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Pamela Kramer


Pamela Kramer

Pamela Kramer began her obsession with books by reading the entire Wizard of Oz series when she was in kindergarten and first grade. She was a lawyer for many years and is retired from her job as a dual language gifted teacher in Highland Park, Illinois. Pamela enjoyed combining her love of books and her love of animals with her teaching. She got to read new picture books to younger students and used their reactions in her reviews. Through her website, she is able to recommend middle grade and young adult books to students. All the students and former students (and teachers) know where to go for good book recommendations! She served on the Illinois Bluestem steering committee (Illinois School Library Media Association Award) for several years.

Pam also loves to read adult books, and several authors whose books she has reviewed have become friends. She has rescued a variety of animals, from dogs and cats to rats and rabbits, and she loves nothing more than reading while cuddling with one of her four dogs or two cats. She always has a foster dog in her home as well. She has reviewed books online since 2010 and began writing about books for the now defunct website and later as a contributor to Huffington Post. She continues to review -- mostly on her blog, She spends school breaks reading as much as possible while also organizing and checking the massive piles of books in her home. Her favorite thing? Seeing a quote from one of her reviews on the back of a book!

Pamela Kramer

Reviews by Pamela Kramer

by Alice Sherman Simpson - Fiction, Historical Fiction

When Rivkah Milmanovitch arrives at Ellis Island, her husband is not waiting for her as promised. Alone and pregnant, she makes her way to the Lower East Side tenement of an old friend. Lottie Aarons, whose husband went out for a newspaper and never returned, takes Rivkah in, and they work side-by-side in dispiriting sweatshops. Rivkah gives birth to a daughter, Mimi, determined that her child will have a better life in America. Frederick Winthrop, a slum landlord, lives in one of Fifth Avenue‘s sumptuous mansions --- and preys on young girls. When he serendipitously meets 15-year-old Mimi, she is easily seduced, and her life takes an unexpected turn. But as she rises to international fame, she must struggle with the secrets of her past and protect those she loves.

by Anna Pitoniak - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Amanda Cole is a brilliant young CIA officer following in the footsteps of her father, who was a spy during the Cold War. One hot summer day, a Russian defector warns of the imminent assassination of a US senator. Though Amanda takes the warning seriously, her superiors don’t. Twenty-four hours later, the senator is dead. And the assassination is just the beginning. Corporate blackmail, covert manipulation, corrupt oligarchs: the Kremlin has found a dangerous new way to wage war. Teaming up with Kath Frost, a fearless older woman and legendary spy, Amanda races to unravel the international conspiracy. But as she gets closer and closer to the truth, a central question haunts her: Why was her father’s name written down in the senator’s notes? What does Charlie Cole really know about the Kremlin plot?

by Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino - Nonfiction, Personal Growth, Self-Help

Dogs have been considered people’s best friend for thousands of years, but never has the relationship between humans and their canine companions been as vitally important as it is today. With all of the seismic shifts in today’s world, rates of anxiety and depression have been skyrocketing, and people have been turning to their dogs for solace and stability. In the United States alone, dog adoptions doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. As people have brought furry friends into their lives for the first time or seized this opportunity to deepen the connections they already have, they are looking to understand how owning a dog can change their lives. Now, THE PUREST BOND explores the benefits our dogs can have on our physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being, often without our realizing it.

by Paula Munier - Fiction, Mystery

It’s Halloween in Vermont, winter is coming, and five humans, two dogs and a cat are a crowd in Mercy Carr’s small cabin. She needs more room --- and she knows just the place: Grackle Tree Farm, with 30 acres of woods and wetlands and a Victorian manor to die for. They say it’s haunted by the ghosts of missing children and lost poets and a murderer or two, but Mercy loves it anyway. Even when Elvis finds a dead body in the library. A coded letter found on the victim points to a hidden treasure that may be worth a fortune (if it’s real). She and Captain Thrasher conduct a search of the old place --- and end up at the wrong end of a Glock. A masked man shoots Thrasher, and she and Elvis must take him down before he murders them all.

