Review of Park Scientists

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Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard 
[Scientists in the Field] by Mary Kay Carson; 
photos by Tom Uhlman Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    75 pp. 5/14    978-0-547-79268-2    $18.99 Although most of us think about our national parks in terms of their stunning natural vistas and opportunities for outdoor adventures, they […]

Review of Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

frank_two girls staring at the ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank Middle School, High School    Schwartz & Wade/Random    261 pp. 8/14    978-0-307-97974-2    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-97975-9    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-97976-6    $9.99 A high-strung teenager faces the emotional consequences of chronic illness in this poignant novel in verse. Narrator Francesca is having a magical night with a […]

Review of Hermelin the Detective Mouse

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Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey; illus. by the author Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-385-75433-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75434-7    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75435-4    $10.99 A double-page spread shows us Offley Street, a panorama of seven row houses, each revealing, in glimpses through windows and open doors, small mysteries and nascent stories that figure […]

Harry Potter read-alikes

duane_so you want to be a wizard

These titles — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine — offer a mix of magic, adventure, humor, and suspense that will enchant Harry Potter fans. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane [Young Wizards series] (Delacorte, 1983; reissued by Harcourt, 2003) A splendid, unusual fantasy tells of the efforts of two […]

Review of Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

cox_elizabeth queen of the seas

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox; illus. by Brian Floca Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-375-85888-8    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95888-5    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98769-4    $10.99 Renowned long-distance swimmer Cox here celebrates a swimmer of a different species: a twelve-hundred-pound elephant seal that preferred the warm banks of the Avon River […]

Review of Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight

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Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer; 
illus. by Elise Gravel Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    101 pp. 4/14    978-0-316-24319-3    $14.99 Paper ed.  978-0-316-24320-9    $5.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-24321-6    $5.99 “Take Your Kid to Work Day” will never again be the same for Archie. He has been waiting “eight years, eight months, and […]

Reading about WWI

freedman_war to end all wars

One hundred years ago today, the first shots of World War I were fired. These books about the WWI era — fiction and nonfiction for a range of ages — are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. Picture Books The text of Timothy Decker’s unusual picture book The Letter […]

Review of I Can Do It Myself

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I Can Do It Myself by Valorie Fisher; 
photos by the author Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 7/14    978-0-449-81593-9    $17.99    g Tiny poseable dolls help young children celebrate the many concepts they need to learn. Fisher (Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five, rev. 7/11) includes the basics for preschoolers and kindergartners: […]

Frog Fridays booklist

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Leapin’ lizards! (Oh, wait.) Here are some nonfiction books and picture books about our “phavorite” amphibians. Nonfiction Arnosky, Jim All About Frogs 32 pp. Scholastic 2002. ISBN 0-590-48164-9 (Gr. K-3) This book informs with a definition of amphibians, the differences between frogs and toads, identifying markings on various species, anatomical features, habits, and how frog […]

Review of Little Roja Riding Hood

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Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middleton Elya; 
illus. by Susan Guevara Primary    Putnam    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-399-24767-5    $16.99    g Little Red rides an ATV to deliver la canasta (basket) to her ailing abuela in this hip updated version of the traditional tale. Liberally sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, the rhyming text is fresh […]