About Our Reviewers

ronnamandelRonna Mandel, a freelance writer for JLife and L.A. Parent magazines, is the mother of a high schooler and a recent university grad. Ronna, her husband and two children moved back to the States in 2006 after living abroad for 10 years in Frankfurt and London. Now residing in the San Gabriel Valley, Ronna enjoys writing about all things reading related in addition to special needs topics. When her head’s not buried in between the pages of a book, Ronna is creating her own stories for children and is an SCBWI LitMingle Co-coordinator in Pasadena. As the founder of GoodReadsWithsRonna.com, Ronna interviews authors, reviews children’s books and educational products, organizes giveaways throughout the year and promotes reading-related events. You can often find her book reviews and articles in print and online at L.A. Parent magazine. The blog happily resides at www.laparent.com.  Contact Ronna directly at Ronna dot L dot Mandel (@) gmail.com, via Twitter @goodreadsronna, or @RonnaWriter, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest and Google +. Wishing you happy reading!

cathymealey-e1399497567506 Cathy Ballou Mealey is a poet, children’s book writer, and autism advocate. She also has worked as a crossing guard, hash-slinger, gift-wrapper, tutor and pet sitter. After earning degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University in psychobiology, classical civilization, and education, she became gainfully employed in college admissions, financial aid, career counseling, student support and governance. Along the way she has learned how to thrive as a lefty in a right-handed world and to play alto saxophone. Cathy blogs about children’s books and writing at http://bildebok.wordpress.com. She lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband, two children and a wheeping guinea pig named Storm. Contact her at cmealey@post.harvard.edu, or Twitter (@CatBallouMealey). Her debut children’s picture book will be out soon from Sterling Publishing.


Christine Van Zandt is a freelance editor (owner of Write for Success) and writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and cat who likes to type with his tail.

Find her on Twitter @ChristineVZ and @WFS editing.



hilarytaber-e1399497439247Hilary Taber is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and is currently pursuing her master’s in education. She has read over 400 children’s books. These have ranged from board books to the latest young adult titles. Hilary’s great grandmother was a first grade teacher who had inspired her mother with a love of children’s literature. Thus, this love of children’s literature has been passed down from one generation to the next and, like any fine heirloom, is treated with great respect and care. Her reviews have been published in BookSense (now IndieBound), Publisher’s Weekly Online, and her review for The Penderwicks was used by the publisher for advertising. Hilary has formerly worked as a children’s bookseller at Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA. While at Vroman’s, she met Eloise illustrator, Hilary Knight, and had her own copy of the book signed! In her spare time, Hilary enjoys all things Jane Austen, and going out to tea with her best friend, Meaghan. She dreams of taking a literary tour of England and Ireland. Hilary is very dedicated to her family which consists of her mother, father, younger brother and a small black and white poodle named Cam.

DornelCerroDornel Cerro has been a children’s librarian for 17 years and has spent the last 10 years as librarian at Sequoyah School in Pasadena. You can find more kidlit reviews at her site http://milehighbooks.blogspot.com.



MaryMalhotraAfter your typical career as a database designer/schoolteacher/small-business CFO, Mary Malhotra is focusing on the next obvious thing, short story and novel writing for the YA market. A member of SCBWI, she has participated in writing workshops at UCLA Extension and the Writer’s Center (Bethesda, MD). Her YA novel COMMON HOURS is on its first full revision (and fourth working title). She lives in La Canada, California with her husband and lots of pictures of her grown kids. Find her on Twitter @MCMalhotra or at www.Facebook.com/MCMalhotra.



Krista JefferiesReviewer Krista B. Jefferies has 13 years of experience as an English educator, teaching students ranging from 7th grade to college level. After student teaching in England, she returned home to embark on her teaching career, during which she took a brief break to pursue her Master’s full time and to create high school textbooks for Pearson Education. She now teaches composition courses at Brookdale Community College and literature courses at William Paterson University. Krista’s true passion is writing, and she is currently working on several projects that she will look to publish in the future. She holds an MA in English/Writing from William Paterson University and a BA in English Education from Indiana University. Although she still considers herself a Hoosier, Krista currently resides in her home state of New Jersey with her British-born husband James.


headshot LucyRavitchLucy Ravitch is the blogger behind KidsMathTeacher.com and author of The Pancake Menu: What will you order? An interactive book that lets kids practice math as they play restaurant, with free printable order sheets and play money on KidsMenuBooks.com. Lucy loves everything that makes math fun, and enjoys crafting and cooking books as well. She has a degree in Elementary Education and lives in Southern California with her family and cute, crazy dog.

Would You Like to Join our Team?

At Good Reads With Ronna, we’re always looking for new reviewers, especially for middle grade, YA, kids crafts, family cooking and special needs titles. If you think you have what it takes and are willing to commit to at least one review per month, send a sample book review to Ronna dot L dot Mandel (@) gmail.com and write Book Reviewer in the subject line. Thank you in advance for your interest.

One thought on “About Our Reviewers

  1. Pingback: GUEST POST: Teaching the Tool of Time with Cathy Ballou Mealey | Laura Sassi Tales

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