Turn of the (last) century

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917

Two horrific tragedies and an infamous hoax: these nonfiction titles bring headline-worthy events from nearly one hundred years ago to new life for contemporary readers. In Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917, Sally M. Walker sets the stage with a brief history of Halifax, Nova Scotia; a summary of World War I; an […]

Summer trend watch

heart-shaped 1

I can’t believe that I’m already sorting through mounds of July and August galleys for the Spring 2013 Guide issue. I’m also floored that heart-shaped glasses are apparently this summer’s hottest trend. Don’t believe it either? These two nearly identical summer ARC covers might convince you:     Personally, I’m still a cat-eye kind of […]

On black history

We March

A picture book tribute to a seminal event in the civil rights story, a collection of poems about the Underground Railroad, and a nonfiction account of the civil rights era for older readers: three recent books pay homage to the struggles and triumphs of African Americans — just in time for honoring black history next […]

Review of Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler; illus. by Maira Kalman High School    Little, Brown    355 pp. 12/11    978-0-316-12725-7    $19.99 Min and Ed’s differences are profound–most obviously, she’s a quirky aspiring filmmaker and he’s a popular jock. Readers see immediately, though, that it’s not simply these practical differences that caused their breakup, the event on […]

Lisa, we missed you.

lisa loeb

Lisa Loeb (and her iconic, adorable cat-eye glasses) burst into popular consciousness in 1994 with the smash single “Stay (I Missed You).” She apparently didn’t fall off the face of the earth since then: Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling, January) will have children of this decade—and their nostalgic […]

You and I, and everyone, everywhere

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up (December, Little, Brown) is, hands-down, one of my favorite YA novels of the season. It’s written as Min Green’s epic, no-punches-pulled breakup note to Ed Slaterton, intended to accompany a box she’s going to leave on his doorstep. Each object (illustrated by Maira Kalman) in the box was collected […]

Of interest to adults

The Wilder Life

For adults passionate about children’s books, these new biographical works will, through very different approaches, foster appreciation of two prominent figures in children’s literature. After rereading the Little House books she loved as a kid, Wendy McClure renews her obsession with all things Laura Ingalls Wilder and chronicles it in The Wilder Life: My Adventures […]

‘Tis the season (to mock old prom pics)

will work for prom dress

It’s prom season! Sure, most of us have outgrown prom frenzy, but a little reminiscing never hurt anyone (except for Roger, who never went). Author Aimee Ferris does just that, and encourages others to do the same, over at her blog Will Work for Prom Dress — a tie-in to her book with the same […]

Lookin’ good

Print

Beauty and makeup how-to books are abundant and ever-popular—makeup artist turned beauty mogul Kevyn Aucoin’s New York Times bestseller Making Faces (Little, Brown, 1997) and his later Face Forward (Little, Brown, 2000) set the bar high. Erika Stalder (with celebrity stylists Christopher Fulton and Cameron Cohen) smartly cashes in on the genre for a young […]

Wimpy Kid and beyond

Rick Detorie’s The Accidental Genius of Weasel High (Egmont, April) comes hot on the heels of the latest movie adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (currently in theaters). This paperback original will appeal to Wimpy Kid fans in both its format and its angsty content. Accidental Genius poses […]