The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

In this slim, brisk novel by Patricia MacLachlan––author of Newbery-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall––the dog Teddy can understand human speech, but only children and poets can understand him. Teddy rescues siblings Nickel and Flora from a snowstorm and brings them to the forest cabin he once shared with his owner, Sylvan. As the mystery of Sylvan’sContinue reading “The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan”

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

I promise I’m not just reviewing Shadowshaper because of how pretty the cover is going to look on my homepage. …Well, okay, that’s a big plus! But the cover’s not the only gorgeous thing about this book. There is so much for kidlit writers to learn from Daniel José Older’s YA novel Shadowshaper. [Note: mild spoilers ahead!] 1. Work hardContinue reading “Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older”

And I Darken by Kiersten White

This book is an enthralling, disturbing, seriously messed up trip. And I loved it. An alternate history of Vlad the Impaler (recast as a woman, Lada Dragwlya), Mehmed the Great, and Radu the Handsome, this book takes us to the heart of the Ottoman Empire as it sets its sights on Constantinople. Lada and her brotherContinue reading “And I Darken by Kiersten White”

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This is the first time I’ve used a sequel as one of the Writer Reading Kidlit books. But this one was just too good to pass up. **Note: Due to the nature of writing about a sequel, and that none of these tips would really make sense without them, this post has some serious spoilers.** SoContinue reading “A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas”

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Sarah Prineas’s first foray into YA fiction is a retelling of the Cinderella story where the Fairy Godmother is evil and nothing is quite as it seems. Ash & Bramble is a dark, superbly feminist take on the concept of story, narrative arc, and what the idea of a standardized Happily Ever After might really imply. HereContinue reading “Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas”