Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Welcome to the March and April 2019 issue of Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews. I have put together a wonderful collection of reviews for you for this issue, and I hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

As always, the books reviewed on TTLG are carefully chosen by the editor. We only review books that suit the scope of TTLG, and that we feel have something to offer readers. Therefore, all our reviews are positive ones. We hope this will help you to find excellent books for the young people in your lives. If you are looking for books for yourself, we hope you will find books that you will enjoy reading. Please consider buying books through this website. Your purchases help to support our work, and give us the means to improve this online resource.

In March,  bookshops, schools, and libraries all over the United States observe  Women’s History Month. This event celebrates the achievements of girls  and women over the years, and it is a celebration that is dear to my heart. In honor of girls and women who have broken down barriers, created things, invented things, and who have made the world a better place through their achievements I have decided to feature Strong Girls, Strong Women in this issue.  In this feature readers will finds fiction and non-fiction titles that look at the lives and achievements of many great women from around the world.

Here in Oregon spring started to make an appearance a week or so ago, and then winter came back. Spring is a fickle season and it is not surprising that it comes and goes. If you are in need of a spring fix, because you are up to your knees in snow, then search no further. Our spring feature page is packed with books that are full of blossoming trees and new beginnings.

For many people March and April are the months when they start getting busy in the garden. Spending time in the garden gives children and young people a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, watch things grow, and – of course – get dirty!

April is the month when many Americans celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day. For Earth Day you can look at the Earth Day feature and the Saving the Environment feature. For Arbor Day  I have put together a delightful collection of books that are about trees. Some of the books in these features are informative nonfiction titles, while others are stories that will amuse, touch, and delight readers of all ages.

For this month’s Editor’s Choice title, I have selected  The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. In this wonderful young adult title we meet a girl who wants to get an education and make something of her life, but instead she is forced to work as a hired girl to keep a roof over her head. The main character is a delight, and it is interesting to watch as she she figures out how to make the best of a difficult situation.

In every issue I spotlight a series that I am really enjoying or have enjoyed in the past. For this issue I chose the wonderful Stoker and Holmes Books. In these tales – the third of which I review in this issue of Through the Looking Glass – we meet Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes. Readers will not be surprised to learn that Evaline is a vampire hunter and that her friend is a detective in the making, but they will be surprised when they see what these two intelligent, skilled, and highly unusual girls get up to in the steampunk world that they live in. If you like books with strong female characters who don’t take any nonsense from anyone, then this is the series for you.

The author of this fabulous series is Colleen Gleason and I think that it is only fitting that I should feature her on the Author Spotlight page. Colleen has a penchant for creating books for young adults that are fresh, exciting, and completely unpredictable. I particularly love how rich her characters are, and the worlds she builds are wonderfully memorable.

This issue’s award winning title is a thought-provoking book for young readers. One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman tells the story of Anais, who has come to the United States from Africa. Fleeing a country that is being ripped apart from within, Anais has to negotiate all kinds of things that she is unfamiliar with. This title won the 2018 Golden Kite Honor award for middle-grade fiction.

Finally, take a look at the new Bookish Calendar. Here you will find reviews about Michelangelo, St. Patrick’s Day, Harry Houdini, the sinking of  the Titanic, and much more. This calendar is a great tool to use at home and in the classroom to help children incorporate books more fully into their lives.

-:Bookish Events for March and April:-

March is Women’s History Month (USA)

March 2nd is Read Across America Day (USA)

National March into Literacy Month (USA)

April is National Poetry Month (USA)

April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day

National Library Week April 7th – 13th (USA)

I hope you find a way to celebrate some, if not all,  of these bookish events. If I have missed an important bookish event, please drop me a line to tell me about it.

In September of 2012 I launched a project that I would like to tell you about. It is a story blog  called Talon Diaries, and it was written by a colorful and very unusual character called Gryf. I hope you will come and read Gryf”s blog posts.

For those of you don’t already know, I also publish a blog about children’s books and the children’s book world. On the blog I post reviews, interviews with great authors and illustrators, I offer book giveaways, and I tell you about interesting contests and bookish events. Do visit the blog and sign up for the feed. In the coming year, I will be posting new picture book reviews on Mondays and poetry book reviews on Fridays. I will also be posting articles and award notices on the TTLG Facebook page throughout the year. Do come and Like the page.

Some of the titles I reviewed several years ago are now out of print. Though you cannot buy these books in every bookshop, many of them are still available for purchase on websites like Amazon.com and ebay.

I hope you enjoy this new issue, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,