Steffie, Angel, Baby and More


When I was in high school, I read Fran Arrick's Steffie Can't Come Out to Play (1978) more than once. I even wrote a book report on it in the ninth grade, when the assigned reading included J. Meade Falkner's Moonfleet and Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners. (Wanted: female characters.)

Steffie, Angel, Baby and More2014-03-03T17:58:46-05:00

Being a Good Girl


The word 'goodish' entered my vocabulary thanks to an observation that Carol Shields makes of two female friends in The Republic of Love. (General increased usage of -ish also ensued.) "They love the word ‘goodish,’ as in goodish sunsets, goodish travel bargains, goodish men." The title and cover of Suzanne Sutherland's When

Being a Good Girl2020-05-04T14:41:58-05:00

Being a Daughter, Being Audacious


At first glance, readers might not spot similarities between J. C. Carleson's The Tyrant's Daughter (2014) and Gabrielle Prendergast's Audacious (2013). Knopf - Random House, 2014 Laila, the 15-year-old daughter of an assassinated dictator, flees to North America with the aid of authorities who recognize the family's vulnerability

Being a Daughter, Being Audacious2014-07-03T08:40:29-05:00

A reader’s notes on Kathy Kacer’s Novels


Kathy Kacer's name dots the pages of Second Story Press' Holocaust Remembrance Series. From her first book in 1999 to last year's Shanghai Surprise, no other author has contributed so many stories to the series. The Secret of Gabi's Dresser is bookended by contemporary snippets designed to draw young readers into the

A reader’s notes on Kathy Kacer’s Novels2014-02-12T13:14:30-05:00

Learning about the Holocaust: How Young is Too Young?


One mother in my step-daughter's seventh-grade class complained. The teacher incorporated John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas into the lesson-plan, and this mother believes the subject is inappropriate for twelve- and thirteen-year-old students. Are children too young to grapple with such serious subjects? The story of Hana's Suitcase

Learning about the Holocaust: How Young is Too Young?2014-02-12T11:33:00-05:00
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