Reviewers Wanted!

posted in: reading, Reviews, Writing | 0
Hansen writing ball, 1965. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Have you ever wanted to tell everyone about a book that you really, really like? Maybe the book hasn’t gotten enough attention. Maybe the book’s Ohio connection isn’t very well known and you’d like to fix that.

Now’s your chance to spread the word: become a reviewer for the Ohioana Quarterly and let the world know about great books!

The OQ has been around since 1958, and was created to promote Ohio authors and books. Today, the publication is found in homes and libraries across the state. Each issue has unique features and interviews, a list of books received, literary goings-on around the state, and reviews of new books received by the library.

We are always on the lookout for thoughtful reviews to support our authors, and we pay in love as well as in a book and a contributor’s copy.

Would you like to help? You can learn more about writing reviews here.

You’re also always welcome to write to the editor, who can be reached at editor@Ohioana.org.

Thank you, as ever, for your support!

The “Dog Days” of Summer

posted in: authors, Holidays, reading, Reviews | 0

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! Though the calendar says there are still a few weeks left, many Ohio schools are already back in session. With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, we thought we would take a look at some great books to enjoy during these final “dog days” of summer.
Most people tend to think of the “dog days” of summer as those days that are the most hot and humid. However, this ubiquitous phrase has its origins in astronomy. The ancient Greeks were the first to notice that the “dog star,” Sirius, rose and set with the sun during July and August. They thought this was the reason for extra heat during that time of year.

Over time, this phrase has come into more common use to describe the type of steamy weather Ohio has seen for much of this summer, when many our canine buddies want to lie around and enjoy some fun in the sun (or shade!). Of course, dogs are not the only ones who like lounging on a hot summer day. Here are some great hot weather reads to help soak up the last few days of sun:

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Dog, Sun Dog by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Meet Tinka – a dandy, sandy golden retriever, and the little boy who loves her, as they spend a busy, dizzy day at the beach. With rhyming text and adorable watercolors by Ohioan Tim Bowers, this is a story that the whole family will enjoy. Ohioana’s furry friend, Kirby thinks it’s a delightful “tail!”

Photo courtesy of KATHRYN POWERS

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

This debut novel by the 2017 Ohioana Readers’ Choice Winner is the perfect choice for a scorching summer day. It’s the tale of the summer of 1984, when a blistering heatwave baked the small town of Breathed, Ohio. Fielding Bliss never forgot that summer – the year he became friends with the devil.

ST. MARTINS PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Summer with Maizon by Jacqueline Woodson
This first novel by Ohio native and 2018-19 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature tells the story of the beautiful friendship of Margaret and Maizon. The summer Margaret turns eleven, her father unexpectedly dies. Then Maizon is accepted at an expensive boarding school, far away from the place they have grown up together. This exploration of self-discovery and issues like racism and death is a realistic, touching look at the lives and friendships of young African-American girls, and their journey toward adulthood.

PUFFIN BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Common Summer: New & Selected Poems  by Robert Wallace
A collection of poems on the season, by the late, celebrated Cleveland poet Robert Wallace. Mary Oliver describes his poems: “Often they have a shimmering quality, as though light was held inside the lines.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Evil Summer (Fear Street #25) by R. L. Stine
In this fun entry from the Bexley native who has given kids nightmares for decades, it’s summer at the beach and Amanda Conklin is stuck in summer school. At least she doesn’t have to take care of her bratty little brother and sister – that’s Chrissy’s job. Chrissy is the perfect babysitter. But Chrissy has a secret – she’s a cold-blooded killer!

R.L. STINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
This debut novel by OSU Assistant Professor Nick White centers around a gay conversion camp in Mississippi, and a man’s reckoning with the trauma he faced there as a teenager. It is the story of reconciling the past and learning from the present, of found family, and of working through trauma and grief to reclaim your own story from those who have stolen it.

BLUE RIDER PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan
In this novel by 2018 Ohioana Book Award Finalist Erin McCahan, it’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He’s leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It’s the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral. So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.

DIAL BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

By kids, for kids, courtesy of reviewers at the Columbus School for Girls

For several years now, the Ohioana Quarterly has benefited from the help of a special group of reviewers: students at the Columbus School for Girls. The girls at CSG have provided their unique insights and kid-focused opinions to give us some much-appreciated reviews of all kinds of books. We also appreciate the work of their teachers, Charlotte Stiverson and Tracy Kessler, who help pair the books with the reviewers and provide direction. It’s a true win-win for all! Charlotte is also an author, and you can find her book, Nellie’s Walk, at Amazon.com as well as other stores where books are sold.

Houts, Michelle. Winterfrost. Candlewick (Somerville MA) 2014 HB $16.99

Winterfrost by Michelle Houts is a Danish fantasy book about a 12-year-old girl named Bettina and her baby sister Pia. It is an average Christmas on the Larsen family farm when they suddenly find out that their mormor (grandma) had hurt her hip and was in the hospital. Their dad is visiting their uncle and their mom needs to go to the hospital for their mormor so the kids are home alone for about a week. In all the commotion, they forget to put out the traditional rice pudding for their nisse (which are like elves or gnomes). Their nisse, Klarkke, gets upset and makes some mischief around the barn. That day when Bettina puts baby Pia outside to nap and get some fresh air something terrible happens. Klarkke takes baby Pia! He takes her to his Uncle Gammel’s house and leaves her at the bottom of the tree were his house is. While Klarkke is inside talking to his uncle, a wayward nisse comes along and takes Pia with him. Will Bettina be able to go on the adventure to get her baby sister before her parents get home? Read the book to find out.

The book was interesting and well written. It could be very suspenseful at some points. Winterfrost has some tough vocabulary and Danish sayings like mormor (grandma), mor (mom), farfar(grandpa), far(dad), and Danish songs that can be hard to understand. I would recommend this book to kids fourthgrade and older. This was a really interesting book.

Reviewed by Katherine Niven, Mrs. Kessler’s class, Columbus School for Girls.

 

Kennedy, Anne Vittur. The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! Candlewick Press (Somerville MA) 2014 HB $15.99.

The Farmer’s Away is a book written by Anne Vittur Kennedy. The Farmer’s Away is a silly, fun book about animals who can’t wait until their farmer leaves so that they can do some things you normally wouldn’t see an animal do, such as water skiing an having a picnic. In this book, the animals put clothing on together and they laugh and giggle. However, when the farmer returns, all of the animals run back to their stalls and throw off their clothes so that the farmer will never know what kind of day they had.
I think that this book would be good for children ages 3-5 because the pictures are bright, and the words are easy to read, and you can really get what is going on. This book is good for kids who like farm animals, and I hope that sometime you will be able to sit down and enjoy the book!

Book review by Sammy Kleinman, in Ms. Kessler’s fourth grade class, at Columbus School for Girls.