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Review of Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

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Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; illus. by Don Tate Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge   40 pp. 5/16    978-1-58089-297-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-640-1    $9.99 From childhood, African American inventor Johnson was a tinkerer: 
“Lonnie loved building and creating. Ideas for inventions just kept on flowing.” We learn about how young Lonnie made model […]

Reviews of 2016 Mind the Gap Award winners

2016 Mind the Gap Awards

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2016 winners. 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 […]

Review of Wolf Hollow

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    294 pp. 4/16    978-1-101-99482-5    $16.99    g Two story lines wind around each other in this novel set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1940s. The narrator, twelve-year-old Annabelle, is one of the objects of vicious attacks by new girl Betty, who has inexplicably but relentlessly taken against […]

Apps to beat the summer slump

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These nonfiction apps introduce new information, and reinforce familiar concepts with a fresh approach, and strengthen developing skills to encourage engaged learning throughout summer — and all year long. In Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System (based on the 2013 nonfiction book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space), cat cosmonaut Professor Astro Cat takes you on […]

“What are you doing after graduation?”

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What high-school senior doesn’t dread that question? Young adulthood is full of change and daunting decisions; even those with solid post-graduation plans may feel as much uncertainty as excitement. The protagonists of these new novels are on the cusp of similarly life-changing moments. In Bryan Bliss’s Meet Me Here, Thomas watches his classmates celebrate graduation […]

Preschool milestones

van lieshout_i use the potty

Learning to share is hard. So is learning to use the potty and how to ditch the pacifier. The following books will help encourage preschoolers to take the next steps (though IRL they won’t get there until they’re ready). In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold, the Big Kid Power series by Maria van Lieshout discusses […]

The past made personal

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Here are four historical novels about kids living through difficult times in the past, all recommended for intermediate readers. Marc Tyler Nobleman’s epistolary novel Brave like My Brother explores ten-year-old Charlie’s home-front uncertainty and the challenges of war for his older brother Joe. Joe’s letters describe life as a soldier stationed in Europe without sounding […]

Books mentioned in the July 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Lauren Wolk Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk, Dutton, 10–13 years. The past made personal Brave like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobleman, Scholastic, 7–10 years. Makoons [Birchbark House] by Louise Erdrich, HarperCollins/Harper, 8–11 years. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, Random, 8–11 years. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, Random, 8–11 […]

Review of Who Wants a Tortoise?

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Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane; 
illus. by K. G. Campbell Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-385-75417-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75418-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75419-4    $10.99 In spite of her father’s allergies, the narrator longs for a puppy for her birthday. The “present with the holes in the top” looks promising, but […]

2016 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

2016 Mind the Gap Awards

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win. The dog ate your medal The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach Dancing in the dark The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma Lost in space It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee Down with the ship Challenger Deep by Neal […]