About Jennifer M. Brabander

Jennifer M. Brabander is former senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of Goodbye Stranger

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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead Middle School   Lamb/Random   289 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-74317-4   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-99098-4   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-98085-4   $10.99 The main narrative in this new novel from the talented Stead (When You Reach Me, rev. 7/09) follows seventh-grader Bridget Barsamian, who nearly died in an accident when she was eight. A nurse’s […]

Rebecca Stead on Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead

In our July/August 2015 issue, reviewer Jennifer Brabander asked Goodbye Stranger author Rebecca Stead about the writing her teen girl protagonist’s friendships. Read the starred review of Goodbye Stranger here. Jennifer M. Brabander: Longtime friends Bridge, Em, and Tab have such different interests, but they manage to sustain their friendship; the three girls are “independent […]

Review of Binny in Secret

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Binny in Secret by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player Intermediate, Middle School     McElderry     276 pp. 6/15      978-1-4424-8278-4     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8280-7     $10.99 Belinda (Binny for Short, rev. 1/14) is back, along with her single-parent mum, responsible sister Clem, and lovable little brother James. In this second adventure the Cornwallis family […]

Review of The Last Leaves Falling

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The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell High School   Simon   360 pp. 5/15   978-1-4814-3065-4   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3067-8   $10.99 Sora, only seventeen, has ALS — “an old man’s 
disease” — and knows he’s going to die in just a few years. First, however, he’ll become a vegetable, dependent on his single mom to do […]

Review of Listen, Slowly

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Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lại Intermediate, Middle School   Harper/HarperCollins   260 pp. 2/15   978-0-06-222918-2   $16.99 This second novel from National Book Award winner Lại (Inside Out and Back Again, rev. 3/11) grabs readers from the start. California girl Mai is on a plane, accompanying Ba, her grandmother, on a trip to Vietnam. Mai, who planned to […]

Review of Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny

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Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman; illus. by the author Primary   Holt   128 pp. 10/14   978-0-8050-9970-6   $13.99 e-book ed. 978-0-8050-9972-0   $9.49 Young rabbit Isabel is known as Bunjitsu Bunny for her proficiency in martial arts class. Himmelman’s thirteen short, generously illustrated chapters relate Isabel’s adventures as she demonstrates that “bunjitsu is not just about […]

Review of Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly

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Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Primary   Little, Brown   44 pp. 11/14   978-0-316-18402-1   $16.00 Lin’s third Ling and Ting easy reader (Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, rev. 7/10; Ling & Ting Share a Birthday, rev. 9/13) is certainly a silly one, with each of the six […]

Review of Storm

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Storm by Donna Jo Napoli High School    Wiseman/Simon    357 pp. 2/14    978-1-4814-0302-3    $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-0304-7    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Sebah, a Canaanite girl, survives a massive flood that kills her family. As the rains continue for weeks on end, she and another survivor, Aban, are forced to build a raft to escape the rising waters. Barely […]

Five questions for A. S. King

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A. S. King’s books are one of a kind: strange, sometimes surrealistic, but always grounded in truth. Her latest YA novel — Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (Little, Brown, 14 years and up) — is most likely the only children’s book you’ll ever read in which a protagonist ingests desiccated bat remains — and […]

Review of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

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Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King High School   Little, Brown   309 pp. 10/14   978-0-316-22272-3   $18.00 e-book ed. 978-0-316-22274-7   $9.99 Still haunted by her mother’s suicide years ago, seventeen-year-old Glory is certain she’ll die young, too, and can envision no future for herself. Until, that is, she ingests dessicated bat remains and […]