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Review of Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine

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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat Middle School, High School    Ferguson/Farrar    223 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30251-1    $17.99    g In this follow-up to her first memoir (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood), and beginning where that book left off, Barakat leads readers through her adolescent years in the West Bank during […]

Review of The Sun Is Also a Star

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon High School    Delacorte    349 pp. 11/16    978-0-553-49668-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49669-7    $21.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49670-3    $10.99 New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her father’s […]

Review of I Used to Be a Fish

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I Used to Be a Fish by Tom Sullivan; illus. by the author Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-245198-9    $17.99 A simple, cartoonlike fish prompts musings on the history of human evolution. The text fancifully traces a fish in the water who “got tired of swimming” all the way up in its evolution […]

Fiete KinderZoo app review

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“We invited 30 kids…to design an app…in 1 hour!” begins Fiete KinderZoo (Ahoiii, October 2016; iOS and Android). A photo slideshow on a series of brightly colored backgrounds portrays kids cutting and pasting collage elements, recording sound, and just generally having a blast hanging out at the Ahoiii studio. Upbeat string-and-xylophone music accompanies the photos. […]

Review of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this introduction […]

Review of Juana & Lucas

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Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    90 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-7208-9    $14.99 This brisk, episodic (in the best way) chapter book introduces Juana, a young girl living in Bogotá, Colombia, who loves many things: her city, her family, reading, Brussels sprouts, and her dog, Lucas. She does not like […]

Wonderfall!

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Bid goodbye to summer, embrace the natural beauty and coziness of autumn, and prepare for the coming cold with these seasonally appropriate new picture books. Kenard Pak‘s Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn offers a warm welcome to fall. “Hello, late summer morning,” says a young girl in a red scarf as she leaves her house on […]

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

Five questions for Nicola Yoon The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Delacorte, 14 years and up. YA love stories in troubling times The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner, St. Martin’s Griffin, 14 years and up. All We Have Left by Wendy Mills, Bloomsbury, 14 years and up. Cloudwish by Fiona Wood, […]

Talented tweens

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Discovering new talents — from running to writing to pranking — helps these middle-school protagonists figure out who they are and what their futures could be. In Ghost, the first volume of Jason Reynolds’s Track series, seventh grader Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw has a talent for running as well as a tendency to get into trouble, […]

Trailblazers in the arts

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The following books highlight groundbreaking figures in the arts and society at large: a beloved author of children’s books and witty (and useful) works for adults; a folksinger who stood strong for his beliefs; a graffiti artist turned fine artist; and a little-known turn-of-the-twentieth-century female magician. In Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White, […]