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About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

Review of The Magic Word


The Magic Word by Mac Barnett; illus. by Elise Parsley Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-235484-6    $17.99 Here, the magic word isn’t please, it’s Alakazoomba, and it’s what amped-up Paxton C. Heymeyer says to summon the cookie that his babysitter won’t let him have — without first saying “the magic word.” With his […]

Review of Ashes


Ashes [Seeds of America] by Laurie Halse Anderson Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    296 pp. 10/16    978-1-4169-6146-8    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4508-6    $6.99 It’s been five long years since Isabel’s younger sister, Ruth, was stolen away by hated slave owner Madam Lockton (Chains, rev. 11/08), but as Isabel continues her fraught journey south in June 1781 […]

Review of March: Book Three


March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: the […]

Review of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century

miller_borden murders

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller Middle School   Schwartz & Wade/Random   284 pp. 1/16   978-0-553-49808-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-49809-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-553-49810-3   $10.99 Lizzie Borden took an axe, / Gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, / She gave […]

Review of American Ace

nelson_american ace

American Ace by Marilyn Nelson Intermediate   Dial   122 pp. 1/16   978-0-8037-3305-3   $17.99   g Nelson’s talent for undergirding her poetry with historical empathy (Fortune’s Bones, rev. 1/05; A Wreath for Emmett Till, rev. 5/05) is once again present in this verse novel. In forty-five poems, Nelson tells the story of Connor Bianchini, who finds out that […]

Reviews of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy

hunger games

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games] by Suzanne Collins Middle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp. 10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99 Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky […]

Review of Calvin


Calvin by Martine Leavitt High School   Ferguson/Farrar   182 pp. 11/15   978-0-374-38073-1   $17.99   g Seventeen-year-old Calvin has recently been diagnosed as schizophrenic. Calvin believes that his life is inextricably linked to Bill Watterson, the famously reclusive artist behind the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes — a belief reinforced by the constant presence of the voice of […]

Review of Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever


 Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy Intermediate, Middle School   Clarion   128 pp. 12/15   978-0-547-82183-2   $18.99   g Murphy (An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, rev. 7/03; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, rev. 7/12) here […]

Review of Funny Bones

tonatiuh_funny bones

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day 
of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Abrams   40 pp. 8/15   978-1-4197-1647-8   $18.95 Artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1915) didn’t invent calaveras, the iconic skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, but they attained their greatest popularity during the twenty-four years that […]

Five questions for Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh by Patty Flagger

Duncan Tonatiuh’s distinctive, instantly recognizable style, heavily influenced by Mixtec codices, perfectly complements his choice of subject matter and his own Latino heritage. His new book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (Abrams, 6–9 years), which arrives just in time for El Día de los Muertos, is a picture book biography of […]