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Review of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation

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Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick High School   Viking   289 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01479-8   $16.99   g “Most poets begin writing poetry in secret.” Poet Carolyn Forché opens her introduction to this anthology of contemporary American poetry with a shout-out to young or burgeoning […]

Review of Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews

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Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson; illus. with paintings by Benny Andrews Primary, Intermediate   Clarion   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-544-10487-7   $16.99 Benson opens in New Orleans in 2005, where Benny Andrews traveled after Hurricane Katrina to teach children “to use art to express their feelings about what they […]

Review of Belzhar

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Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer High School   Dutton   264 pp. 9/14   978-0-525-42305-8   $17.99   g After her boyfriend Reeve’s death, Jam Gallahue is shipped off to The Wooden Barn, a boarding school for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent” teens. There she’s placed in a widely coveted, extremely selective course called Special Topics in English, one of just five […]

You’ve got to have friends

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Picture books about friendship can be a dime a dozen. However, these four new gems — about companions in adventure, in-sync skating partners, a tender odd-couple bond, and a freewheeling affection-giver — freshen things up. In Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, two boys set out to do just that — but unearth nothing. Eventually […]

Middle-school capers

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Middle school can be a time when kids broaden their horizons, explore new talents, and form more grown-up opinions. But it can also be a time for mischievous adventure, social snafus, rule-breaking, and guerilla-style activism — and these middle-school capers abound with such madcap antics. Twelve-year-old Jade, star of Tess Hilmo’s Skies like These, would […]

2014 BGHB Awards last call

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With the May 15th deadline around the bend, this is the last call for 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards submissions. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting, and contact khedeen at hbook dot com with questions. Winners and honor books will be unveiled live on Saturday, May 31st, at BEA. Stop by the Librarians’ Lounge, […]

Choose your own teenage dream

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The model made popular by the Choose Your Own Adventure middle-grade books comes to a teen audience in two new paperback series with massive appeal for reluctant-reader girls. Bridie Clark’s Snap Decision series, which debuted last summer with Maybe Tonight? (Roaring Brook, August 2013), places the reader in the driver’s seat to navigate life at […]

Review of We Were Liars

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart High School    Delacorte    228 pp. 5/14    978-0-385-74126-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-98994-0    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-375-98440-2    $10.99 Cadence Sinclair Eastman, eldest grandchild in a Kennedy-esque clan, narrates this story about her wealthy family, one that’s rife with secrets and is broken under the hood. Cady begins the book by […]

April is National Poetry Month

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Preschool-perfect nursery rhymes, a potpourri of new-reader-friendly seasonal verse, a presidential history lesson in rhyme, and a picture book biography about a famous poet — these new books offer unique avenues for celebrating National Poetry Month. Editor and illustrator David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes is an affable collection of sixty-three […]

Boys’ life

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A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart. Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in […]