A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney


Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: Children’s book author Ezra Jack Keats and his creation of the iconic book The Snowy Day.

What made me pick it up: I saw it in the Children’s section of the library and it reminded me of the book on e.e. cummings I had read recently. I enjoyed that so I checked this out.

My favorite things: This book mimics Keats’ beautiful illustration style which makes it both nostalgic and engaging. It was interesting to learn about the hardships he faced as an artist before he became the prolific author we know him as today. I also liked how the story of Keats’ life was being told to Peter.

Who it’s great for: Keats fans. Snowy Day fans. Kids who want to learn more about an author.

Erica’s rating: four-shells.

Find these books at Amazon (affiliate links): A Poem for Peter; The Snowy Day or your local library.


The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers


Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: The authors use text mining and and a fine-tuned algorithm to identify commonalities between chart topping bestsellers and help predict whether or not a book is likely to reach that status.

What made me pick it up: It’s never too early to start prepping for NaNoWriMo, right?

My favorite things: The authors explain complicated research and results in a very accessible way, pointing out the shared characteristics of many bestselling books with seemingly little in common. I appreciated the detailed breakdowns of exactly what made each book successful-it’s fascinating to learn which themes, plot structures, and emotional roller-coasters are most likely to top the charts.

Who it’s great for: Avid readers and aspiring authors of bestsellers. Readers interested in why bestsellers and award winners aren’t always the same books.

Abby’s rating: three-and-a-half-shells

Want a copy? Find one at Amazon (affiliate link) or see if it’s available at a library near you.