The bright, engaging middle grade nonfiction book How Does Chocolate Taste on Everest? by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe (Charlesbridge, September 2023) highlights the most extreme places around the world. With a vacation guide book feel, How Does Chocolate Taste? emphasizes what you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch when you visit the highest, best, deepest, hottest, and coldest

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A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat (First Second, February 2023) is a middle grade graphic novel memoir of Dan’s experiences when he was 13 years old and had the opportunity to explore Europe. Set in 1989, a different era for traveling, the novel captures the essence of that time. The story revolves around

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I was so excited to read a novel that took place during the early days of the COVID pandemic, so I eagerly sought out Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine, 2021). I read it last month and even today I’m struggling to eek out thoughts on what I think of it. I don’t

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The graphic novel Sisters by Raina Telgemeir (Graphix, 2014) is one that tweenage and teenage sisters can certainly relate to. As is often the case, two sisters struggle to get along, specifically while traveling on a long road trip to visit family. The story alternates between the current day (stuck in the car) with when

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Eat, Leo! Eat! by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon (Kids Can Press, 2015) is an homage to Italian pasta and traditional lore. It is the story of a picky eater who loves his grandma’s stories about the Italian pasta she cooks each week at the family dinner. Each week, Nonna continues the story

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I Walked to Zion by Susan Arrington Madsen (Deseret Book, 1994) is a delightful collection of first person accounts of Mormon pioneers who traveled across the American Great Plains to Utah from the late 1840s to 1860s. Although the volume is probably intended for adults to read, the engaging and interesting stories of the pioneers have such

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Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1991) is a coming-of-age story, this time dealing with a 12-year-old Russian immigrant traveling alone. But Rifka is not an ordinary traveler. She expects to do “everything” once she reaches America, but first, she has to get there. When sickness keeps her behind, she learns to survive on her

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Along a Long Road by Frank Viva (Little Brown, 2011) is a simply illustrated story about a man riding a bike down a long road. The illustrations are somewhat subdued graphic designs. The book uses only a few colors and a few words on each two-page spread to create a world, road, and people to

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The second half of Don Quixote of La Mancha (written in 1615, a full decade after the first half) is much better than the first half (thoughts here). As the novel progresses, Cervantes’ writing improves, the plots improve, and the character’s personalities become far more distinct. I was drawn into the story in a way

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In the introduction to A Moveable Feast (published 1964), his memoir of the years between the wars during which he lived in Paris, Ernest Hemingway writes: If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has

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