Ancient and medieval history


Bergin, Mark  Castle Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Book House McCall, Henrietta  Mummies Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Book House McCall, Henrietta  Pyramid Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Book House Time Shift series. These books provide information relating to structures and customs of ancient and medieval times. Colorful illustrations use split pages to capture scene changes, while the […]

Pop culture

pop culture_anderson_miley cyrus

Anderson, Jennifer Joline  Miley Cyrus: Pop Princess Middle school, high school     112 pp.    ABDO/Essential Library Burling, Alexis  Pharrell Williams: Grammy-Winning Singer, Songwriter & Producer Middle school, high school     112 pp.   ABDO/Essential Library Lusted, Marcia Amidon  Blake Shelton: Country Singer & TV Personality Middle school, high school     112 pp.   ABDO/Essential Library Contemporary Lives series. Generously illustrated […]


vehicles_apelqvist_getting ready to drive

Apelqvist, Eva  Getting Ready to Drive: A How-To Guide Middle school, high school     128 pp.     Enslow Life: A How-To Guide series. Apelqvist provides a concise yet thorough overview of the considerations made when preparing to drive. Chapters touch on large issues (e.g., rules of the road) along with smaller sub-topics, from learning disabilities to how […]

Sea life


Arnosky, Jim  Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life Gr. 4–6    40 pp.     Sterling This follow-up to Slither and Crawl and Creep and Flutter examines marine animals including stingrays, dolphins, jellyfish, and sharks. In a conversational tone, Arnosky relates personal yet information-filled stories of encountering these creatures while boating or simply wading in […]

Research and information science


Bailer, Darice  Will and Wendy Build a Website with Digital Tools Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Norwood Illustrated by Sean O’Neill. Writing Builders series. Wendy and her best friend Will learn how to design a website for their classroom. The solid information and writing tips are mostly suited to middle graders (though the gimmicky framing story […]

Review of Funny Bones

tonatiuh_funny bones

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day 
of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Abrams   40 pp. 8/15   978-1-4197-1647-8   $18.95 Artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1915) didn’t invent calaveras, the iconic skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, but they attained their greatest popularity during the twenty-four years that […]

Review of My Autumn Book

yee_my autumn book

My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Ottaviano/Holt   32 pp. 8/15   978-0-8050-9922-5   $14.99 A girl celebrates autumn in Yee’s fourth in a quartet of books about the seasons (Tracks in the Snow, rev. 11/03; Who Likes Rain?, rev. 3/07; Summer Days and Nights, rev. 7/12). The young narrator continues her […]

MarcoPolo Arctic app review

arctic menu

On the opening screen of MarcoPolo Arctic (MarcoPolo, August 2015), a polar bear and cub nap on the ice, a horned, green creature lying directly across from the pair with a camera. The arctic is represented in white and shades of blue, with a cartoon-like, 2D style reminiscent of cut-paper collage. Hit the play button […]

Field Notes: On Propagating Literacy


My story about working in adult literacy starts with a Black Knight Buddleia sapling on my twenty-sixth birthday at around two o’clock in the afternoon. I was digging the hole to plant the Buddleia in the garden of my Tipperary farm when the phone rang. The caller was Mary, who ran the then-small adult literacy […]

Board Book Roundup: Fall 2015 Edition: Halloween

henkes_kitten's first full  moon

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Halloween ABC by Sarah Albee; illus. by Julia Woolf […]