Review of Pure Grit

farrell_pure grit

Pure Grit: How American World War II 
Nurses Survived Battle and 
Prison Camp in the Pacific by Mary Cronk Farrell Middle School, High School    Abrams    160 pp. 2/14    978-1-4197-1028-5    $24.95 There are many books written about young people enlisting in the military, being unprepared for the horrors of battle or tortures of capture, serving bravely, […]

Review of The Children of the King

hartnett_children of the king

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    266 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6735-1    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7042-9    $16.99 Continuing her string of novels exploring the effects of war on innocents (The Silver Donkey, rev. 9/06; The Midnight Zoo, rev. 9/11), Hartnett’s latest book tackles the home front. In the early days […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

depaola_patrick the patron saint

Erin go bragh! Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with nonfiction about Ireland and its history, fiction starring Irish and Irish American protagonists, and a little bit of pure blarney, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine.   Picture books In Eve Bunting’s Ballywhinney Girl, Maeve’s grandpa unearths a mummy — common in Ireland, where (a note […]

Review of Ballad

blexbolex_ballad

Ballad by Blexbolex; trans. from the 
French by Claudia Z. Bedrick; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Enchanted Lion    280 pp. 11/13    978-1-59270-137-7    $22.95 The French illustrator (Seasons, rev. 7/10; People, rev. 9/11) is as provocative as ever in this graphic celebration — and parody — of the very idea of story. Like Dr. Seuss’s […]

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

barton_my bus

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 […]