About Sarah Ellis

Vancouver writer and critic Sarah Ellis is on the faculty of The Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Review of Hermelin the Detective Mouse

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Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey; illus. by the author Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-385-75433-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75434-7    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75435-4    $10.99 A double-page spread shows us Offley Street, a panorama of seven row houses, each revealing, in glimpses through windows and open doors, small mysteries and nascent stories that figure […]

Review of A Pond Full of Ink

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A Pond Full of Ink by Annie M. G. Schmidt; trans. 
from the Dutch by David Colmer; illus. by Sieb Posthuma Intermediate    Eerdmans    40 pp. 3/14    978-0-8028-5433-9    $16.00    g A skinny, long-nosed poet fills his pen from the ink pond in his garden and offers the reader a selection of story poems featuring personalities old […]

Peter Sís on The Pilot and the Little Prince

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In the May/June 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Sarah Ellis asked The Pilot and the Little Prince author/illustrator Peter Sís about his own introduction to Saint-Exupéry’s beloved book. Read the review here. Sarah Ellis: Did you read The Little Prince when you were a child? Peter Sís: I remember exactly when I first read The Little […]

Review of The Pilot and the Little Prince

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The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Foster/Farrar    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-374-38069-4    $18.99    g On glorious blue endpapers, an airplane loops across a map of the world, its contrail made of words that seem to dissolve on the page. The pointillist […]

Review of Dust of Eden

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Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai Intermediate, Middle School    Whitman    122 pp. 3/14    978-0-8075-1739-0    $16.99 In this verse novel, we first meet Mina Tagawa and her Seattle-based family just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, her father is imprisoned, and the rest of the family — Mina, her mother, grandfather, and older brother […]

Review of Alien Encounter

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Alien Encounter [Sasquatch and Aliens] by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by the author Intermediate    Ottaviano/Holt    205 pp. 4/14    978-0-8050-9621-7    $12.99    g Minutes after fourth graders Morgan and Lewis meet for the first time (underpants are involved), they share an alien sighting. This is obviously a solid basis for friendship, because they are practically inseparable in […]

Review of Hello, Mr. Hulot

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Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 9/13    978-0-7358-4135-2    $17.95 Monsieur Hulot, a character invented and played by French filmmaker Jacques Tati in such movies as Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday), is one part schlemiel, one part everyman, one part existentialist, and all parts kindness. […]

Review of Better to Wish

Better to Wish

Better to Wish [Family Tree] by Ann M. Martin Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    231 pp. 5/13    978-0-545-35942-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-53926-5    $16.99 The typical historical fiction set during the Great Depression is a story of financial hardship — but it’s not lack of money that’s the issue here, in this first of what will be […]

Review of Dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    360 pp. 10/12    978-0-06-200949-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-200950-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-219015-4    $9.99 Who would have the skill, the sensibility, and the sass to put Charles Dickens into a novel and then proceed to write that novel in full-octane Dickensian style? Terry Pratchett, of course. Like his namesake […]

Review of The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories

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The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff High School    Carolrhoda Lab    296 pp. 10/12    978-0-7613-7527-2    $17.95 e-book ed.    978-1-4677-0007-8    $12.95 These experimental, unedited short stories showcase the many faces of horror — goth, faerie, ghostly, grotesque, lyrical, vengeful, and nasty-cool. Some clusters of tales are responses to a […]