About Dean Schneider

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

Review of The Great Greene Heist

johnson_great green heist

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 […]

Review of Revolution

wiles_revolution

 Revolution [Sixties Trilogy] by Deborah Wiles Intermediate, Middle School     Scholastic     538 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-10607-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-63400-7     $19.99 Invaders arrive by the hundreds, making all in their path uneasy. Life as everyone knows it is about to change. Some join their ranks; others fight back. H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds? No, it […]

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow

marrin_volcano beneath the snow

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Review of Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles

Courage Has No Color

Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone Middle School, High School    Candlewick    148 pp. 1/13    978-0-7636-5117-6    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-6405-3    $24.99 “How does one survive and outlast the racism that was our daily fare at that time?” asks artist Ashley Bryan in the […]

Review of Etched in Clay

Etched in Clay

Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Lee & Low   143 pp. 1/13    978-1-60060-451-5    $17.95    g Readers familiar with Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier’s 2011 Caldecott Honor–winning picture book Dave the Potter will appreciate Cheng’s interpretation of the man’s life […]

Review of Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics

rush for the gold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein Middle School, High School     Knopf     314 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86963-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96963-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6     $10.99 Timed to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Feinstein’s sixth sports mystery novel again features teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—except that […]

Review of Summer in the City

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel; illus. by Marie-Louise Gay Intermediate    Groundwood    151 pp. 4/12    978-1-55498-177-9    $15.95    g e-book ed.  978-1-55498-200-4    $15.95 Sixth grade is almost over, summer’s approaching, and Charlie’s parents haven’t revealed the family’s summer plans yet. What great adventure is in store? In the past, they’ve been caught […]

Review of The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    309 pp. 1/12    978-0-385-73491-2    $15.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-90487-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-89736-8    $10.99 To her father, twelve-year-old Deza Malone is “my Darling Daughter Deza,” “that sassy, smart, beautiful, charming little girl…my Mighty Miss Malone.” But it’s 1936, and the Depression has hit Gary, […]

Opening day

Audrey Vernick "Brothers at Bat"

Part of the appeal of baseball is its storied history. These three old-timey baseball books add to the lore of the game for young fans. Audrey Vernick’s Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team highlights the Acerra family of Long Branch, New Jersey. In 1938, the oldest nine boys (there […]

What Makes a Good Sports Novel?

center field

“Mike backed up at the ping of the ball against the metal bat, sensing a long, high fly. He felt a flush of joy. He was exactly where he wanted to be, in the center of the universe, racing a baseball, sure he was going to win.” Robert Lipsyte’s recent novel Center Field starts with […]