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Review of Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy

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Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson; 
illus. by Edel Rodriguez Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93330-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93331-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93332-9    $10.99 Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” reminds us: “You can spin a dreidel / with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock — both Jewish!” Michelson delves a little deeper […]

Review of Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature

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Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott; illus. by Christy Hale Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-082-6    $17.99 This peppy picture book biography of nature photographer Ansel Adams describes an “antsy” young boy whose propensity to get into trouble was allayed only by being in the great outdoors. Sonorous language, including […]

Review of Cloudwish

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Cloudwish by Fiona Wood High School    Poppy/Little, Brown    309 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-24212-7    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-24211-0    $9.99 The Australian author’s third novel focuses on two minor characters from Wildlife (rev. 11/14). Vân U’ó’c Phan is a hardworking scholarship student, an artist, and the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who expect her to become a doctor. […]

Review of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas; illus. by Erin E. Stead Primary    Dial    40 pp. 8/16    978-0-8037-3868-3    $17.99    g Working as a kind of seaside mail carrier, the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles seeks out all the floating messages in bottles and delivers them to their proper recipients. The wistful Uncorker, shown going to […]

Fallen London app review

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“Thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Now, Hell is close and immortality is cheap, but the screaming has largely stopped…” In Fallen London (Failbetter Games, 2015; iOS and Android), I — a shadowy being of unspecified gender, just escaped from prison — stalk the streets of a Hell-adjacent Victorian London with an Alluring Companion for a cohort […]

Review of Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box

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Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus Middle School, High School    Candlewick    176 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-5938-7    $24.99 A foreword by David Small and Marcus’s brief outline of the history of comics introduce the book. Marcus (The Wand in the Word: Conversations with […]

Review of The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

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The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan High School    Knopf    217 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-55380-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55381-3    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-399-55382-0    $10.99 It’s been a year since the two teens met and fell in love in New York City (Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, rev. 1/11), […]

Review of A Hanukkah with Mazel

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A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein; illus. by Elisa Vavouri Primary    Kar-Ben    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-4677-8171-8    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-4677-8176-3    $7.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-5124-0936-9    $6.99 Artist Misha doesn’t have much, but he has enough milk to share with the cat he finds in his barn, whom he names Mazel (“luck”). He can’t […]

2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards speeches

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Follow the links below to be inspired, moved, awed, and entertained by the complete 2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards speeches (and while you’re at it, re-watch the 2016 BGHB announcement with Roger Sutton and Linda Pizzuti Henry — you won’t regret it!). Click on the tags BGHB16 and HBAS16 for timelines, pictures, and more. Photos, […]

Planet Lettra app review

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Upon opening, Planet Lettra (Studio Goojaji, 2015; iOS only) offers the option of taking a young user–friendly tour. I recommend starting there — the app looks simple, but there are a number of quirks that would’ve taken me a while to figure out without the help. As the tour explains (in rhyme), Planet Lettra has […]