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About Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is the Youth Collection Development Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library in Illinois.

Review of All’s Faire in Middle School

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Dial    248 pp. 9/17    978-0-525-42998-2    $20.99 Paper ed.  978-0-525-42999-9    $12.99 Roller Girl (rev. 3/15) meets the Ren Faire in Jamieson’s new read-alike graphic novel. After years of homeschooling, Imogene Vega, a squire-in-training at the Florida Renaissance Faire where her family […]

Review of Red Again

Red Again by Barbara Lehman; illus. by the author Primary    Houghton    32 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-544-81859-0    $16.99 Lehman picks up where The Red Book (rev. 9/04) ends — and begins — in this wordless, surreal tale. After a red book falls from the snowy sky, a brown-skinned young cyclist wearing glasses discovers it in a […]

Review of Barkus

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Marc Boutavant Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 6/17    978-1-4521-1182-7    $14.99 When globetrotting Uncle Everton sets off on a new voyage, he leaves Barkus — the “smartest dog in the world” — with Nicky and her family. In five brief chapters, Barkus and Nicky change the classroom dynamics at school, host […]

Review of Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4521-3153-5    $14.99 This beginning chapter book is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, brothers Charlie and Mouse spend a day together in their home and neighborhood. Adults are present, but the focus is on […]

Review of Ronit & Jamil

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    183 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-245854-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245855-1    $9.89 This Romeo and Juliet–inspired story unfolds in five acts of verse, swapping the setting of Renaissance-era Italy with present-day Israel. Teenagers Ronit (an Israeli girl) and Jamil (a Palestinian boy) are […]

Review of Little Fox in the Forest

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin; illus. by the author Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 2/17    978-0-553-53789-5    $17.99    g Library ed.  978-0-553-53790-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-53791-8    $10.99 In this imaginative story, a girl brings a beloved stuffed fox to school for show-and-tell. When she sets […]

Review of Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas

Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-62672-240-8    $17.99    g This follow-up to Niño Wrestles the World (rev. 7/13) is brimming with action, humor, and heart. It’s técnicos (“‘Good guys’ who play by the rules”) vs. rudos (“‘Tough guys’ who bend or break the […]

Are We There Yet?

There’s nothing like the words “by Caldecott Medalist…” on a book’s cover to generate award buzz. With Are We There Yet?, Dan Santat’s first authored picture book since The Adventures of Beekle, there’s a lot to examine. The front endpapers show a car advancing — frame by frame — down a highway. Its destination is revealed […]

Review of Lucy

Lucy by Randy Cecil; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    144 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-6808-2    $19.99 In the fictional, old-fashioned metropolis of Bloomville, store-clerk-by-day Sam moonlights as a (stage fright–suffering) juggler. His daughter Eleanor lavishes attention on the neighborhood dogs, including a stray named Lucy. When Lucy — who is often in survival mode — […]

Review of A Year Without Mom

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova; 
illus. by the author Middle School   Groundwood   168 pp. 10/15   978-1-55498-692-7   $19.95 e-book ed. 978-155498-693-4   $16.95 Tolstikova’s illustrated memoir recounts the time when her mother relocated to America for graduate school and she, twelve years old, was left in the care of her grandparents in Moscow. Through present-tense […]