About Dean Schneider

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

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

williams-gracia_gone crazy in alabama

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 […]

Review of 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 […]