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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 Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

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The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-4197-2130-4    $16.95 After a string of award-winning picture-book biographies (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15), Tonatiuh turns to folklore for this adapted pourquoi story that explains the origins of […]

Review of Lucy

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Lucy by Randy Cecil; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    144 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-6808-2    $19.99 In the fictional, old-fashioned metropolis of Bloomville, store-clerk-by-day Sam moonlights as a (stage fright–suffering) juggler. His daughter Eleanor lavishes attention on the neighborhood dogs, including a stray named Lucy. When Lucy — who is often in survival mode — […]

Review of Owl Sees Owl

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Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin; 
illus. by Rob Dunlavey Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-553-49782-3    $17.99    g In this elegantly simple picture book, a little owl leaves its nest and flies out into the deep blue night of the forest. Each double-page spread has just four words, each on a separate […]

Review of Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide 
Herrmann, Queen of Magic

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Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide 
Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff; 
illus. by Iacopo Bruno Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-6841-9    $17.99 Rockliff and Bruno (Mesmerized, rev. 1/15) bring the now-all-but-forgotten female magician Adelaide Herrmann back to center stage. Bold and spunky, Addie, in Rockliff’s strikingly vivid depiction, was […]

Review of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Intermediate, Middle School    Algonquin    388 pp. 8/16    978-1-61620-567-6    $16.95 Every year, the people of the Protectorate steel themselves for the Day of Sacrifice, when the elders take the city’s youngest baby and leave it in the woods to appease the witch — a witch no one […]

Review of Rescue Squad No. 9

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Rescue Squad No. 9 by Mike Austin; illus. by the author Preschool    Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93662-7    $16.99    g As in Fire Engine No. 9 (rev. 9/15), Austin live-streams an intense rescue mission, immediately pulling readers into the action. His dynamic illustrations and forceful text are skillfully incorporated in a propulsive, left-to-right design that telegraphs […]

Review of Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West

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Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School    Porter/Roaring Brook    259 pp. 9/16    978-1-59643-763-0    $19.99    g Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) sets her sights on two connected myths of American history: William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s life story and the American […]

Review of Fuzzy

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Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    256 pp. 8/16    978-1-4197-2122-9    $14.95 Life quickly gets complicated for seventh-grader Max Zelaster the day she meets Fuzzy, the first robot student at Vanguard Middle School. Designed to use fuzzy logic (hence his name), Fuzzy can think for himself and update his own programming. […]

Review of Leave Me Alone!

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Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-62672-441-9    $17.99 Graphic novelist Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11) makes an impressive picture-book debut with this inventive story about an old woman’s quest to knit in peace. The tale begins with traditional narrative trappings: “Once there was an old […]

Review of In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives

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In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis Middle School    Holt    279 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-311-7    $17.99 Best known for his Don’t Know Much About History titles, Davis here presents another view of the American past, bringing to light the stories of five enslaved […]