Review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry Middle School    Roaring Brook    354 pp. 9/14    978-1-59634-956-6    $15.99    g This airy confection could not be more different from Berry’s most recent (and pitch-black) novel All the Truth That’s in Me (rev. 11/13). Part murder mystery, part girls’-school story, part dark drawing-room comedy (think Edwin Drood, […]

Review of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

uegaki_hana hashimoto, sixth violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Kids Can    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-894786-33-1    $16.95 Despite her brothers’ teasing, little Hana plans to play her violin at the talent show. True, she’s only a beginner, but Hana is a stalwart and determined young lady, practicing every day and performing for any […]

Review of Picture This

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Picture This: Perception and Composition by Molly Bang; illus. by the author Intermediate     Bulfinch/Little     141 pp. 9/91     Paper ed. 0-8212-1855-7     $12.95 With a forward by Rudolf Arnheim. If I could buy only one book this year, this would be the one. If I could take only one book on a long cavation, this would be […]

Reviews of selected books by Marla Frazee

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Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Harcourt     32 pp. 5/03     0-15-204554-6     $16.00 Once a roller coaster is all loaded up, and the operator releases the brake to start the cars slowly chugging up the first hill, that’s that. “Now it is too late for anyone to change their mind,” Frazee […]

Review of Poisoned Apples

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Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann; 
photos by various artists High School    Greenwillow    106 pp. 10/14    978-0-06-228957-5    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-228959-9    $9.99 For this poet, there is no dividing line between fairy tales and reality: “You can lose your way anywhere,” claims the poem with which she begins this collection […]

Review of Beetle Boy

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Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey High School    Carolrhoda Lab    200 pp. 9/14    978-1-4677-2639-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-4677-4626-7    $12.95 As eighteen-year-old Charlie Porter slowly and painfully convalesces from a ruptured Achilles tendon at his girlfriend Clara’s house, bits of his past — years of being paraded around in a bug costume by his exploitive father as […]

Review of Draw!

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Draw! by Raúl Colón; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-9492-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-9493-0    $10.99 A young artist, inspired by his books about African animals, is transported to an imaginary safari in this dreamy wordless book. Armed only with his pencil, sketch pad, and easel, this budding Leonardo finds his models […]

Picture book sequels you’ve been waiting for

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Young children often latch on to particular characters or stories they love, so it’s little surprise that we see many familiar faces return in new picture book adventures. Here are four entertaining sequels sure to delight fans. Quest — the second in Aaron Becker’s planned wordless trilogy — opens in the present-day city where we […]

Girls on the edge

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The protagonists of these pull-no-punches YA novels experience the dark side of adolescence, from mental illness to abuse to trauma to religious intolerance to the death of a loved one — but each one is given what she needs to overcome her challenges. After she is caught cutting herself in the school bathroom, fifteen-year-old Kenna, […]

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

Five questions for Christine Heppermann Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann, photos by various artists, Greenwillow, 14 years and up. City Chickens by Christine Heppermann, Houghton, 8–11 years. Girls on the edge Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeline Kuderick, HarperTeen, 14 years and up. The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie […]