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Katrina Hedeen

About Katrina Hedeen

Katrina Hedeen is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide and manager of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards.

Review of The Crossover

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   235 pp. 3/14   978-0-544-10771-7   $16.99   g Josh and Jordan (JB), identical twin sons of former basketball phenom Chuck “Da Man” Bell, are ball legends themselves, and they aren’t yet thirteen; Josh is the only middle schooler around who can dunk, JB has a mean three-point shot, […]

Review of Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines: Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines: Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Jeanne Walker Harvey; illus. by Dow Phumiruk Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-250-11249-1    $17.99 In its early pages, this quiet and contemplative picture-book biography sets up artist-architect Maya Lin’s fascination with spaces, natural and human-made, and their dynamic relationship with phenomena […]

Life under siege

Growing up amidst political turmoil and war can have profound effects on any individual. These memoirs and biographies offer nuanced explorations of lives in such uncertain places and times. In How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child, Congolese refugee Sandra Uwiringiyimana recounts life before, during, and after war. Growing up in the […]

Review of Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay A. Haring; illus. by Robert Neubecker Primary    Dial    40 pp. 2/17    978-0-525-42819-0    $16.99    g As an upbeat narrative chronicles pop artist Haring’s childhood, early adulthood, and brief but momentous career, our subject faces relentless questions from onlookers confused by his […]

Tales as old as time

Retellings can offer teenagers an accessible entrée into classic literature and lore, and the best of them also connect with today’s readers through timeless themes and issues. These four new titles — including a graphic novel and one in verse — repackage centuries-old source material into books that will resonate with today’s young adults. Sara […]

Review of Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America by Erin Hagar; illus. by Jen Hill Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-58089-646-7    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-872-6    $9.99 In 1917, proper New York City college girl Helen Stevens joins the Woman’s Land Army of America to “do her bit” for the war effort. […]

Review of Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott; illus. by Christy Hale Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-082-6    $17.99 This peppy picture book biography of nature photographer Ansel Adams describes an “antsy” young boy whose propensity to get into trouble was allayed only by being in the great outdoors. Sonorous language, including […]

Friends to the animals

The following chapter books feature kids — and kids at heart — whose animal-loving ways lead to beautiful interspecies friendships. In Frances O’Roark Dowell’s Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan, seven-year-old Sam Graham is too young to have a real job. But when neighbor Mrs. Kerner tries to hire Sam’s too-busy older sister to […]

Review of Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky; 
illus. by Isabelle Arsenault Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-4197-1881-6    $18.95 Novesky returns to territory in which she shines — picture-book biographies of influential and strong-willed female artists (Georgia in Hawaii; Me, Frida) — with this exquisite portrait of modern artist Louise Bourgeois, who […]

A little light fantasy

With historical, contemporary, and folkloric set-ups, this selection of new light fantasies has something for every middle-grade fantasy fan. Grayling’s Song is a moral tale with a simple lesson: it’s not magic but rather “courage, cleverness, imagination, good judgment, and good sense” that make for a hero who can overcome evil. When her wise-woman mother […]