In the Black Lives Matter era, the literary world has faced a ‘wake-up call’; Interview with Nic Stone

January 21, 2018

Atlanta author Nic Stone’s son was only 5 months old when Jordan Davis, an African-American teen, was fatally shot at a gas station in Florida after an argument about the volume of his music. It occurred to Stone that one read more »


2017 Wilde Awards for the best books for young readers and young adults

December 20, 2017

(published in the Raleigh News and Observer, December 20, 2017)   You can walk into a bookstore and, in a relatively short time, determine the worth of a 32-page picture book. But do you choose a longer book? Which ones will read more »


Talking with Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

December 18, 2017

(Interview published in Audiofile Magazine December, 2017)   Those who listen to Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s THE WAR I FINALLY WON may be surprised to find they love it even more than her award-winning first book, THE WAR THAT SAVED MY read more »


The best children’s books of 2017, perfect for gifts or your kid’s home library

November 20, 2017

published in the News and Observer NOVEMBER 19, 2017 06:00 AM I began reviewing children’s books more than 30 years ago because of book-greed – and a husband who said we couldn’t spend half of our budget on my children’s read more »


‘Anything is Possible’ is an audio book you’ll listen to twice

November 13, 2017

published in the Raleigh News and Observer OCTOBER 30, 2017     Elizabeth Strout follows her 2016 “My Name is Lucy Barton” with this year’s “Anything is Possible,” again narrated by Kimberly Farr. (Both book and audio from Random House). read more »


12 Books by Local Authors to Add to Your Kids’ Library

October 28, 2017

  The wonderful Susan Romaine, one of the founders of PORCH and initiator of Planting Hope sent me this link. This book has had such a nice run. I was proud and happy to make this list published in Durham read more »


These two new titles pass a test drive with kids and teachers

October 23, 2017

published in the News and Observer OCTOBER 23, 2017 I’m pretty good at judging the power of a children’s book, but there’s nothing like taking one on a test drive. When classrooms respond either with laughter or complete quiet, I read more »


Audio review: Actress captures essence of woman and autistic child at center of novel

October 9, 2017

(Published in the News and Observer, October 1, 2017) Audios provide an amazing escape from unrelenting sad-bad news, especially those with wit and humor. There’s plenty of both in Julia Claiborne Johnson’s “Be Frank With Me” (book from HarperCollins; audio read more »


The characters in these series – for ages 3 to 14 – are worth revisiting

October 2, 2017

(published in the News and Observer, August 20, 2017) I avoid series that have numbers as their most distinguishing feature. I adore those in which characters grow, plots expand or I can return to locales I love. In Kes and Claire read more »


Meet ‘Nyxia,’ the debut novel from a former Wake teacher–He’s signing tonight!

September 27, 2017

Interview Published in the Raleigh News and Observer September 10, 2017     You won’t find Apex author Scott Reintgen in a high school classroom this year. Instead, he’s working hard to finish his trilogy of young adult novels that read more »