Review of Fiendish

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Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff High School    Razorbill/Penguin    341 pp. 6/14    978-1-59514-638-0    $17.99    g Yovanoff (The Space Between, rev. 1/12; Paper Valentine, rev. 3/13) here weaves a haunting tale of old magic in a changing world. When Clementine was a child, a torch-bearing mob burned out her family; Clementine escaped by virtue of a magical coma […]

Review of Thank You, Octopus

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Thank You, Octopus by Darren Farrell; illus. by the author Preschool    Dial    40 pp. 6/14    978-0-8037-3438-8    $16.99    g “Bedtime, ahoy,” Octopus declares. His young shipmate isn’t thrilled. “Aw pickles.” Doting Octopus knows that a warm bath, cozy jammies, and a favorite story can help make the end-of-the-day transition easier, and he’s all prepared — in […]

Freedom Summer reading

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the 1964 grassroots campaign to register black voters in Mississippi — the state with the lowest percentage of black voters registered and a history of disenfranchisement through intimidation and violence. These books about that significant and bloody summer are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine […]

Review of A Pond Full of Ink

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A Pond Full of Ink by Annie M. G. Schmidt; trans. 
from the Dutch by David Colmer; illus. by Sieb Posthuma Intermediate    Eerdmans    40 pp. 3/14    978-0-8028-5433-9    $16.00    g A skinny, long-nosed poet fills his pen from the ink pond in his garden and offers the reader a selection of story poems featuring personalities old […]

Review of Chasing the Milky Way

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Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton Intermediate, Middle School    Philomel    279 pp. 6/14    978-0-399-16449-1    $16.99    g Just-turned-twelve Lucy Peevey lives with her mom and sister in the Sunnyside Trailer Park. Though she thinks of it as “a black hole of a place,” it’s not all bad; next door is her best friend Cam, […]

Review of All Different Now

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All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson; 
illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Simon    40 pp. 5/14    978-0-689-87376-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0647-5    $10.99 Juneteenth — commemorating June 19th, 1865, the date slaves in Texas finally learned of their emancipation — is a day of celebration for many African Americans. In […]

KidEWords app review

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KidEWords (Chocolapps, 2014), an educational crossword puzzle app for kids, helps children learn words, associate images with the correct words, and improve their spelling skills. On the app’s menu page you choose the Easy, Medium, or Hard version, based on your spelling ability. Then choose a level from one to twenty (the first three in […]

Review of Leaving China

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Leaving China: An Artist Paints His 
World War II Childhood by James McMullan; 
illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Algonquin    113 pp. 3/14    978-1-61620-255-2    $19.95 McMullan was born in Tsingtao, North China, in 1934 to an Irish-English missionary family. His privileged childhood was disrupted by the 1937 Japanese occupation; by 1941, he and […]

Review of Revolution

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 Revolution [Sixties Trilogy] by Deborah Wiles Intermediate, Middle School     Scholastic     538 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-10607-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-63400-7     $19.99 Invaders arrive by the hundreds, making all in their path uneasy. Life as everyone knows it is about to change. Some join their ranks; others fight back. H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds? No, it […]

Review of The Freedom Summer Murders and Freedom Summer

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The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell Middle School, High School     Scholastic     250 pp. 4/14     978-0-545-47725-3     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-63393-2     $18.99 Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin Middle School, High School     Holiday     120 pp. 3/14     978-0-8234-2920-2     $18.95 With the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer this […]