Death or Quarter

Death or QuarterDeath or Quarter by Paul D. Blumer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paulie’s world is different than anything I’ve encountered and author Paul Blumer brings it to life with amazingly crisp prose and an honest, deliciously descriptive voice.

Set in the roughest parts of Boston, this fighter, from childhood onward, lives a brutal existence.

Hopefully, this new author’s next title will be published soon!


The Running Dream

The Running DreamThe Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five, five, five,…. Loved it!
Sometimes I read things without paying attention to them…I read this title a couple times, read a couple of reviews, saw that the reviews were compelling, then, finally, the title caught my eye!
Did you ever have a running dream? I wondered if Jessica’s running dream was anything like my own. As soon as I started reading, I realized that her running dream was probably vastly different from my own. In mine, I wake up on a bright, sunny morning. I put on my workout clothes, have a light breakfast, warm up, stretch, and start to run. My legs are pumping. My arms are moving. Then, I find out I am not making any headway – because my feet are not touching the ground! As hard as I try to make my feet get to the pavement – I cannot do it. I usually wake up at this point.
Of course, Jessica’s running dream is something she thinks she won’t ever realize again. Due to her tragedy, she meets a new friend with a completely different kind of running dream.  No more details – that would give everything away!

Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool

Easter Ann Peters' Operation CoolEaster Ann Peters’ Operation Cool by Jody Lamb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book belongs in all middle school libraries, counseling/student services offices and public libraries.

Seventh grade can be a vexing time and author Jody Lamb’s choice for Easter’s setting provides a perfect balance of disorder at school and at home for the middlegrade audience and the serious topic of family alcoholism.

Despite the ongoing situation with her family, Easter’s story is fun, funny and upbeat. And I love the subtle reminders that this novel takes place in my former home state – Michigan.

As the book entered the final chapters, I realized the end would be coming soon…I did not want to lose track of Easter. Could she return, in a subsequent book?

An updated Resource List is included in the back – help for those concerned about a family member’s alcohol consumption – in the new second edition.