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

Radiant Child

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, […]

YA love stories in troubling times

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Love can flourish in even the most challenging of circumstances. In the following stories, teens fall in love in the shadow of the September 11th attacks, at a self-harm therapy group, and despite cultural and familial pressures. In Gae Polisner’s The Memory of Things, it’s the morning of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, and the […]

Review of The Bossier Baby

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The Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp. 11/16    978-1-4814-7162-6    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7163-3    $10.99 The Boss Baby (rev. 7/10) finds himself sidelined when a new CEO, a string of pearls adding just the right touch to her sleek black onesie, takes over. This Bossier Baby […]

Review of Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

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Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    56 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-5690-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5691-3    $10.99 A historical document dated July 5, 1828, lists the property to be sold from the Fairchilds’ estate. Hogs. Cattle. A handmill. Men. […]

Review of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

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The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; illus. by Hatem Aly Middle School, High School    Dutton    365 pp. 9/16    978-0-525-42616-5    $17.99    g An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints’ lives, the Joan of Arc legend, thirteenth-century French history, and elements of The Canterbury Tales, Gidwitz’s hopeful story of […]