Chris's Book Reviews

The House in the Cerulean Sea Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: January 2, 2021

There aren't many books that can leave you wishing you were an orphaned magical child feared by the rest of the society. But the beauty of The House in the Cerulean Sea is that it makes you want to be a part of this island’s deadly-but-adorable extended family. A fascinating, funny and incredibly uplifting storythe perfect read for the start of a new year...or any time.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (A Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 1) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: October 28, 2020

One of the funniest and most imaginative middle-grade novels I’ve read in a long time. Kind of a LatinX “Ferris Bueller”—only with multiverses, a lot more heart, and better food.

Three Keys (Front Desk Novel) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: September 24, 2020

Mia Tang is what we all need right now: hope, strength, perseverance and generosity! Those qualities helped her build a better life in FRONT DESK. Now in THREE KEYS she stretches far beyond family to help friends, enemies, even people she's never met. A great story with a timely focus on immigration issues.

Storm the Earth (The Shatter the Sky Duology) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: September 11, 2020

There was so much to love about SHATTER THE SKY: a smart, brave, complex hero, lots of dragons, bi romance, and a page-turning plot. I *so* did not want it to end. But now, STORM THE EARTH has rewarded my (very limited) patience with the best sequel possible. If you're a fan of the first book, you're going to be very happy with STORM THE EARTH. And if you're new to the series, you are very lucky, because now you can stay up all night and read the entire duology at once.

Witches of Brooklyn Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: September 1, 2020

One of my favorite graphic novels of the year! A funny, sweet story of a young orphan dropped into the custody of two aunts she's never met. They're all unhappy about the arrangement, until Effie discovers her aunts are witches, and the aunts start to realize maybe Effie is, too! Perfect for graphic novel lovers of any age.

Staff Pick Badge
Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: August 28, 2020

I loved Amari and the Night Brothers! A fresh, edge-of-your-seat joyride of magic and mystery, it takes fantasy out of cold English castles and sets it squarely in the hot American South--Atlanta, Georgia no less. And Amari’s the kind of hero every reader wishes they were—brave, clever, passionate. If you’re not totally in love with her by the end, you’ll need to get your heart checked.

Elatsoe Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: August 25, 2020

A riveting mash-up of Native American mythology, vampires, murder and mystery, with a kickass main character who likes to play fetch with her ghost dog when she's not chasing down supernatural killers. Loved it!

A Thousand Questions Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: July 15, 2020

A sweet, moving and aptly titled story of 2 girls from different (and the same) cultures wrestling with many questions about each other, their parents, and their lives. Sakina's mix of anger, curiosity and hope really make the story, painting a picture of a girl who knows her place and future are very harshly defined but still takes great pride in herself, her family and her culture. And Mimi's ability to forge friendships around her even when her own family is split apart in so many ways makes her a very sympathetic character. Highly recommended!

Twins: Graphic Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: February 20, 2020

You know how you always kinda wished you were a twin? This book is NOT going to cure you. Such a sweet, funny, and utterly compelling story--not just about being a twin, but about sisterhood, friendships, school and family. Perfect for fans of  Svetlana Chmakova's Berrybrook Middle School series and Jerry Craft's New Kid.

Catherine's War Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: January 30, 2020

I loved this book. A brilliantly drawn story of a young Jewish girl using her camera to find kindness and hope as she and her schoolmates are fleeing the Nazis. Based on the author’s mother’s own experiences in World War II.

A Wish in the Dark Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: January 26, 2020

A Wish in the Dark is the book every kid is going to be reading in the dark, with a flashlight, way past their bedtime. A beautiful, exciting new fantasy no one will want to put down. And what a gorgeous cover!

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor Cover Image
Reviewed by: Chris
Posted: January 22, 2020

Take 5 orphans, put them in an old mansion, add a mysterious key, a few fires and explosions, and a shadowy figure with a sword prowling around at night and you have the perfect recipe for a great middle-grade mystery. April's a wonderful character and the mystery at the heart of Winterborne Home will keep readers guessing right up to the end. Bottom line: A fun, fun read, especially for kids who like stories without magic or fantasy.

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