Children’s Literature

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 Grieving her mother, 12-year-old Ollie has withdrawn from friends, activities, and even her […]

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. […]

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 […]

Back to School Cover Trend: Lockers

Back to School Cover Trend: Lockers

Cindy: Our students started school last week, and now, with the Labor Day holiday behind us, most students around the country are back as well.  One challenge facing new middle-school students is learning their locker combination. It’s such a big deal to go from a coat room hook to a locker! Accordingly, many book covers depict an […]

Challenging Injustice with MEMPHIS, MARTIN, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP

Challenging Injustice with MEMPHIS, MARTIN, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP

Lynn: What does it take to end oppression and injustice? Many of us would suggest the inspiration of an exceptional leader, but I believe in the bravery and determination of ordinary people. Alice Fay Duncan’s moving picture book, Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 (2018), is a prime example. Duncan bases her book […]

RESCUE AND JESSICA: A Picture-Book Story of Love and Courage

RESCUE AND JESSICA: A Picture-Book Story of Love and Courage

Lynn: Married only a year, runners Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes were badly injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Both lost limbs and, in the dark days that followed, Jessica endured many surgeries as doctors fought to save her remaining foot and leg. Then a black lab service dog, Rescue, came into their lives. […]

Two Wild-Animal Picture Books Reassure Young Readers

Two Wild-Animal Picture Books Reassure Young Readers

Cindy: We recently discovered two stunning picture books, both from small presses, featuring jungle animals and stories that read like modern folktales. One is Lantana Press’ You’re Safe With Me (2018), by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry. Thank you, Lerner, for distributing this gorgeous picture book in the U. S. and Canada. I was drawn […]