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Review of A Most Magical Girl

foxlee_most magical girl

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee Intermediate    Knopf    297 pp. 8/16    978-0-553-51285-4    $16.99 Library ed    978-0-553-51286-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-51287-8    $10.99 Annabel is outraged when her mother removes her from her conventional young ladies’ school, sets her up as an assistant in her great-aunts’ magic shop, and promptly disappears. But the tears and […]

Review of The Not So Quiet Library

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The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-8037-4140-9    $17.99    g Every Saturday Dad takes Oskar and his bear Theodore to the library after a hearty breakfast at the doughnut shop. Dad heads upstairs (to the “nap department”) while Oskar and Theodore visit the children’s […]

Happy World Elephant Day!

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It’s the fifth annual World Elephant Day, a celebration begun “to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.” Visit the website to learn […]

Review of March: Book Three

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March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: the […]

Review of Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?

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Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? 
[Tales from Deckawoo Drive] by Kate DiCamillo; illus. by Chris Van Dusen Primary    Candlewick    101 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-7311-6    $14.99    g DiCamillo continues the relay of Tales from Deckawoo Drive, as minor characters from previous books (Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, rev. 9/14; Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Racoon, rev. 9/15) […]

Historical crossroads

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Scratch the surface of history and you’ll sometimes find the stories behind the stories of accepted record. The following works of nonfiction encourage teens to critically examine the narrative that is history. In Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West, Candace Fleming sets her sights on two connected myths of American history: […]

Plots with pluck

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Challenges from finding a new home to finding your (singing) voice to finding your “thing” are no match for the spirited main characters of these four middle-grade and middle-school novels. Eleven-year-old Kim, three siblings, and a goldfish live in a small green car in Esta Spalding’s Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts. Orphans? No, they actually […]

Welcome, new readers!

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Four welcome books — two easy readers and two beginning chapter books — invite new readers in using humor and tried-and-true formats and structures. The Thank You Book is (sob!) the final entry in Mo Willems’s hugely popular series of easy readers featuring the free-spirited Piggie and her best friend, the reliable if sometimes officious […]

In the doghouse

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Barking. Digging. Breaking things. True, the pooch protagonists of these recent picture books may have some bad habits. But as it turns out, even not-so-great qualities can have upsides, and the pups are excellent at what really matters: being a kid’s best friend. (And cleaning the floor, of course.) In Excellent Ed, each of the […]

Books mentioned in the August 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell, Top Shelf, 14 years and up. Historical crossroads Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming, Roaring Brook/Porter, 12–16 years. In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden […]