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Review of The Lie Tree

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    378 pp. 4/16    978-1-4197-1895-3    $17.95 Everything in this audacious novel is on the cusp or in limbo, setting up delicious tensions and thematic riches. The time is nineteenth-century England just after Darwin’s theory of evolution has thrown the scientific world into turmoil; the setting […]

Review of The Passion of Dolssa

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The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry Middle School, High School    Viking    482 pp. 4/16    978-0-451-46992-2    $18.99    g Berry (All the Truth That’s in Me, rev. 11/13) tells the story of (fictional) Catholic mystic Dolssa de Stigata after she escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 Toulouse, France; mostly, however, it’s the story of […]

Collaboration in action, Horn Book Magazine May/June 2016 special issue

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Here we are demonstrating the theme of The Horn Book Magazine‘s upcoming May/June 2016 special issue: Collaborations. It’s a good one! Featuring articles by: Rita Williams-Garcia, the Nerdy Book Club, Lydie Raschka, JonArno Lawson & Sydney Smith, the Holm siblings, the Tamaki cousins, Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely, Candace Fleming & Anne Schwartz, Philip Pullman […]

Preview May/June 2016 Horn Book Magazine

May/June 2016 Horn Book Magazine

Special Issue: Collaborations Lydie Raschka describes her husband Chris Raschka’s collaboration with Vera B. Williams on the beloved author/illustrator’s last book. Author Rita Williams-Garcia talks about her work mentoring MFA students. Ann Rider, editor, shares her process for pairing an author with “just the right illustrator.” Foreign Correspondence: Elena Abós on how a translator acts […]

Review of Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs

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Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park; 
illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt Primary    Clarion    40 pp. 3/16    978-0-544-39101-7    $16.99 Park and Reinhardt pair animal names with actions in this picture book in which yaks yak, apes ape, parrots parrot, and finally kids kid. Each double-page spread features a single phrase such as “Flounders […]

Beverly Cleary and the Art of Growing Up

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Like my own home street, I took Klickitat Street for granted until I had been gone for a long time and returned. I recently re-read the Ramona series and realized how many scenes had wormed their way into my memory and become indistinguishable from my own experiences. The paper-bag owl, Grandma Quimby’s proverbs, the dawnzer, […]

Review of Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single […]

Review of A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter

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A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder; 
illus. by Mary GrandPré Intermediate    Crown    296 pp. 3/16    978-0-385-39232-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39233-4    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-39234-1    $10.99 Newly admitted to Spriggs Academy, Winnie Burton has more to contend with than the usual new-girl jitters. Winnie’s dragon-caretaker, Miss Drake, […]

Reviews of Bye-Bye Binky and I Use the Potty

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Bye-Bye Binky [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3536-6    9.99 I Use the Potty [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3535-9    $9.99 In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold (Potty, rev. 1/11, and many others), these […]

Telling the Truth While Making Things Up

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I met Beverly Cleary in 1980, when I was a barely published author and she was already an icon of children’s literature. As a new initiate into the writers’ group that was sponsoring a weekend writers’ conference, I was assigned the task of meeting Beverly’s plane. I remember being amazed at my good fortune, but […]