Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

During the ALA Conference in Orlando, our library branches won grants to bring around 15 teens to present their opinions on YALSA’s BFYA nominees. The teens loved raiding the schwag from the Exhibits Hall, and even though we tried, we couldn’t get them to stop hoarding. Not that we would purposely discourage anyone from getting free books, but these guys had 10 overflowing bags each with handles snapping.  This load had to be carried back to the car and smooshed in the trunk. I swear my car’s rear end sunk, dragging us along, weighed down by signed books, sunglasses, posters, and comics. In one last raid, a few teens caught up with Meredith Russo, who they instantly fell in love with. She signed their books, chatted them up, and a year later, she even Skyped in for their book club. One of my girls brought me back a signed copy…

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Review: Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman

Geared toward 8-12 year olds, Fortunately, the Milk takes readers on a wild ride as one dad tries to explain to his children what happened to him on the way home from picking up some milk. There are police space dinosaurs, time-traveling hot air balloons, aliens, pirates, and fortunately, some milk. Not only is this dad focused on getting his children their breakfast milk, but he also must save the world from being remodeled. There is a week-old prophecy and quite honestly, pretty much anything else nonsensical and random that one can write about for children. This book is like Roald Dahl meets a 2-year-old child who just ate a bag of candy. OK, maybe 2 bags of candy. I do not want to speak blasphemy since this is Neil Gaiman, but I just did not care for this story. I may have missed out since I chose the audiobook…

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Review: The Best Man by Richard Peck

Kirkus and Booklist named Best Man one of the best books of 2016. Archer Magill begins this story with a wedding that forces him to hide under the porch with his best friend, Lynette. The novel ends with Archer landing the role of best man in another wedding. In between, the story follows Archer and Lynette through elementary school along with Archer’s three wholesome role models: grandpa, his dad, and Uncle Paul. When a new student teacher comes to town, Mr. McLeod, Archer’s world is thrown for a loop—but one that he embraces. Archer is charmingly oblivious for the entire novel, but his innocence makes his growing up all the more powerful. Although this coming of age story follows Archer from first to sixth grade, the content is best for fourth to sixth graders. Reading this book is like eating a bowl of warm, homemade soup with the fireplace blazing…

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