Extra Credit

I think I've either read or listened to every one of Andrew Clements' books, except Extra Credit. For some reason I kept putting it back on the shelf. My girlfriend told me how much she loved it so I picked it up. I'm so glad I did! A realistic portrayal of pen pals, sixth grade,... Continue Reading →

Around the World in Eighty Days

I decided I needed to reread Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne after Masterpiece Theatre on PBS aired a mini-series based on the book. Well - loosely based on the book. The mini-series was fun to watch, but Phileas Fogg is nothing like the character in the book. In the book, Fogg... Continue Reading →

When the Sea Turned to Silver

Pinmei's grandmother is the neighborhood storyteller and always has the perfect story for Pinmei and the villagers. But the emperor's soldiers break into Pinmei's house and kidnaps her grandmother. Fortunately, Grandmother was able to hid Pinmei in a large pot, so the soldiers didn't kidnap her. So Pinmei and her friend Yishan set out to... Continue Reading →

Listen, Slowly

Note: I wrote this review about five years ago, and am just publishing it now. I picked up Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai because the story intrigued me. It’s about 12-year-old Mai, the daughter of immigrants from Viet Nam. Her parents have just co-oped her summer plans. Instead of spending it on the beach with... Continue Reading →

Brother’s Keeper

Sora Pak and her family live by a very strict set of rules. The family Bible is hidden under the floor. They must attend the local communist meetings. Their friends and neighbors keep disappearing. But they are afraid to leave their North Korean village. Until the war comes so close, they decide this is their... Continue Reading →

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower are the names of two children in China who become inseparable friends - and eventually family. This sweet story by Cao Wenxuan was translated from Chinese by Helen Wang. Set during the Cultural Revolution, Bronze and Sunflower is a story of love, hardships and family life in the Chinese countryside (and not... Continue Reading →

Crossing the Farak River

I picked up Crossing the Farak River by Michelle Aung Thin at my local library because I noticed the name - and then when I read the description, realized it’s set in Myanmar (or Burma). My dad has travelled there many times, so I’ve developed an interest in the country and its people. Crossing the... Continue Reading →

The Samurai’s Tale

By all accounts Taro should be dead. The son of a samurai is always killed when his lord is defeated in battle. But Lord Takeda's soldiers decide to spare him, and take him with them. So Taro becomes a servant in the house of Lord Akiyama, learning how to be a servant. But when his... Continue Reading →

Words in the Dust

What is truly amazing about Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is that this young man could write such a beautiful book from the first-person perspective of a young Afgani girl. Zulaikha (thankfully, there’s pronunciation guide in the back of the book) loves her family, especially her older sister and her father.  They don’t... Continue Reading →

Little Panda

Little Panda does not believe the story his grandfather is about to tell him.  "Tigers can't fly!  That's silly," he interrupts his grandfather. His grandfather shushes him, and gently scolds him for interrupting - and continues his story. And in the end, a tiger does fly! How? You will have to read the book to... Continue Reading →

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