Reviews of The Hunger Games trilogy

hunger games

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games] by Suzanne Collins Middle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp. 10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99 Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky […]

Review of The Amber Spyglass

pullman_amber spyglass

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman Middle School, High School     Knopf     523 pp. 10/00     0-679-87926-9     $19.95 Armed with a rare numbered typescript copy of The Amber Spyglass, I’m tempted to roll up my shirtsleeves, light a cigar, splash some Tokay into a glass, and discuss fine points of reason, fancy, and theology before all hell […]

Get Appy


Horn Book reviews have hit the mobile market as Book Verdict, available for free at the iTunes Store. I have just started playing with it but it seems pretty neat: including reviews taken from the Horn Book Magazine and Guide, the app recommends about 10,000 children’s and YA titles published in the last ten years. […]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and The Great Pumpkin Festival app reviews

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The Peanuts gang is back in two new interconnected Loud Crow Interactive apps. A follow-up to last fall’s fabulous A Charlie Brown Christmas app, Loud Crow’s latest story app It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (October 2012) is based on the 1966 animated holiday TV special of the same name. Linus spends Halloween night in […]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie poster

The long-awaited movie version of Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment, October 2012; PG-13) celebrates the 90s, the mix tape, friendship, love, and the benefits both of observing life and participating in it. What could have been cloying is in fact a sensitive coming-of-age film. And though there are […]

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app review

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“Everyone’s story matters,” according to Morris Lessmore, a lifelong lover of books and the title character of William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. That’s certainly a worthy notion, and it has made me a champion of this particular story since the animated short film first won an Academy Award in February, […]

Bot Garage app review

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David A. Carter and Noelle Carter’s Bot Garage app (Random House/Smashing Ideas, 2011), a companion to their 2011 counting pop-up book Lots of Bots, invites users to recreate the wacky robots showcased in the book and create their own inventions. Build a robot by selecting from a gallery of ten brightly colored options for each bot […]

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel Tiger app review

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Daniel Striped Tiger, you’ve come a long way, baby. Introduced on the show The Children’s Corner in the 1950s, shy Daniel went on to be one of many puppet inhabitants of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Earlier this month PBS debuted an animated spin-off series featuring his four-year-old son, also named Daniel, and […]

The Numberlys app review

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“Once upon a time there was no alphabet… only numbers.” William Joyce’s app The Numberlys (Moonbot Studios, January 2012) introduces users to a highly detailed, Metropolis-inspired city scape, where a society of cute blobby creatures manufactures numbers. Numbers form the basis of all organization and communication, but this world, though “orderly,” lacks color, creativity, and […]

It’s here…and it’s about time

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When I came across this book, it made enough of an impression for me to want to mention it well past its August 2011 publication date. Peter H. Reynolds’s I’m Here (Atheneum) is a welcome addition to the growing body of (mostly mediocre) children’s literature dealing with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome in […]