Review of The Last Forever

caletti_last forever

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti Middle School, High School    Simon Pulse    321 pp. 4/14    978-1-4424-5000-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5001-1    $10.99 In her latest YA novel, Caletti returns to her fictional Northwest setting of Parrish Island, most recently visited in The Six Rules of Maybe (rev. 5/10). Six months after her mother’s death from cancer, […]

Review of West of the Moon

preus_west of the moon

West of the Moon by Margi Preus Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    216 pp. 4/14    978-1-4197-0896-1    $16.95 Preus, whose Shadow on the Mountain (rev. 11/12) was set in Nazi-occupied Norway, here takes readers to mid-nineteenth-century Norway in a tale strongly infused with myth. Fourteen-year-old Astri is determined to go to America to find her widowed father. […]

Review of Half a Chance

lord_half a chance

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord Intermediate    Scholastic    218 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-03533-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-62083-3    $16.99 When twelve-year-old Lucy enters a photography contest, she must decide whether or not to send in her very best photo — a picture of her new friend Nate’s grandmother, whose life has become punctuated with moments of dementia […]

Review of Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny

horvath_lord and lady bunny

Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny by Polly Horvath; illus. by Sophie Blackall Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    293 pp. 2/14    978-0-307-98065-6    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98066-3    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-98067-0    $10.99 In this funny, meticulously crafted sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! (rev. 1/12), young Madeline […]

Review of All the Truth That’s in Me

all the truth that's in me

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry High School Viking 274 pp. 9/13 978-0-670-78615-2 $17.99 g Berry’s (The Amaranth Enchantment, rev. 5/09) novel is set in fictional Roswell Station, a village that in its appearance and claustrophobic atmosphere seems to resemble an early American colonial settlement. Bit by bit, readers gradually learn “all […]

Review of Open Mic

perkins_open mic

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins Middle School, High School     Candlewick     127 pp. 9/13     978-0-7636-5866-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-7636-6719-1     $15.99 In her preface to this nicely compact collection, Perkins suggests that humor can help smooth the way in discussions about  race — […]

Review of Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King High School    Little, Brown    295 pp. 10/12    978-0-316-19468-6    $17.99 Astrid would be the quintessential Q-for-Questioning girl in her high school’s LGBTQ support group if her small-town, small-minded school had such a thing — and the gay question is only one of many weighing her down. When her humanities […]

Review of Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten!

Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten

 Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Foster/Farrar    40 pp. 7/12    978-0-374-35004-8    $16.99    g “Mom, wake up!” In the art, a young boy looms large, while his mom appears small and kind of blue (as in “sad,” though she’s also pale blue from head to toe). […]

Susan Katz on The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Jennifer Brabander asks The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub author Susan Katz about writing presidential poetry. Read the full review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub here. Jennifer Brabander: Which president was the hardest to write a poem about? Susan Katz: James Monroe. The […]

Arts + crafts with Ivy + Bean

Owen is a big Ivy + Bean fan

I’m a big fan of the Ivy + Bean series, so when the Ivy + Bean Button Factory (Chronicle, March) arrived in the office, it made its way to my desk (thanks, Katie!). For $12.99 you get enough materials to make fifteen buttons, featuring illustrations of Ivy and Bean by Sophie Blackall plus such quotable […]