Curveball: Book Review

March 17th, 2012 by

curveball-the-year-i-lost-my-grip-book-reviewEven though I’m ridiculously wrinkly old compared to you guys, I still remember how terrified I felt on the first day of high school. Luckily, I already knew a lot of the other students from my middle school, but it was still pretty nerve-wracking. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if on top of that, my vision for high school was completely crumbling all around me…

Actually, I can imagine it, because that’s exactly what happens to Pete in Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick.

Pete and his best friend, AJ, have always been the star pitchers and catchers at their school, and they fully expect to dominate high school as superstar athletes. But then Pete gets injured and learns he can never play baseball again. But how can he break the news to AJ when he can barely accept it himself?

On top of that, Pete’s beloved grandfather is starting to act weird, sometimes zoning out in the middle of conversation or forgetting even the most basic parts of his life.

Between his fading baseball glory and his grandfather’s troubling behavior, it’s lucky for Pete that he meets the super cute and supportive Angelika on the first day of school — and that they get partnered up in advanced photography class.

If you’ve read any of Jordan Sonnenblick’s other books, all the pieces of Curveball may seem pretty familiar, especially compared to Notes from the Midnight Driver. A dude with major upheaval in his personal life? Check. An elderly guy who imparts wisdom? Check. A feisty friend/love interest? Check and check.

But don’t get me wrong — as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” As a fan of Sonnenblick’s other books, I completely enjoyed Curveball. It delivered exactly what I wanted — and even exceeded expectations! Pete, his family, and his friends seem totally real, and there are both really touching moments and LOL-funny parts. (Added bonus: San from Zen and the Art of Faking It is one of Pete’s classmates!)

I know a bunch of you have read Sonnenblick’s other books. Have any of you read this one yet? Leave a comment with your thoughts or submit a review!

— Karen

Karen is terrible at baseball. Once she managed to hit the ball into her own head. True story.

More about Karen »

Kidsmomo Podcast #41: “Face the Music”

February 8th, 2011 by

Prepare yourself for one of the terrible puns you’ve come to expect from Kidsmomo… Ready? Here we go…

From an 8th-grade jazz drummer to the Fab Four, from a song for Chicago to a tune for a New  York neighborhood, our latest podcast will surely be music to your ears! That’s because it’s all about music!

    Download the MP3 (5.6 MB) 

  • “Just Beat It” — aka our mystery book revealed
  • Chicago and NYC — the theme songs of our lives
  • “You say you want a revolution…” — aka our music book picks (Lemonade Mouth and Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
  • A review from YOU (Notes from a Midnight Driver)

Also, don’t forget: our new theme is books for Black History Month! So send us a review of your favorite book in honor of Black History Month, and check out our picks for books this theme.

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Black History Month booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or show off to your teacher if you want to look good!)

— Karen and Nancy

Book Trailer: Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

February 1st, 2011 by

This book trailer for Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Music theme. For more on Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, check out our “Face the Music” podcast.

What would you do if one day your most important problem was how to get your crush to notice you, and then BAM — the next day, you found out your little brother had cancer? What if your only claim to fame was being the drummer in All-City Jazz Band — not exactly a medical miracle? How would you use music to help your family?

Those are the questions facing the protagonist in Jordan Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. Watch our video to meet him.

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick

January 13th, 2010 by

NotesFromTheMidnightDriverReviewed by: Josh, Age 11 from Rhode Island

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is all about a 16 year old who sneaks out at midnight and starts driving his mother care finds. But soon he will find out that there is a price to pay when you drive without a licence!!