About Dean Schneider

Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Review of The Trouble in Me

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The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos Middle School, High School   Farrar   208 pp. 9/15   978-0-374-37995-7   $17.99   g By the summer before eighth grade, young Jack Gantos didn’t think much of himself. He had the “milky physique of a very soft boy” and looked like a “boneless squid.” His “mouth bully” of a father called […]

Tricky Vic

tricky vic

Robert Miller was known to everyone except his own family as Count Victor Lustig (or by any of forty-five other aliases). He was a con man, with a career full of ways to separate people from their money, including, believe it or not, selling the Eiffel Tower. He was “one of the most crooked con […]

Review of Firefly Hollow

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Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee; illus. by Christopher Denise Intermediate   Atheneum   292 pp. 8/15   978-1-4424-2336-7   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9812-9   $10.99 A kindred spirit “understands the deepest dream of your heart,” Vole says to Firefly and Cricket. This trio of friends has big dreams: Vole dreams of sailing down the river to rejoin family and […]

Review of March: Book Two

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March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   192 pp. 1/15   978-1-60309-400-9   $19.95   g Lewis and Aydin begin this second volume of the graphic memoir trilogy in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009 (President Obama’s first inauguration), then they move back in time […]

Review of Lost in the Sun

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Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff Intermediate, Middle School   Philomel   298 pp. 5/15   978-0-399-16406-4   $16.99   g “I didn’t do it on purpose, obviously,” says twelve-year-old Trent Zimmerman. “Kill Jared Richards, I mean…But accident or not, Jared Richards died, and I was the reason, so what was the difference? Either way, I killed him.” Trent […]

Review of Gone Crazy in Alabama

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Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia Intermediate, Middle School   Amistad/HarperCollins   291 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-221587-1   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-221588-8   $17.89   g e-book ed. 978-0-06-221590-1   $9.99 Williams-Garcia says goodbye to the Gaither family (One Crazy Summer, rev. 3/10; P. S. Be Eleven, rev. 5/13) in this involving and emotional concluding installment. It’s been a year since […]

Review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; illus. by Anna Hymas Intermediate, Middle School   Dial   294 pp. 2/15   978-0-8037-4080-8   $16.99   g As a young boy growing up in Malawi, William Kamkwamba believed in — and was fearful of — magic. As he got a bit older, he […]

Review of Stella by Starlight

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Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper Intermediate   Atheneum   324 pp. 1/15   978-1-4424-9497-8   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9499-2   $10.99 Eleven-year-old Stella Mills may have trouble getting words on paper for school, but she’s a deep thinker, “a gemstone hiding inside a rock,” her mother tells her. Even on the coldest of nights, she sneaks out […]

Review of Nest


Nest by Esther Ehrlich Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    330 pp. 9/14    978-0-385-38607-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38608-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-38609-8    $9.99 In this debut novel set in the late 1960s, Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein’s sixth-grade teacher tells her, “Your mom is a very lucky lady to have such a responsible girl.” Chirp is very responsible, […]

Review of The Great Greene Heist

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The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    236 pp. 5/14    978-0-545-52552-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-52554-1    $16.99 Who knew a student council election could get so complicated? After pulling off a few legendary middle-school pranks, Jackson Greene has sworn off his scheming ways. But he gets pulled back in, in order to help […]