Secret Origami

Origami X

Origami is an fun craft experience for both boys and girls, and the paper shapes created can serve purposes beyond the decorative. At least, that’s what these two Secret Origami books, Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents and Origami XOXO: Paper Folding for Special Secrets (Capstone, August 2012), propose! In Origami X, Nick Robinson […]

Missed Connections: F4I [fan for illustrator]

missed connections

–F4I [fan for illustrator] (Boston) I saw you from across the Paresky Center at the 2011 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony. You were accepting your honor for illustrating Pecan Pie Baby. Charmed by your watercolors, your accent, and your admission that you can’t draw bicycles, I was too shy to ask you to sign my […]



I’ve never witnessed an actual sumo wrestling match, so this graphic novel about sumo caught my curiosity. Thien Pham’s Sumo (First Second, December 2012) follows Scott, an American college graduate who thought he was heading toward the NFL but didn’t make the cut and subsequently lost the love of his life, Gwen. A new opportunity […]

Deck Z

deck z

Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s adult novel Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead. (Chronicle, September 2012) begins in early April, 1912, when German pathologist Theodor Weiss is summoned to Manchuria to investigate what appears to be a particularly virulent strain of plague. Weiss takes a recently infected victim to a laboratory to study the disease, […]

Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me

Writing to our younger, naive selves with words of wisdom? It’s a simple concept that’s presented brilliantly on and in the paperback anthology Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books, October 2012), edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally. Big name YA authors address their teenage versions on […]

Rookie Yearbook One

Rookie Yearbook One

I’ve been a steadfast follower of blogger Tavi Gevinson and her fashion/feminist escapades for years now, so perhaps I am a biased reader, but I absolutely loved Rookie Yearbook One (Drawn & Quarterly, September 2012), a massive compilation of all of Rookie Mag‘s brightest moments. Rookie Magazine, an online magazine aimed at teenage girls, was […]

May the Force be with you (and your reading!)

Star Wars Reads Day

[cue 20th Century Fox intro] [cue Star Wars theme song] Tomorrow, Saturday October 6, 2012 is the first National Star Wars Reads Day, designed to “celebrate reading and Star Wars.” While this may be an unusual pairing, I’m all for promoting events that encourage children to read. So in honor of the inaugural event, I’ve […]

A recommended read for Austen fans


In Julianne Donaldson’s Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance (Shadow Mountain, April 2012) Marianne Daventry is sent to live with her cantankerous grandmother in “stifling” Bath after the death of her mother, abandonment by her grieving father, and separation from her socially ambitious twin sister.  Unsurprisingly, Marianne soon feels dejected and out of place. She welcomes an […]

Bookmark this book


California high school English teacher Ann Camacho challenged her students (current and past) to “Find a quote from ANY book you’ve read…and use it as the foundation or seed to developing your personal philosophy about how you live your life.” Fifty of the students’ short essays come together in Bookmarked: Teen Essays on Life and […]

Friendship through fiction


Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, editor Holly Thompson, a YA author (Orchards, a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book) and a longtime resident of Japan, became especially concerned about teen survivors of the quake and tsunami. She decided to collect YA short fiction from writers and translators connected to Japan either by […]