Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish three brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, and nonfiction and poetry on Wednesdays.

Review of The Inker’s Shadow

say_inker's shadow

The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School, High School   
Scholastic   80 pp. 10/15   
978-0-545-43776-9   $19.99   g This “patchwork of memories” (“and memories are unreliable, so I am calling this a work of fiction made of real people and places I knew”) sequel to Drawing from Memory (rev. 9/11) takes […]

Review of Flop to the Top!

davis_flop to the top

 Flop to the Top! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing; 
illus. by the authors Primary   TOON   38 pp. 9/15   978-1-935179-89-4   $12.95 Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. Oblivious to her family’s dismay, she forces everyone within arm’s reach to endure invasive photos, rude orders, and diva-like dismissals. After posting a selfie taken […]

Review of Lost. Found.

arnold_lost found

Lost. Found. by Marsha Diane Arnold; 
illus. by Matthew Cordell Preschool   Porter/Roaring Brook   32 pp. 11/15   978-1-62672-017-6   $16.99 A bear’s red wool scarf is carried off by a strong gust of wind (“Lost”). Two quarrelsome raccoons spy the scarf lying in the snow (“Found”); they get into a tiff and run off squabbling, leaving the […]

Review of Inside Biosphere 2

carson_inside biosphere 2

Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass 
[Scientists in the Field] by Mary Kay Carson; 
photos by Tom Uhlman Middle School   Houghton   80 pp. 10/15   978-0-544-41664-2   $18.99 Carson takes readers into Biosphere 2, the research facility designed to be a self-sustaining model of Earth’s environments. There’s brief coverage of the innovative engineering and original mission of […]

Review of Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

deutsch_hereville how mirka caught a fish

Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch; illus. by the author; backgrounds by Adrian Wallace; 
colors by Jake Richmond Middle School   Amulet/Abrams   141 pp. 11/15   978-1-4197-0800-8   $17.95 Mirka is stuck babysitting her pesky six-year-old half-sister Layele while the rest of the family is away from their all-Hasidic community. Fruma, Mirka’s stepmother, leaves strict […]

Review of The Day the Crayons 
Came Home

daywalt_Day the Crayons Came Home

The Day the Crayons 
Came Home by Drew Daywalt; 
illus. by Oliver Jeffers Primary   Philomel   48 pp. 9/15   978-0-399-17275-5   $18.99   g The personified crayons who revolted against their little-boy owner, Duncan, in The Day the Crayons Quit (rev. 11/13) are writing again. This time, instead of sending indignant resignation letters, they send indignant postcards from […]

Review of The Book Itch

nelson_book itch

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s 
Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-7613-3943-4   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-4618-2   $17.99 If the central character of Nelson’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning No Crystal Stair (rev. 3/12) was the author’s great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, this picture book adaptation […]

Review of The Emperor of Any Place

wynne-jones_emperor of any place

The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones High School   Candlewick   328 pp. 10/15   978-0-7636-6973-7   $17.99 “So much of grief is unlearning,” observes Wynne-Jones in this perceptive and 
multi-layered page-turner. When Evan’s single father, Clifford, dies suddenly, the high-schooler must work through his own grief while dealing with Clifford’s estranged father Griff, a military man […]

Review of Elephant in the Dark

Javaherbin_elephant in the dark

Elephant in the Dark: Based on a Poem by Rumi retold by Mina Javaherbin; 
illus. by Eugene Yelchin Primary   Scholastic   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-545-63670-4   $17.99   g Merchant Ahmad brings a mysterious creature to his village, “all the way from India!” While Ahmad sleeps, the curious villagers climb through a window in his barn and feel […]

Review of Breakthrough!


 Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy Intermediate, Middle School   Clarion   128 pp. 12/15   978-0-547-82183-2   $18.99   g Murphy (An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, rev. 7/03; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, rev. 7/12) here […]