How I Became a Pirate ebook review

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So, we missed Talk like a Pirate Day this year (September 19*). No matter. For the next eleven months (and in time for this year’s Halloween) kids can practice their pirate sneers and snarrrrls with Oceanhouse Media’s ebook version of Melinda Long’s picture book How I Became a Pirate, illustrated by David Shannon (July 2014). […]

The value of re-reading

The Secret of the Wooden Lady (Nancy Drew)

I was recently privy to a conversation that I have participated in countless times in my twenty-plus years in education. It was a version of “The 8th grade teachers are stealing the 9th grade teachers’ books” discussion. You know that one, right? Of course, it does not reside exclusively in the domain of middle or […]

Review of Tiny Creatures

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Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies; 
illus. by Emily Sutton Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-7315-4    $15.99 Davies introduces a likely brand-new — and immediately intriguing — concept to young readers: that there are vast quantities of living things (microbes) that are smaller than the eye can see. She does it not […]

Review of Rain Reign

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Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin Intermediate    Feiwel    226 pp. 10/14    978-0-312-64300-3    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-250-06423-3    $9.99 Eleven-year-old Rose’s “official diagnosis is high-functioning autism.” She lives with her single dad, who does not have the resources, material or emotional, to be a parent. At school she is laughed at by her classmates. Her life […]

Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Julie Berry All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, Viking, 14 years and up. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, Roaring Brook, 11–14 years. Eerie places Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, trans. by John Nieuwenhuizen, Enchanted Lion, 9–12 years. Greenglass House by Kate Milford, illus. by […]

Atmospheric audiobooks

stroud_screaming staircase audiobook

These audiobooks offer intrepid listeners stories of supernatural and psychological suspense, all with vividly evoked settings. In the world of Jonathan Stroud’s The Screaming Staircase (first book in the Lockwood & Co. series), ghost-busting firms employ psychically sensitive children to neutralize supernatural pests infesting London. Lucy Carlyle joins an indie agency — consisting of Lucy, […]

YA supernatural baddies

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Looking for a book to send a chill down your spine? These four new novels involving creepy paranormal characters are perfect for the occasion. Abandoning university for a (failed) archaeological dig in the Carpathian Mountains, Abigail Rook, star of William Ritter’s Jackaby, finds herself aboard a ship bound for America. Landing in the town of […]

Off-the-wall picture books

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Here are some off-the-wall books for the Halloween season, from funny and not-very-scary for younger readers to suspenseful and weird for older readers. In Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats, best friends Dog and Bear prepare for and enjoy Halloween. They go shopping for costumes (Bear gets distracted when he spies “another […]

Eerie places

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A creepy space can go a long way toward creating the tone for a scary story. These novels all transport readers to places that are likely to give them the willies. A building is the main character in Benny Lindelauf’s Dutch import Nine Open Arms. A family of nine moves into the titular rundown brick […]

Review of Circle, Square, Moose

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Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly Bingham; 
illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    48 pp. 10/14    978-0-06-229003-8    $17.99    g Irrepressible Moose (Z Is for Moose, rev. 3/12) is up to his old tricks, trying to force his way into another concept book. This time the subject is shapes, and at first we seem to […]