review: The Last Day of Summer

August 21, 2019


title: The Last Day of Summer author: Lamar Giles illustrator: Dapo Adeola date: Versify; April 2019 main characters: Otto Alston and Sheed Alston SFF Review based on an advanced copy Otto and Sheed are young Black boys, cousins actually who live with their grandmother in Logan County, Virginia. The two couldn’t be more different. Otto […]

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interview: Padma Venkatraman

August 20, 2019


I recently reviewed  The Bridge Home and today, I have a wonderful interview with the author, Padma Venkatraman. “THE BRIDGE HOME is that long overdue promise. It was, indeed a very hard story to write, because in writing it I had to revisit some very painful times in my childhood and adolescence and that’s always a bit […]

Grumpy Monday

August 19, 2019


Actually, I’m not grumpy today! I sure was last week, but I’m in full on work mode this week. I got my trainer today, canned my tomatoes and am knee deep in Simianization: Apes, Gender, Class, and Race . There’s such a long, ugly history behind the thoughts that want to correlate people of African descent […]

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review: The Bridge Home

August 14, 2019


title: The Bridge Home author: Padma Venkatraman date: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019 main character: Viji note: this review contains spoilers. I’ve marked where they begin and end. Padma Venkatraman has now published four books for young readers. She most often writes stories based in her Indian heritage and just as often reflects themes of social […]

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interview: Lamar Giles

August 13, 2019


I thought this was the perfect time to interview Lamar Giles since these are for many students the last days of summer. I’m so glad he was available! Here, we discuss his latest books, The Last Day of Summer and Spin; inclusive writing and the pains of middle school. EC: When you were in middle school, were […]

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About that class set of books!

August 10, 2019


An author recently queried on Facebook, “Is this a new thing, teachers going on Twitter asking authors to give them sets of books?” It seems that this is a thing. A bad thing. We all know how difficult it is for teachers to get supplies for their classrooms and we know they work hard to […]

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Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and professor emeritus. And, Library Aide.

August 6, 2019


Sometimes, I find out more about people after their death than I knew when they were alive. I think this just serves to remind me that I leave a legacy, that we all do. I didn’t know that Toni Morrison had worked as a Library aid in Lorain, Ohio. Reflecting on that work, she stated […]

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review: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

August 1, 2019

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title: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground author: Rita Williams-Garcia date: Amistad; 2017 main character: Clayton Byrd death; music; forgiveness Clayton Byrd wants to be a bluesman like Cool Papa Byrd. He wants his opportunity while playing with the Bluesmen to come in and solo for his twelve bars so bad, but Cool Papa keeps telling Clayton […]

August Releases

July 31, 2019

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1 Aug They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez. Little A. ages 12-18 Every morning, seventeen-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students—until Rocky […]

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