About Dean Schneider

Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Review of Nest

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Nest by Esther Ehrlich Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    330 pp. 9/14    978-0-385-38607-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38608-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-38609-8    $9.99 In this debut novel set in the late 1960s, Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein’s sixth-grade teacher tells her, “Your mom is a very lucky lady to have such a responsible girl.” Chirp is very responsible, […]

Review of The Great Greene Heist

johnson_great green heist

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    236 pp. 5/14    978-0-545-52552-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-52554-1    $16.99 Who knew a student council election could get so complicated? After pulling off a few legendary middle-school pranks, Jackson Greene has sworn off his scheming ways. But he gets pulled back in, in order to help […]

Review of Revolution

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 Revolution [Sixties Trilogy] by Deborah Wiles Intermediate, Middle School     Scholastic     538 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-10607-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-63400-7     $19.99 Invaders arrive by the hundreds, making all in their path uneasy. Life as everyone knows it is about to change. Some join their ranks; others fight back. H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds? No, it […]

Deborah Wiles on Revolution

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In the July/August 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Dean Schneider talked to author Deborah Wiles about constructing the second entry in her Sixties “documentary novel” trilogy. Read the starred review of Revolution here. Dean Schneider: How do you keep the sheer scale of your narrative in control — the documents, the voices, the historical perspective, the […]

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow

marrin_volcano beneath the snow

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Review of Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles

Courage Has No Color

Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone Middle School, High School    Candlewick    148 pp. 1/13    978-0-7636-5117-6    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-6405-3    $24.99 “How does one survive and outlast the racism that was our daily fare at that time?” asks artist Ashley Bryan in the […]

Review of Etched in Clay

Etched in Clay

Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Lee & Low   143 pp. 1/13    978-1-60060-451-5    $17.95    g Readers familiar with Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier’s 2011 Caldecott Honor–winning picture book Dave the Potter will appreciate Cheng’s interpretation of the man’s life […]

Review of Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics

rush for the gold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein Middle School, High School     Knopf     314 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86963-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96963-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6     $10.99 Timed to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Feinstein’s sixth sports mystery novel again features teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—except that […]

Review of Summer in the City

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel; illus. by Marie-Louise Gay Intermediate    Groundwood    151 pp. 4/12    978-1-55498-177-9    $15.95    g e-book ed.  978-1-55498-200-4    $15.95 Sixth grade is almost over, summer’s approaching, and Charlie’s parents haven’t revealed the family’s summer plans yet. What great adventure is in store? In the past, they’ve been caught […]

Review of The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    309 pp. 1/12    978-0-385-73491-2    $15.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-90487-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-89736-8    $10.99 To her father, twelve-year-old Deza Malone is “my Darling Daughter Deza,” “that sassy, smart, beautiful, charming little girl…my Mighty Miss Malone.” But it’s 1936, and the Depression has hit Gary, […]