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

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Super Secondaries: The Women of Middle Earth

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Allen & Unwin, 1954-55 I don't just talk about Lord of the Rings, I gush. J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy about the fictional realm of Middle Earth is one of my desert-island books, a work of art that comes closer to my own personal definition of literary perfection than … Continue reading Super Secondaries: The Women of Middle Earth

Super Secondaries: The Women of Bone

Bone by Jeff Smith Graphix/Cartoon Books 11 volumes If ever there was a graphic-novel epic, Bone is it. This fantasy saga spans nine main volumes, plus two prequels. It's a true Tolkienesque fantasy, complete with a fully realized universe, gripping action, and a nail-biting quest for truth and victory over cataclysmic evil. Bone is primarily … Continue reading Super Secondaries: The Women of Bone

Super Secondaries: The Women (and Girls) of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling; ill. by Mary GrandPre Scholastic Shortly after I started writing this blog, I had an idea for a series: something that would recognize books with strong female secondary characters. After all, girls don't always read books about girls--nor should they. But we can still steer them to books with … Continue reading Super Secondaries: The Women (and Girls) of Harry Potter