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Review of One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes; illus. by various artists Intermediate, Middle School, High School   Bloomsbury   120 pp. 1/17    978-1-61963-554-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-61963-555-5    $12.99 The vibrancy of the Harlem Renaissance is illuminated in Grimes’s provocative poetry collection. In a tribute to the great poets of the […]

Review of Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt [Scientists in the Field] by Mary Kay Carson; photos by Tom Uhlman Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    73 pp. 1/17    978-0-544-41671-0    $18.99 In 2015, after nine years in transit from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew past […]

Review of Forever, or a Long, Long Time

Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    311 pp. 3/17    978-0-06-238568-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-238570-3    $9.99 Eleven-year-old (but still in the fourth grade) narrator Flora and her younger brother Julian had been in foster care for as long as they could remember. Now they’ve […]

Review of If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed

If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega; illus. by Zachariah OHora Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-553-49655-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49656-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49657-4    $10.99 In tongue-in-cheek direct-address text, Vega provides children with an entertaining manual for putting unruly monsters to sleep: “Let’s […]

“Say Something Funny”

I went on a date in high school once where I barely knew the guy. In those dinosaur days you couldn’t Google someone, so instead I asked everyone what they knew about this person. Apparently, he did the same. Over dinner my date said, “Everyone says you’re funny. Say something funny.” “I don’t know any […]

Review of Anywhere Farm

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root; illus. by G. Brian Karas Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-7499-1    $16.99    g “For an anywhere farm, / here’s all that you need: / soil / and sunshine, / some water, / a seed.” Root’s upbeat Green Eggs and Ham–esque rhyming text details all the places […]

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 […]

Review of American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    330 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-247304-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-247306-6     $9.99 Immediately after landing in New York from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. Immigration. Fabiola must continue the journey alone to her aunt and cousins in Detroit, specifically […]

Review of Say Hello, Sophie!

Say Hello, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99925-7    $17.99    g This endearing mouse family’s fifth book highlights a new hiccup in big sister Sophie’s development that many parents and children will recognize: she cannot bring herself to say expected social niceties like […]

Review of The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    340 pp. 4/17    978-0-06-234870-8    $17.99    g Seventeen-year-old twins Molly and Cassie are inseparable despite being wildly different: Cassie’s breezy self-confidence and high energy seem to make dating easy, while quirky introvert Molly experiences intense crushes on boys but, […]