Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet; ill. by Brett Helquist Scholastic, 2003 254 pages Though there’s just one title, this is really a review of three books: Blue Balliet’s series of art mysteries starring three middle-school kids who live in modern-day Chicago. I read the first book, Chasing Vermeer, with my daughter after a librarian friend … Continue reading Chasing Vermeer

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Penguin, 2014 352 pages I don’t read a lot of poetry, and I’m not entirely sure why. When my poetry-loving friends put up Facebook posts sharing a favorite line or two from what they’re currently reading, I always think, “How beautiful. I really should read more poetry.” Maybe verse is not … Continue reading Brown Girl Dreaming

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney; ill. by Stephen Alcorn Harcourt, 2000 Where I sit writing, in one of my city's newest public library branches, I can see people picking out magazines and books to read, checking out their materials, lounging in chairs with laptops propped on their … Continue reading Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan HarperCollins, 1985 58 pages For most of my childhood, my family attended a church that had a lending library. Among the books were novels about pioneer-era mail-order marriages, which I completely devoured. They were trite and fluffy reads, but through them I caught a glimpse of something serious: … Continue reading Sarah, Plain and Tall