Category Archive: Mackin Picks

Review: Red Rising

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Red Rising is the beginning of a trilogy from the debut author, Pierce Brown. The story takes place on Mars, far into the future. The society on Mars is constructed into castes, and… Continue reading

Fascinating American History by Bill Bryson

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All my life I have enjoyed reading about history.  I will read about the history of anything—the obvious history of political and social issues, but also the history of crime, entertainment, language.  I’ve… Continue reading

Series: The Lunar Chronicles

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Fantasy is my favorite genre—though I really won’t turn away historical fiction, science fiction, mysteries, or even realistic fiction.  I especially enjoy a good fairy tale retelling; whether it is spoofed or twisted… Continue reading

Book Review: Once Upon a Memory

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Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden and Renata Liwska (ill.) December 2013. 9780316208161. Gr. Ps-2 I made my 2013 Top Ten list in the middle of December, and I posted it with… Continue reading

Review : Fourth Down and Inches : Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment

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Fourth Down and Inches : Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment by Carla Killough McClafferty. 9781467710671. 2013. Gr 7-12. Concussions have been in the news a lot lately—especially in relation to sports.  I enjoy… Continue reading

Bugs : Invading Your Personal Space

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Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon. 9780545143134. 2013. Gr K-2. There are some conditions that one does not discuss or admit to having.  I have been fortunate not to have had any… Continue reading

Review : Flora & Ulysses : The Illuminated Adventures

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Flora & Ulysses : The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, art by K.G. Campbell. 9780763660406. 2013. Gr 3-6 (advance review copy). All of Kate DiCamillo’s books use illustrations to enhance her stories, but… Continue reading

Book Review : The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

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The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. 9781442421059. 2013. Gr 4-7. Young Chad loves Sugar Man Swamp, where he and his mom make sugar cane pies at the family’s… Continue reading

WWII Fiction and Nonfiction for Middle School

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Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes. April 2013. 9780763660376. Gr 6-8. When I heard the Candlewick rep say, ” Hero is about a 13-year-old boy during World War II, living in Italy,”… Continue reading

Book Review : One Frozen Lake

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One Frozen Lake by Deborah Jo Larson, illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher. 9780873518666. 2013. PS-2. I like winter.  It’s true.  And yes, I live in Minnesota, where we really do have… Continue reading