by Wendy Holden - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Britain, 1961: A beautiful blonde baby is born to Viscount Althorp, heir to the Spencer earldom. But Diana grows up amid the fallout of her parents’ messy divorce. She struggles at school. Her refuge throughout is romantic novels. She dreams of falling in love and being rescued by a handsome prince. In royal circles, there is concern about the Prince of Wales. Charles is nearing 30, and the right girl needs to be found, fast. She must be young, aristocratic and completely free of past liaisons. Pure and innocent. Eighteen-year-old Diana Spencer is just about the only candidate. Her yearning to be loved dovetails with royal desperation for a bride. But the route to the altar is perilous. There are hidden dangers. Ruthless schemers. Can Diana’s romantic dream survive?

by Jenny Colgan - Fiction, Women's Fiction

Christmas comes early to McCredie’s little Old Town bookshop in Edinburgh. It’s summer, but an American production company has decided that McCredie’s is the perfect location to film a very cheesy Christmas movie. Carmen Hogan, the bookshop’s manager, is amused and a bit horrified by the goings-on, but the money the studio is paying is too good to pass up. She uses the little windfall from filming to create new displays and fend off a buyout offer from an obnoxious millionaire who wants to turn McCredie’s into a souvenir shop selling kilts made in China and plastic Nessies. Still reeling slightly from a breakup, Carmen is not particularly looking forward to the holidays. But just as snow begins to fall and the lights of Christmas blink on, all sorts of lovely new possibilities present themselves.

by Spencer Quinn - Fiction, Mystery

Chet the dog and his human partner, Bernie Little, find themselves high in the mountains this holiday season to help Dame Ariadne Carlisle, a renowned author of bestselling Christmas mysteries, find Rudy, her lead reindeer and good luck charm, who has gone missing. At Kringle Ranch, Dame Ariadne’s expansive mountain spread, Chet discovers that he is not fond of reindeer. But the case turns out to be about much more than reindeer after Dame Ariadne’s personal assistant takes a long fall into Devil’s Purse, a deep mountain gorge. When our duo discovers that someone very close to Dame Ariadne was murdered in that same spot decades earlier, they start looking into that long-ago unsolved crime. But as they reach into the past, the past is also reaching out for them.

by Annie England Noblin - Fiction, Women's Fiction

Rosie Reynolds had come to lakeside Corgi Cove as a lost, lonely girl abandoned by her own mother, but there she discovered a true place to call home. She loves her Corgis, Bonnie and Clyde; loves the lakeside life; and loves her aunt and uncle most of all. But when she discovers that their struggling inn is about to be bought out by some big city chain, she hatches a plan: to win a contest naming theirs the best Christmas-themed inn in the USA. However, she didn’t count on Everett St Claire, who doesn't think it will be that difficult to convince one elderly couple to take the money to retire. With the holidays nearing and the deadline looming, Rosie and Everett are about to discover the magic of a Christmas at Corgi Cove.

by Julia Kelly - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Mystery

1940, England: Evelyne Redfern, known as “The Parisian Orphan” as a child, is working on the line at a munitions factory in wartime London. When Mr. Fletcher, one of her father’s old friends, spots Evelyne on a night out, Evelyne finds herself plunged into the world of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s cabinet war rooms. However, shortly after she settles into her new role as a secretary, one of the girls at work is murdered, and Evelyne must use all of her amateur sleuthing expertise to find the killer. But doing so puts her right in the path of David Poole, a cagey minister’s aide who seems determined to thwart her investigations. That is, until Evelyne finds out that David’s real mission is to root out a mole selling government secrets to Britain’s enemies, and the pair begrudgingly team up.

by Susan Wiggs - Fiction, Women's Fiction

A year after breaking up with her husband, Brenda Malloy has put her life back together. She has found purpose and healing as a volunteer with a dog rescue organization in Houston, Texas. The rescue partners with a program in Avalon, New York, a small, snowy town deep in the Catskills. Now Brenda is arranging the transport of rescued dogs from Houston to Avalon. Brenda’s friends worry about her driving a van 2,000 miles with 12 dogs in crates, but she shrugs off their concern. However, a blinding snowstorm, an escaped mutt, and a life-saving encounter with Adam Bellamy --- a single dad and paramedic --- means that Brenda has to stay in Avalon longer than she planned. As she drops off each precious pup at their new homes, some of the comfort and joy of the season begins to creep up on Brenda.