About Sam Bloom

Sam Bloom is a former elementary and middle school teacher. He is currently senior children's librarian at the Blue Ash branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Ohio.

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

drowned city

I was fortunate enough to be in the crowd when the Tamaki sisters’ This One Summer was announced as a Caldecott Honor book (at the Youth Media Awards, where the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Newbery, etc. are announced) this past January. I remember hearing more than a few audible gasps in the theater, and with […]

Review of The Emperor of Any Place

wynne-jones_emperor of any place

The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones High School   Candlewick   328 pp. 10/15   978-0-7636-6973-7   $17.99 “So much of grief is unlearning,” observes Wynne-Jones in this perceptive and 
multi-layered page-turner. When Evan’s single father, Clifford, dies suddenly, the high-schooler must work through his own grief while dealing with Clifford’s estranged father Griff, a military man […]

Review of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

lowery_turning 15 on the road to freedom

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley; illus. by PJ Loughran Middle School, High School   Dial   128 pp. 1/15   978-0-8037-4123-2   $19.99   g Lowery offers a revealing look at a childhood spent in the midst […]

Firebird: A Guest Post by Sam Bloom


Is it possible for a guy who has won three BGHB Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors, and one Caldecott Honor (in 1998, for Harlem) to be underrated? Why yes, yes it is. Christopher Myers continues to fly under the radar every year when it comes to Caldecott buzz, but I’m guessing the real committee will […]

Review of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole


Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-7636-6229-5    $16.99 This adventure starts innocently enough: “On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole.” The boys (indistinguishable save the color of their hats and Sam’s ever-present backpack) are fueled by chocolate milk, animal cookies, and a […]

Review of 100 Sideways Miles

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100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith High School    Simon    277 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-4495-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4497-3    $10.99 High schooler Finn Easton has unusual scars on his back. Finn’s “emoticons” — so-called because they look like a colon, vertical slash, colon — are the result of a freak accident in which a dead horse […]

Review of The Little Bear Book

browne_little bear book

The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    24 pp. 5/14    978-0-7636-7007-8    $15.99 Bear sets out on a walk through the forest, pencil in hand. Like Harold’s purple crayon and the girl’s red marker in Becker’s Journey (rev. 9/13), Bear’s writing utensil is a magical one. The lushly illustrated woods […]

Review of Tesla’s Attic

shusterman_tesla's attic

Tesla’s Attic [Accelerati Trilogy] by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman Intermediate, Middle School    Disney-Hyperion    246 pp. 2/14    978-1-4231-4803-6    $16.99    g After his mother dies in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother Danny, and their father move into Great-aunt Greta’s old house. Finding the attic full of junk, Nick spearheads a garage sale where, […]

Review of March: Book One

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March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   128 pp. 8/13   978-1-60309-300-2   $14.95 Congressman John Lewis — the last surviving member of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders — recounts his formative years in this first volume of a planned trilogy. The book […]

Gene Luen Yang on Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Sam Bloom asked Gene Luen Yang about the process of creating the two volumes of Boxers & Saints. Read the starred review here. Sam Bloom: Did you write both volumes at the same time, or did one come before the other? How did you decide to split […]