Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen

Book Summary

Rachel Berman and Len Bean are two single parents who develop a relationship after meeting by the side of the road one day. Rachel is an overprotective mother of her two teenaged children. Len is navigating the difficult waters of parenting his daughter, Olivia, who has a nonverbal learning disability. The relationship slowly strengthens, despite the deep, dark secrets that surround them.

My Review

It is clear to see why this book was a best seller in the "Globe and Mail" newspaper. Inside Out Girl is an easy page turner. Readers can sympathise with Rachel's attempts to be the perfect parent. Olivia is a real, realistic heroine, and Tish Cohen did a wonderful job of developing her character. While the subplot involving Rachel's daughter was weak, the conclusion is optimistic and well planned.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Princess Pigtoria and the Pea by Pamela Duncan Edwards

Princess Pigtoria visits Prince Proudfoot to decide if they should marry. But, after the Princess orders a pizza party…

My Review
A positively perfect new picture book! It playfully updates the classic story. The plot twist will please preschoolers! A fun opportunity to practice “p” words and expand vocabulary.

My Notes
I recently taught programs for preschoolers about farms and farm animals. I highly recommend this book to read aloud, and to make a construction paper pig with the story.

Need to pair this with another good book? Try Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin.

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

Book Summary

Thirteen year old amateur lawyer Theodore Boone has unwittingly become wrapped up in his town's largest murder trial.

My Review

In Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, John Grisham has written a mystery/suspense novel that is neither mysterious nor suspenseful. Grisham passes by many chances to introduce action to the novel, and there is no mystery. The law information that Grisham introduces to readers slows down the pace of the plot. 

Devoted young mystery readers should seek out other authors and novels, including:

Richard Scrimger's "From Charlie's Point of View" and
Brian Doyle's "Angel Square"

Young mystery readers will also enjoy Graeme Base's illustrated books: "The Eleventh Hour" and "Enigma"