YA sci-fi and fantasy you’ve been waiting for

Beth Revis A Million Suns cover

Sci-fi and fantasy fans will thrill to these engrossing sequels. The books are sure to satisfy readers’ expectations and leave them eager for more. In A Million Suns, the sequel to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe, Sol-Earth–born Amy is struggling with the claustrophobic life aboard the Godspeed after being prematurely awakened from her frozen sleep. […]

Beautiful Bitterblue

my favorite section opener

As a big fan of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Fire, I was excited to review Bitterblue (Dial), the third book in her Graceling Realm, for the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine. I had to work from the galley, but on Monday the hardcover finally arrived in the office. With elaborate maps and illustrations […]

Survival of the fittest

Train_Like_a_Tribute

Adding to the media (and merchandising) madness of the new Hunger Games movie, fans in New York, Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia can work out like Katniss and Peeta at the “Train Like a Tribute” class offered at participating Sports Clubs (NYSC, BSC, WSC, PSC). The classes, free and open to nonmembers, are starting now at […]

Truffula treats

lorax pop-up

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday (happy birthday Ted!), the premiere of the new animated The Lorax film, and the  annual Read Across America Day, I took a look at David A. Carter’s The Lorax Pop-up! book (Robin Corey Books/Random House, January). After all, I am a reviewer. I speak for the books! This […]

When the Name of the Game Is a Children’s Book

Children's lit board games

Yes, it’s the digital age; but enhancing the experience of reading a children’s book doesn’t have to happen only on a screen. A board game based on a children’s book is an alternative, low-tech option that allows players to experience the world of a book in a new form. In children’s book–based board games, players […]

And the Oscar goes to…

william lessmore

It was a good night for children’s books last night at the 84th annual Academy Awards. Hugo (based on Brian Selznick’s Caldecott winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret) won several technical awards. I was also very excited to see The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore receive an Oscar for best animated short film. […]

Ripperology: Saucy Jack is back

ripper petrucha

Jack the Ripper has been creeping into children’s literature recently: Gordon Korman included him in his 2011 Titanic trilogy (Scholastic). (Incorporating a Ripper mystery aboard the famed ship now marking the 100th anniversary of its sinking? That should sell a few books.) Last September saw the release of the first book in Maureen Johnson’s exciting […]

The Pocket Bible Doodle Book

pocket bible doodle book

A blurb on the back of The Pocket Bible Doodle Book (Zonderkidz/Zondervan, January) states, “The story of creation, Noah’s ark, the plagues, and more make this Bible-based collection of doodles fun for everyone.” I can’t decide if I should laugh or be offended—the plagues can be fun? Okay… As the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, […]

Race relations

Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement

Two works of nonfiction about the struggle over civil rights in the South and one historical-fiction graphic novel set at the turn of the previous century offer middle school readers context on race in this country. Rick Bowers’s 2010 book Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the […]

The Bippolo Seed goes digital

bippolo seed menu

As a Seuss fan, I had high hopes for The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories app (Oceanhouse Media, September). This adaptation of seven rediscovered stories (originally published by Redbook Magazine in the 1950s) ended up being a mixed bag. Here’s what I like about it: Reader control. The main menu features a separate listing […]