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Review of Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

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Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    280 pp. 1/17    978-1-59643-954-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-955-9    $9.99 Football icon Jim Thorpe is the indisputable star of Undefeated, although other compelling narratives come into play, including those of the infamous […]

Review of Bull

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Bull by David Elliott High School    Houghton    188 pp. 3/17    978-0-544-61060-6    $17.99    g There’s little grand or heroic in Elliott’s clever verse version of the classical story of the Minotaur: its title, Bull, is topically and colloquially apt. The story unrolls in the voices of seven characters, each with his […]

Review of Short Stories for Little Monsters

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Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay; illus. by the author Primary    Groundwood    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-55498-896-9    $19.95 Here’s a collection of super-short stories — one per double-page spread — in the growing tradition of such collections (recently, for instance, One Day, the End, rev. 9/15; Benjamin Bear in “Brain […]

A Second Look: The Egypt Game

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I was in second grade the first time I went to Egypt. Every Friday, I took a bus to another elementary school across town in order to attend a Gifted and Talented Education program. Once a week, I lived a separate school life, at a different campus with a different teacher and different friends. My […]

Review of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

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Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen Middle School, High School    Algonquin    228 pp. 1/17    Paper ed.  978-1-61620-586-7    $16.95    g This lively anthology, edited by Book Riot associate editor Jensen, broaches the subject of “feminism for the real world” through forty-four essays, comics, poems, interviews, […]

Review of Amina’s Voice

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Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    197 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-9206-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9208-9    $10.99 Musically talented Amina struggles with shyness and, since she started middle school, with issues of assimilation. Her best friend Soojin, who is Korean American, is considering changing her name with […]

Review of When We Were Alone

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When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]

Reading Without Walls: A Conversation with Gene Luen Yang

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Gene Luen Yang. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist and the Library of Congress’s 2016–2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has initiated a challenge to us all. Its rules are simple: read one book whose main character “doesn’t look like you or live like you”; OR read one book “about a topic you don’t know much about”; OR […]

Review of One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep

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One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt; 
illus. by Christoph Niemann Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    168 pp. 11/16    978-0-316-34121-9    $19.99 A former Children’s Poet Laureate has compiled over 120 short and engaging poems by an impressive number of today’s children’s writers. Here you won’t find the […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

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I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]