Review of In New York

brown_in new york

In New York by Marc Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/14    978-0-375-86454-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-96454-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-307-97444-0    $10.99 Join the little blue-capped boy from the cover as he and his father make cameo appearances throughout this enthusiastically busy guide to New York City. Just about all of […]

Review of Dare the Wind

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Dare the Wind by Tracey Fern; 
illus. by Emily Arnold McCully Primary    Ferguson/Farrar    40 pp. 2/14    978-0-374-31699-0    $17.99    g In the early 1800s, young Ellen Prentiss (1814–1900) learned to be a keen and fearless sailor on her father’s trading schooner. Captain Prentiss also taught Ellen a difficult skill most sailors, and even some captains, never […]

Review of Caminar

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Caminar by Skila Brown Middle School    Candlewick    200 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6516-6    $15.99 “Forest sounds / all around / but on the ground / the sound / of Me / grew. Echoed. / I heard a path I could not see.” Exquisitely crafted poems are the basis of an unusually fine verse novel set in 1981, in […]

Review of Sophie Sleeps Over

russo_sophie sleeps over

Sophie Sleeps Over by Marisabina Russo; 
illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-59643-933-7    $16.99    g Sophie and Olive are BBFFs (best bunny friends forever). When Olive announces a sleepover birthday party, Sophie is excited to go (“‘Sleepover parties are my favorite kind,’ said Sophie, even though she had never been to […]

Review of Pure Grit

farrell_pure grit

Pure Grit: How American World War II 
Nurses Survived Battle and 
Prison Camp in the Pacific by Mary Cronk Farrell Middle School, High School    Abrams    160 pp. 2/14    978-1-4197-1028-5    $24.95 There are many books written about young people enlisting in the military, being unprepared for the horrors of battle or tortures of capture, serving bravely, […]

Review of The Children of the King

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The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    266 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6735-1    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7042-9    $16.99 Continuing her string of novels exploring the effects of war on innocents (The Silver Donkey, rev. 9/06; The Midnight Zoo, rev. 9/11), Hartnett’s latest book tackles the home front. In the early days […]

Review of Ballad

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Ballad by Blexbolex; trans. from the 
French by Claudia Z. Bedrick; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Enchanted Lion    280 pp. 11/13    978-1-59270-137-7    $22.95 The French illustrator (Seasons, rev. 7/10; People, rev. 9/11) is as provocative as ever in this graphic celebration — and parody — of the very idea of story. Like Dr. Seuss’s […]

Review of Beyond Magenta

kuklin_beyond magenta

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin High School    Candlewick    182 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5611-9    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7035-1    $22.99 Rather than attempting to convey the spectrum of transgender experience through a multitude of voices, Kuklin tries something different here, focusing on just six young people whose gender identity is something other than what […]

What Makes a Good Book Cover?

Splendor's Gloom

We have all seen book covers we don’t like. Some suffer from unfortunate aesthetics, being too busy, poorly rendered, or just plain dull, deterring readers with their intimations of boredom within. Others misrepresent the text they introduce, unintentionally or deliberately promising a book they can’t deliver. The offense of a bad book cover feels especially […]

Review of Tesla’s Attic

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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, […]