About Betty Carter

Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Review of He Has Shot the President!

brown_he has shot the president

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John 
Wilkes Booth Killed President 
Lincoln [Actual Times] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp. 4/14    978-1-59643-224-6    $17.99    g This fifth entry in Brown’s Actual Times series (including All Stations Distress, rev. 9/08) begins on April 14, 1865, the day […]

Review of Pure Grit

farrell_pure grit

Pure Grit: How American World War II 
Nurses Survived Battle and 
Prison Camp in the Pacific by Mary Cronk Farrell Middle School, High School    Abrams    160 pp. 2/14    978-1-4197-1028-5    $24.95 There are many books written about young people enlisting in the military, being unprepared for the horrors of battle or tortures of capture, serving bravely, […]

Review of Invasion

invasion

Invasion by Walter Dean Myers Middle School, High School     Scholastic     218 pp. 10/13     978-0-545-38428-5     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-57659-8     $17.99 When Josiah “Woody” Wedgewood enlists in the army, he is immediately sent to England to prepare for the Normandy invasion, harboring only vague ideas about the nature of war. But when he lands on […]

Walter Dean Myers’s War “Trilogy”

invasion

In each of his three books about war — Invasion (2013), set during WWII; Fallen Angels (1988), Vietnam; and Sunrise over Fallujah (2008), the second Iraq War — Water Dean Myers asks readers to immerse themselves in a specific conflict from the point of view of a particular character. These wars are distinct both geographically […]

Jonathan Bean on Building Our House

building our house

In last week’s Notes from the Horn Book, Roger interviewed author/illustrator Jonathan Bean about DIY and his latest book, Building Our House. Reviewer Betty Carter has a sixth question for Jonathan in the January/February 2013 Horn Book Magazine. Read the starred review of Building Our House here. Betty Carter: What lessons or habits from your […]

Review of Building Our House

building our house

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean; illus. by the author Primary    Farrar    48 pp. 1/13    978-0-374-38023-6    $17.99    g Drawing on childhood memories from his own family’s house construction (see author’s note), Bean creates an engaging story as well as a glimpse into a warm family setting. A little girl narrates, and her childlike voice provides […]

Review of Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Electric Ben

Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd; illus. by the author Intermediate    Dial    40 pp. 9/12    978-0-8037-3749-5    $17.99 With a jacket showing Benjamin Franklin as a cross between a mad scientist and a superhero standing amid wild lightning bolts and surrounded by all manner of electrical devices, this book […]

Review of Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

Unspoken by Henry Cole

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Scholastic    40 pp. 11/12    978-0-545-39997-5    $16.99 This wordless picture book opens with a calm scene: a quilt hangs over a rural split-rail fence. A young girl enters the scene on the next double-page spread, leading a cow and watching a […]

Review of Machines Go to Work in the City

machines go to work in the city

 Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low; illus. by the author Preschool     Holt     32 pp. 6/12     978-0-8050-9050-5     $16.99 Books don’t get much better than this for machinery-loving preschoolers. Listeners are first introduced to a particular situation involving vehicles, from a garbage truck to a […]

Review of Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 8/12    978-0-06-208199-5    $12.99 Naming things, whether children, pets, or toys, is serious business, and in this follow-up to Penny and Her Song (rev. 3/12) Henkes doesn’t take that task lightly. Gram sends mouse Penny a doll: “The doll had pink […]