books and cleverness

I read books of all sorts, but mostly kids' lit and young adult literature and speculative fiction for all ages—usually from a feminist perspective. 


I've adopted a personalized version of the CHOICE reviews approach to recommendations/star ratings:

***** = Essential, a.k.a. truly love, absolute must-read, buy it now
**** = Highly Recommended, a.k.a. this is a really good book; I would buy it as a gift
*** = Recommended, a.k.a. pretty good; worth reading
** = Optional, a.k.a. meh
* = Not Recommended; a.k.a. this is not a good book

"'Me!' said Hermione. 'Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship and bravery'"

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


Hermione's books and cleverness are more important for saving the wizarding world than anything Ron and Harry do. Hermione always seems like she's too focused on studying to be fun, but she could have won the Tri-Wizard Tournament without breaking a sweat, even underage. Own it, Hermione!