Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Book Review Club (October 2020)

Welcome to the October 2020 edition of The Book Review Club. The craziness of this year continues, and who knows what plot twists are still ahead.
Reading and writing are keeping me sane. And bike riding, which I've taken up after a hiatus of ages and ages. Anyway, back to reading. We've compiled a bunch of terrific reviews of terrific books. Here's hoping you can lose yourself in these stories the way we did. Hang in there. ❤️


by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (MG, contemporary)

FIGHTING WORDS is the story of two sisters: Suki (16 yrs old) and Della (10 yrs old). Suki has always taken care of Della. Like when their mother was imprisoned for cooking meth. Like when they went to live with Clifton, their mom's boyfriend. Like when a situation arose that forced them to run away from Clifton's house. 

This is a story of learning how to speak up. Della uses "snow" in place of swear words. 86 times! :) ("Don't you take snow from nobody.") She promises, "I'm going to tell you the whole story. Some parts are hard, so I'll leave those for later." She also says, "I've learned that some things are almost impossible to talk about because they're things no one wants to know."

This is a story of sexual abuse and an attempted suicide. 

This is also a story of sisterhood and resilience and empowerment. It is an uplifting read. And Della? She is spunky and original and fierce and very funny. You'll want to take her to a restaurant and let her order whatever she pleases and then some.

This book should be in every classroom and library. Because, unfortunately, there are children who need this book.

In the Author's Note, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley writes, "The first thing I want you to know is, it happened to me. The second thing is, I was able to heal...People can always heal."

See what I mean about uplifting and empowering?

FIGHTING WORDS is a finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Children's Literature. The book has received seven starred reviews. 

And, finally, here's a link to Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's blog. You'll want to read the entry "Wizard Merlin"...with a tissue nearby.

(Dear FCC: bought for Kindle)

And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!


Phyllis Wheeler: RANGER IN TIME: A NIGHT OF SOLDIERS AND SPIES by Kate Messner                   (MG, contemporary)

Jody Feldman: THE KIDNEY HYPOTHETICAL by Lisa Yee (YA, contemporary)


Lucy Sartain: FIFTY WORDS FOR RAIN by Asha Lemmie (historical)

Margy Lutz: A PERFECT STORM by Mike Martin (light crime mystery) 

Patti Abbott:  MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM by Anne Youngson (Women's Lit)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country:MOP RIDES THE WAVES OF LIFE by Kim Michele Richardson                  (Self-Help Picture Book for ages 4-8 years)

Linda McLaughlin: BLACK KLANSMAN by Ron Stallworth (biography, adult)

Sarah Laurence: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In                                                              by Phuc Tran (memoir, adult)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. Thanks for hosting, Barrie. I tried a scheduled publishing, but it didn't work. IT's up now.

  2. Ugh. Blogger can be frustrating. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm looking forward to your review!

  3. Sounds like an important book, if difficult to read at times. Thanks for reviewing. Tweeted and shared on FB.

  4. Wow, that's quite a book! Glad to know about it!

  5. Important topics. When I was a principal there were several times I had to report suspected abuse. Sadly, in most of them it was founded. - Margy


Comments are always welcome!