Author Archives: Barbara Howe

Role Models

We hear about the underrepresentation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, and one of the strategies always discussed for dealing with that disparity is by providing good role models. The number of non-traditional role models, both … Continue reading

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I learned a new word this week*: tsundoku, a Japanese word meaning owning too many books that will never be read. I came across the word in the Saturday paper, in an article on home decorating that had me in … Continue reading

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Category: Children’s books Age: middle school and up Apparently I’ve had it wrong all my adult life. I thought explicit sex involved, well, contact or at least display of private body parts. You know, actual sex. But I’ve just discovered … Continue reading

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The Mad Scientists’ Club

Category: Children’s fiction Rating: G As a preteen, I loved Bertrand R Brinley’s The Mad Scientists’ Club. As an adult, I read these pre-MacGyver, Do-It-Yourself stories to my daughter, and still loved them. In these stories, a group of boys, … Continue reading

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October Sky

Category: History Rating: PG. Non-violent and clean, except for one fade-to-black scene in the back seat of a Dodge. On 5 October 1957, the Russians launched Sputnik, and a 14-year-old boy in a coal mining town in West Virginia began … Continue reading

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Category: History Rating: PG Endurance was the name of a ship. The Endurance is the title of a book, American author Caroline Alexander’s spellbinding account of the British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic aboard that ship. On … Continue reading

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Edward Eager

Category: children’s fiction / fantasy Rating: G. A very small amount of cartoon violence The captivating children’s books by American author Edward Eager are among the classics in children’s literature. I remember being spellbound by them when I was first … Continue reading

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An Instance of the Fingerpost

Category: Historical mysteries Rating: NC-17. Violence, sexual assault, gore. This, my friends, is a fingerpost: How often do you get to learn a new word just by reading the title of a book? I love historical mysteries, but I was … Continue reading

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Windy Wellington

On a fine day, Wellington is a wonderful place to be outdoors. With the sun shining and the air calm, it’s gorgeous. Occasionally, the wind dies completely, and the harbour is as smooth as glass, not a ripple in sight. … Continue reading

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Julie and Romeo

Category: Chick lit Rating: PG-13. Mild sex, violence, and profanity Can you imagine Romeo and Juliet retold with the two lovers being 60-year-old grandparents? I wouldn’t have either, but I’m glad Jeanne Ray did, because her novel Julie and Romeo … Continue reading

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