Review of Beyond Magenta

kuklin_beyond magenta

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin High School    Candlewick    182 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5611-9    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7035-1    $22.99 Rather than attempting to convey the spectrum of transgender experience through a multitude of voices, Kuklin tries something different here, focusing on just six young people whose gender identity is something other than what […]

Review of Tesla’s Attic

shusterman_tesla's attic

Tesla’s Attic [Accelerati Trilogy] by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman Intermediate, Middle School    Disney-Hyperion    246 pp. 2/14    978-1-4231-4803-6    $16.99    g After his mother dies in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother Danny, and their father move into Great-aunt Greta’s old house. Finding the attic full of junk, Nick spearheads a garage sale where, […]

Books mentioned in the March 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Lois Ehlert Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illus. by Lois Ehlert, Simon, 2–5 years. Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert, Lippincott, 2–5 years. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years. The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert, Simon/Beach Lane, 5–8 years. […]

Boys’ life

herrndorf_why we took the car

A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart. Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in […]

Flora and friends

viorst_lulu's mysterious mission

Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (illustrated by K. G. Campbell; Candlewick, 6–9 years) — that warmly told and illustrated story of a comics-loving girl, a superheroic squirrel, and their friendship — took home the 2014 Newbery Medal. The following primary and early intermediate novels also star smart, spirited girls on adventures big […]

Things that stop and go

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Need a break from that perennial favorite Cars and Trucks and Things That Go? These four new transportation-themed picture books for preschoolers combine well-paced texts, dynamic illustrations, and entertaining stories — the perfect companion for daytime journeys and journeys into night. Byron Barton‘s My Bus (companion to My Car; Greenwillow, 2–4 years) takes readers along […]

Lives lived large

cline-ransome_benny goodman

Picture book biographies provide young children with glimpses into the lives of notable men and women. The following books highlight people whose accomplishments in the arts, on the seven seas, and on the world stage are inspirations to us all. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, tells of visiting Sevagram, India, as a child in […]

Review of Stella’s Starliner

wells_stella's starliner

Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-1495-9    $15.99 Somewhere in the mountains, Stella the fox and her parents live in a mobile home by the side of the road. The Starliner meets all their needs. “Inside was a room for sleeping and a room for being […]

Review of The Scraps Book

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The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    72 pp. 3/14    978-1-4424-3571-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-3572-8    $10.99 In a generously illustrated picture book memoir, Ehlert speaks directly to her audience, particularly readers who like collecting objects and making things. Aptly titled, the book is jam-packed […]

Review of The Impossible Knife of Memory

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The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson High School     Viking     371 pp. 1/14     978-0-670-01209-1     $18.99     g Hayley Kincain has spent the last five years riding shotgun in her father’s rig, discussing fractions and evolution — an on-the-road version of home schooling. Constant movement has helped keep the past at bay for […]