Unto Us a Son Is Given

Born on his due date!
The enormous babe debuts.
How to handle two?...

John William, born December 29, 11:02am. 8 lbs, 13 oz. 21 inches long.


Saint Iggy: Review Haiku

Heartwrenching snapshot
of good kid with crappy life.
Shocking denouement.

Saint Iggy by K. L. Going. Harcourt, 2006, 260 pages.

The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey: Review Haiku

As fantasy, meh;
As frothy chick-lit, so so;
Better in concept.

The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey by Lisa Papademetriou. Razorbill, 2006, 273 pages.


The Handmaid and the Carpenter: Review Haiku

We know the story,
but Berg tries to bring new life:
a modest success.

The Handmaid and the Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg. Random, 2006, 153 pages.


The Right Attitude to Rain: Review Haiku

Hot thinker action:
Look, philosophers in love!
Cozy, a bit bland.

The Right Attitude to Rain (An Isabel Dalhousie Novel) by Alexander McCall Smith. Pantheon, 2006, 276 pages.

Cancer Vixen: Review Haiku

Real fear, unvarnished;
some perspective at Christmas.
The graphic form shines.

Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto. Knopf, 2006, 212 pages.


Grandfather's Dance: Review Haiku

Sarah, plain and tall,
closes another chapter:
bittersweet, content.

Grandfather's Dance by Patricia MacLachlan. Joanna Cotler/Harper Collins, 2006, 84 pages.

Yellow Star: Review Haiku

Yep, it's another
Holocaust book. Spare, poignant,
but sometimes obscure.

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy. Marshall Cavendish, 2006, 227 pages.

A Spot of Bother: Review Haiku

What did Tolstoy say
about unhappy fam'lies?
Tragic, yet hopeful.

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. Doubleday, 2006, 354 pages.


Gravida: Complaint Haiku

Sick of pregnancy.
This kid must be Ollie. Say


Special Topics in Calamity Physics: Review Haiku

How do you sell a
five-hundred-page first novel?
Hype author's hotness.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. Viking, 2006, 514 pages.


Vive La Paris: Review Haiku

No more Cybils books!
Instead, this middle-grade gem:
subtle, wise, and warm.

Vive La Paris by Esme Raj Codell. Hyperion, 2006, 210 pages.


Cybils Deliberations: Reviewer Haiku

Thirty-seven books,
five women, lots of talking.
Who'll make the top five?

The Cybils shortlists will be announced January 1.


Jane Addams: Review Haiku

Once hailed as saint; now
the pacifist activist
seems but a footnote.

Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin. Clarion, 2006, 216 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


Writing Magic: Review Haiku

Needed: wand (pencil),
canvas (paper), and courage.
Good guide and teacher.

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine. HarperCollins, 2006, 168 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


Team Moon: Review Haiku

We went to the moon!
Thimmesh explores the fear, joy
with clear-eyed wonder.

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh. HMCo, 2006, 80 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


Escape!: Review Haiku

Fleischman dissects the showman:
immortal mortal.

Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman. Greenwillow, 2006, 210 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


101 Things to Do Before You're Old and Boring: Review Haiku

These one-oh-one things
seem pretty lame to me. Guess
I'm old and boring.

101 Things to Do Before You're Old and Boring by Richard Horne and Helen Szirtes. Walker, 2006, 224 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


The American Story: Review Haiku

Coffee-table book
highlights key U.S. events.
Good pick for browsers.

The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History by Jennifer Armstrong. Knopf, 2006, 358 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog: Review Haiku

Hey! Stocking stuffer!
Barry's shameless Christmas tome
is still good Yule fun.

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry. Putnam, 2006, 117 pages.

Chew on This: Review Haiku

Where's the beef? you ask.
Trust me: after reading this,
you don't want to know.

Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Eric Schlosser. HMCo, 2006, 304 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


With a Little Luck: Review Haiku

Fradin uncovers the
perspiration that led
to strokes of genius.

With A Little Luck: Surprising Stories of Amazing Discoveries by Dennis Fradin. Dutton, 2006, 183 pages.

A Cybils nominee.


Immersed in Verse: Review Haiku

A poet's toolbox
Kids as fellow writers, yet
a smidge pedantic.

A Cybils nominee.