Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel & Friends, October 2014) is chocked full of amazing characterization. Rose is a preteen struggling with OCD and difficulties fitting in because she is on the autism spectrum. But Rose is not stupid, and her quick wit and clever ways of dealing with her frustrating life

One of Rose’s obsessions is homonyms, and she loves that her name has a homonym (rose/rows). When her father brings her a stray dog, she gives him a name with two special homonyms: Rain (rein, reign). Rain quickly becomes her treasured best friend, confidant, and support as her home life with her verbally abusive father deteriorates. With only her uncle on her side, Rose faces a challenging year.Continue Reading

Precious Ramatowe Mysteries

Two years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the first of the Precious Ramotswe Mysteries, a new series by Alexander McCall-Smith sharing the childhood mysteries featuring Precious Ramotswe, the future Ladies’ Detective. I enjoyed the second and third in the series as well. Simple mysteries give the young children reading a chance to feel like detectives themselves, and the limited number of chapters and simple writing give them confidence in their reading abilities.

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Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is a delightful dabbling in the untranslatable (into English) words of the world. I’ve always felt that foreign languages are important to learn simply because English cannot always express everything there is to say. Artist Ella Frances Sanders brings some of these words to life with explanations an illustrations.

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Draw-A-Saurus by James Silvani

Draw-A-Saurus by  James Silvani (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is the perfect book for a kid who love two things:

  1. Drawing
  2. Dinosaurs

I know one such kid, so I was delighted to come across this book. With clear step-by-step instructions, the author/illustrator shows the process for drawing realistically proportioned dinosaurs of all kinds. There is plenty of amusing side-comments interspersed in with the illustrations. On top of all that, Mr. Silvani provides facts about the dinosaurs, including explanations of what things we know for sure and those we do not know for sure.

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