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The past made personal

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Here are four historical novels about kids living through difficult times in the past, all recommended for intermediate readers. Marc Tyler Nobleman’s epistolary novel Brave like My Brother explores ten-year-old Charlie’s home-front uncertainty and the challenges of war for his older brother Joe. Joe’s letters describe life as a soldier stationed in Europe without sounding […]

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

Five questions for Lauren Wolk Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk, Dutton, 10–13 years. The past made personal Brave like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobleman, Scholastic, 7–10 years. Makoons [Birchbark House] by Louise Erdrich, HarperCollins/Harper, 8–11 years. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, Random, 8–11 years. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, Random, 8–11 […]

Review of Who Wants a Tortoise?

keane_ who wants a tortoise

Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane; 
illus. by K. G. Campbell Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-385-75417-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75418-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75419-4    $10.99 In spite of her father’s allergies, the narrator longs for a puppy for her birthday. The “present with the holes in the top” looks promising, but […]

Review of The Great White Shark Scientist

montgomery_great white shark scientist

The Great White Shark Scientist [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery;
 photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    70 pp. 6/16    978-0-544-35298-8    $18.99 Biologist Greg Skomal studies great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, using a variety of technologies, including video and telemetry, to document their burgeoning population as the marine […]

Books mentioned in the July 2016 issue of What Makes a Good…?

What Makes a Good Page-Turner? Primary Fiction and Nonfiction Broach, Elise  James to the Rescue! [Masterpiece Adventures] Illustrated by Kelly Murphy 104 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano     2015     ISBN 978-1-62779-316-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-62779-317-9 Cronin, Doreen  The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure [Chicken Squad] Illustrated by Kevin Cornell 103 pp.     Atheneum     2014     ISBN 978-1-4424-9679-8 Ebook […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Middle School Fiction and Nonfiction

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Bancks, Tristan  On the Run 229 pp.     Farrar/Ferguson     2015     ISBN 978-0-374-30153-8 On the run from police, twelve-year-old Ben’s parents leave him and younger sister Olive on their own in a cabin in the Australian bush. Ben finds a copy of My Side of the Mountain, appropriate — and useful — reading since he and Olive […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Intermediate Fiction and Nonfiction

anderson_my diary from the edge of the world

Anderson, Jodi Lynn  My Diary from the Edge of the World 421 pp.     Simon/Aladdin     2015     ISBN 978-1-4424-8387-3 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4424-8389-7 Twelve-year-old Gracie’s world is almost like ours — except that the planet is flat, dragons exist, and poltergeists stopped the Industrial Revolution. When the arrival of a Dark Cloud seems to portend her younger brother […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Primary Fiction and Nonfiction

broach_james to the rescue

Broach, Elise  James to the Rescue! 104 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano     2015     ISBN 978-1-62779-316-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-62779-317-9 Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Masterpiece Adventures series. Beetle Marvin is going collecting in the Pompadays’ apartment, where the beetles live behind a kitchen cupboard. When Uncle Albert is accidentally cut by a pair of nail scissors, Marvin enlists the help […]

Review of A World Without You

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A World Without You by Beth Revis High School    Razorbill/Penguin    371 pp. 7/16    978-1-59514-715-8    $17.99    g Two alternating and emotionally entangling first-person narrations present different versions of reality and of the novel’s events. Bo tells readers that he attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs, an exclusive boarding school for students with supernatural […]

Recommended Page-Turners: High School Fiction and Nonfiction

bow_scorpion rules

Bow, Erin  The Scorpion Rules 368 pp.     McElderry     2015     ISBN 978-1-4814-4271-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-4273-2 Pan Polar Confederacy princess Greta and the world’s other royal children are held hostage: if a leader goes to war, his or her child is killed; if that child survives to eighteen, he or she is released. There’s a welcome spin […]