Bodie Shanis

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Review of Forsooth

Forsooth by Jimmy Matejek-MorrisMiddle School    Carolrhoda    360 pp.11/23    9781728457598    $19.99Calvin Conroy dreams of becoming a Broadway star, but when he falls off the stage during the middle school musical, it confirms what he’s always known: he’s meant to play supporting cast to his best friend, Kennedy, the true star in...

Review of Camp Sylvania

Camp Sylvania by Julie MurphyIntermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    288 pp.6/23    9780063114029    $18.99e-book ed.  9780063114043    $11.99Maggie knows the summer after fifth grade will be amazing because she’s finally going to the performing arts camp of her dreams…until her parents send her to weight loss camp instead. While enduring inedible...

Review of Doodles from the Boogie Down

Doodles from the Boogie Down by Stephanie Rodriguez; illus. by the author; color by Andrea BellMiddle School    Kokila/Penguin    208 pp.4/23    9780451480651    $20.99Paper ed.  9780451480668    $13.99e-book ed.  9780593534052    $8.99In this engaging graphic novel, it’s time for Steph to choose a high school, and her protective Dominican mom wants her to pick...

Review of The Sunbearer Trials

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden ThomasHigh School    Feiwel    416 pp.9/22    9781250822130    $18.99e-book ed.  9781250822147    $10.99Every ten years in the fantastical but ­contemporary-feeling Reino del Sol, ten demigod children are chosen to compete in the Sunbearer Trials, a sacred ritual deemed necessary in order to avert the apocalypse. Although winning the...

Review of Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender High School     Amulet/Abrams    336 pp.         g9/22     978-1-4197-5687-0     $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-6470-0412-5    $15.54 Seventeen-year-old Lark is sure that once they hit fifty thousand Twitter followers, an agent will pick up their novel, and they’ll finally be able to...

Review of Alice Austen Lived Here

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex GinoMiddle School    Scholastic    176 pp.   g6/22    978-1-338-73389-1    $17.99Sam, a proud nonbinary seventh grader, has to research a figure of local significance for history class, and they are determined not to write about another DSCWM (“Dead Straight Cisgender White Man”). They choose Alice Austen:...

Review of Slip

Slip by Marika McCoola; illus. by Aatmaja PandyaHigh School    Algonquin    208 pp.   g6/22    978-1-64375-249-5    $24.95Paper ed.  978-1-61620-789-2    $17.95e-book ed.  978-1-64375-292-1    $15.95This graphic novel sensitively explores friendship, love, art, mental health, and self-harm. Just before Jade leaves for the Art Farm, a competitive summer intensive program that might snag her...

A lot of axolotls

While trees may have been on-trend for 2021, 2022 is shaping up to be all about axolotls, featured front and center on covers! This trend extends into the far reaches of children’s media, from cuboid axolotls appearing in Minecraft, to the outrageously popular Build-a-Bear axolotls selling out instantly. I do get...

Holiday break TV binging 2021

Congrats! You’ve made it to winter break. It’s time to relax, sit down with a delicious hot beverage, and crack open a good book — or maybe binge-watch all the movies and shows you couldn’t get to the rest of the year. If that last part sounds more your style,...

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