Renee McGrath

Host and Book Reviewer

Renee McGrath is the Sunday morning program host on Montana Public Radio and is a rotating host for Morning Classics. She writes children's and young adult book reviews for The Write Question blog every Tuesday, and also helps out in the Development Office and with web site editing when needed. 

When she's not at the radio station, she can be found online at McGrath Editing, Renee's Reads, The Life I Have Imagined, or A Place and a Time. She lives in Stevensville with her husband, two daughters, and a small dog. 

Ways To Connect

Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests, by Sneed B. Collard III

Bucking Horse Books, 2015

It's been a hot and smoky summer here in Western Montana and most of us were grateful for the rain that eventually brought an end to our smoke-filled air. Those of us who grew up in the United States from the 1940s to the 1970s will remember the Forest Service's longest-running PSA campaign in history with the mascot of Smoky the Bear and the slogan, “Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Squish: Game On!

by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Random House 2013

Squish is an amoeba, who lives in a world populated by amoebas that is otherwise much like our own. Game On! is the fifth book in the Squish series of graphic novels by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (the creators of Babymouse).

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

by Katie Alender

Point (Scholastic), 2013

I am not generally a big fan of young adult suspense or murder mysteries, but with a title like Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, I had to read this book.

Mojo by Tim Tharp

Alfred A. Knopf, 2013

When Dylan's friend Randy eggs on some bullies that throw litter at them from the window of a passing car, Dylan decides to hide in a nearby dumpster... never expecting that he will find the dead body of one of his classmates in there with him!

Animals Upside Down

by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2013 

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page find another clever way to introduce young children to fun books about nature in Animals Upside Down

Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon

The Blue Sky Press, 2013 

When I read the title of David Shannon's new book, I didn't realize it was going to be non-fiction. But yes, this very clever, delightfully illustrated children's book is about head lice. 

In a Blink

by Kiki Thorpe

illustrated by Jana Christy

Random House 2013

In a Blink is the first book in Disney's new early reader chapter book series, The Never Girls.


by Elana K. Arnold

Delacorte Press, 2013

I love the premise of Burning, aptly summarized in the tagline on the jacket cover:

Small-town boy. Gypsy girl. Desert Summer.

The Wrap-Up List

by Steven Arntson

Houghton Mifflin, 2103 

Steven Arntson had me from the get-go with The Wrap-Up List, which begins as follows,

Some people die from heart attacks, and some from falling off ladders. Some are killed in car accidents. Some drown. Some, like my grandfather Gonzalo, die in war.