Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books


Something a bit different…
Ashes.CVRIn some ways there are so many books written about Nazi Germany and the holocaust that one might think, how can there be another? But Kathryn Lasky has done it well with Ashes (Viking, 2010). The book gives a view into what was happening before much of the world was aware of the looming danger.
From the viewpoint of 13-year-old Gaby, we see the rise of Hitler Germany’s Chancellor in 1932. Gaby witnesses things she worries about – some she shares with her parents, some not. She reads material that is later banned. Her family is friends with Einstein, which gets them called “white Jews.” Later in the story some tough decisions are made in this award winning book.
I like reading the Q&A about the book on Kathryn’s site and what she herself says about the book.

Posted in Easy Readers, So Many Good Books

Poodle and Hound

poodle and houndCan you resist these best friends in Poodle and Hound (Charlesbridge, 2009) by Kathryn Lasky? I can’t. And I don’t normally like poodles. And it isn’t just how these characters look. The illustrations are by Mitch Vane.
The three stories in this book for beginning readers are fun. Hound surprises Poodle in the first one. In the second they are both annoyed with each other, but of course it works out in the end. The third Poodle comes up with a unique way to get something she wants, but the wonderful part is that what she does helps Hound.
Kathryn Lasky is one prolific author. Her numerous books range from picture books through novels for children and young adults and to nonfiction. She also writes fiction for adults. I love what she says, “All my best ideas for books, one way or another, come from experiences with my family.” Find out more here.
Prolific is the word for illustrator Mitch Vane, too. She’s done three books for Charlesbridge, plus many for other publishers. Check out her books, illustrations and cartoons at
P.S. This book was edited by the wonderful Yolanda Scott.