Review of A Fine Dessert

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A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Sophie Blackall Primary   Schwartz & Wade/Random   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-375-86832-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96832-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-375-98771-7   $10.99 In four vignettes, set a hundred years apart from each other, parents and children make delicious blackberry fool from blackberries, […]

Review of Draw What You See

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Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson; illus. with paintings by Benny Andrews Primary, Intermediate   Clarion   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-544-10487-7   $16.99 Benson opens in New Orleans in 2005, where Benny Andrews traveled after Hurricane Katrina to teach children “to use art to express their feelings about what they […]

Review of Stella by Starlight

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Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper Intermediate   Atheneum   324 pp. 1/15   978-1-4424-9497-8   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9499-2   $10.99 Eleven-year-old Stella Mills may have trouble getting words on paper for school, but she’s a deep thinker, “a gemstone hiding inside a rock,” her mother tells her. Even on the coldest of nights, she sneaks out […]

Sharon Draper on Stella by Starlight

sharon m. draper

In the January/February 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano talked to Sharon M. Draper about her new intermediate novel Stella by Starlight. Read the full review here. Martha V. Parravano: Have you ever tried to write by starlight? Sharon M. Draper: I’ve marveled at the moon — the phases intrigue me […]

Review of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

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The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Knopf   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-375-85860-4   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-98242-1   $10.99 “By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened.” An offstage narrator spins this entertaining tale about the fate of […]

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 […]

Review of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

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Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King High School   Little, Brown   309 pp. 10/14   978-0-316-22272-3   $18.00 e-book ed. 978-0-316-22274-7   $9.99 Still haunted by her mother’s suicide years ago, seventeen-year-old Glory is certain she’ll die young, too, and can envision no future for herself. Until, that is, she ingests dessicated bat remains and […]

Review of Once Upon an Alphabet

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Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Philomel   112 pp. 10/14   978-0-399-16791-1   $26.99 Each letter of the alphabet gets its own little story in this picture book that is much more than a simple set of ABCs. Whimsical, funny, occasionally tragic, and highly entertaining, this collection of (sometimes) interlocking […]

A Second Look: The Planet of Junior Brown

The Planet of Junior Brown

Does one of the salient works of the black children’s lit breakthrough still hold its own? Is it still the knockout that I pronounced it, at Kirkus, in 1971? The Planet of Junior Brown was Virginia Hamilton’s fourth book — each of them different from the others, and from anything else around. Hamilton, an emerging […]

Review of Star Stuff

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Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson; illus. by the author Primary   Roaring Brook   32 pp. 10/14   978-1-59643-960-3   $17.99 Beginning with the first page, Sisson showcases the magnitude of the universe, visually presenting the Milky Way and our sun’s place in it. Turn the page, and readers move […]