refugees and immigrants. Aimed at middle-school and teen readers, these books combine outstanding text and dramatic visual images to provide reading experiences that make a deep emotional impact. The Unwanted: […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Understanding Immigration and the Refugee Experience through Picture Books

Understanding Immigration and the Refugee Experience through Picture Books

Lynn: How do we talk to children about refugees, immigrants, and all the related issues dominating the news? It seems to us a large number of adults don’t even understand the horrifying situations that have forced masses of desperate people to flee their homelands—so how can we help young people understand this serious issue while […]

Welcome Wombat: Tales of Marsupial Rescue for Middle-Grade Readers

Welcome Wombat: Tales of Marsupial Rescue for Middle-Grade Readers

Lynn: “Oh, hi, tiny thing. Welcome to Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary.” And so Welcome, Wombat (2018) begins: Chance, a two-year-old wombat, greets a tiny “pinkie” whose mother was just tragically killed by a car. Author Kama Einhorn proceeds to introduce readers to the sanctuary; its inspiring wildlife rehabilitators, Donna and Phil; and to the amazing wombat species as a […]

Jonathan Auxier’s SWEEP: A Truly Magical Read

Jonathan Auxier’s SWEEP: A Truly Magical Read

Cindy: Every so often, and not often enough, a book sweeps me off my feet and makes me want to curl up and read it straight through. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster (2018) is one of those books.Part historical fiction, part Jewish mythology, and part magical realism, this tale of a young […]