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

Fall 2014 Children's Sneak Previews

From Publishers' Weekly, a cheat sheet to the highlights of the Fall 2014 season in children's picture books, MG, and YA.


Featuring! Quest, a followup to the very lovely wordless picture book Journey, by Aaron Becker, from Candlewick Press.

illustration from Quest by Aaron Becker



A new Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates book!

A new Septimus Heap series!

A 50th anniversary edition of The Book of Three.


From Eos and Mani, illus. by Lindsey Yankey (Simply Read Books)

From Eos and Mani, illus. by Lindsey Yankey (Simply Read Books)



  • The Isobel Journal, previously published in the UK by Hot Key Books, now gets a US edition
  • The second in the Lockwood & Co. series, by Jonathan Stroud
  • A new book from Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Love Is the Drug by the author of last year's The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell, whose Rooftoppers just won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize
  • A new book from Scott Westerfeld


...and like a hundred more.


Basically, get excited.