About Jennifer M. Brabander

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

Review of My Autumn Book

yee_my autumn book

My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Ottaviano/Holt   32 pp. 8/15   978-0-8050-9922-5   $14.99 A girl celebrates autumn in Yee’s fourth in a quartet of books about the seasons (Tracks in the Snow, rev. 11/03; Who Likes Rain?, rev. 3/07; Summer Days and Nights, rev. 7/12). The young narrator continues her […]

Review of Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond; illus. by the author Primary   Ferguson/Farrar   40 pp. 7/15   978-0-374-38077-9   $17.99 Bond relates a story from 1914 Ontario, during her grandfather’s childhood, when he lived at a lakeside hotel run by his mother. Art and text describe young Antonio wandering the […]

Review of The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

Jaclyn Moriarty The Spell Book of Listen Taylor 479 pp. Levine/Scholastic 9/07 isbn 978-0-439-84678-3 $16.99 g (High School) Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments, rev. 3/04; The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, rev. 1/07) returns with another madly convoluted, over-the-top comedy-drama-mystery told from multiple points of view. Twelve-year-old Listen Taylor is too ashamed to tell […]

Review of Goodbye Stranger

stead_goodbye stranger

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

mckay_binny in secret

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

benwell_last leaves falling

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

lai_listen slowly

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

himmelman_tales of bunjitsu bunny

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

lin_ling & ting twice as silly

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 […]