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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 Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein Norton    368 pp. 9/16    Paper ed.  978-0-393-29224-4    $18.95 Editor Klein has revised her earlier self-published book Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, weaving the content of that […]

Review of Binny Bewitched

Binny Bewitched by Hilary McKay; illus. by Tony Ross Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    233 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-4814-9102-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9104-4    $10.99 McKay continues to display her extraordinary gifts (for language, nuance, humor; for capturing human nature and family dynamics) in this third book about the endearingly imperfect […]

Review of Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming; illus. by Lori Nichols Preschool    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-375-86648-7    $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96648-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98767-0    $10.99 A cozy evening scene with a girl reading in bed, her window overlooking the silhouette of a […]

Review of Moo

Moo by Sharon Creech Intermediate, Middle School    Cotler/HarperCollins    278 pp. 8/16    978-0-06-241524-0    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-241525-7    $17.89    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-241527-1    $6.99 Sick of city life and having recently lost their jobs, Reena’s parents decide to move to Maine, to a small coastal town. It’s summer, and twelve-year-old Reena and younger brother Luke are free […]

Review of Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing by Leda Schubert; illus. by Raúl Colón Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62672-250-7    $17.99 This picture-book biography of folk legend Seeger lays out the events of his adult life with a focus not on dry facts but on helping child readers […]

Review of The Pants Project

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke Middle School    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    267 pp.    g 3/17    978-1-4926-3809-4    $16.99 Eleven-year-old Liv and best friend Maisie begin sixth grade at a new middle school with a strict uniform policy. At Bankridge, all students are required to wear a “white shirt, a tie, and a […]

Review of The Ring Bearer

The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper; illus. by the author Primary    Philomel    32 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-399-16740-9    $16.99 Mama is getting married, leaving Jackson to worry about his place in the new arrangement. What will he call Mama’s new husband? How will it work out with a new sister? But […]

Review of Ronit & Jamil

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    183 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-245854-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245855-1    $9.89 This Romeo and Juliet–inspired story unfolds in five acts of verse, swapping the setting of Renaissance-era Italy with present-day Israel. Teenagers Ronit (an Israeli girl) and Jamil (a Palestinian boy) are […]

Review of Caroline’s Comets: A True Story

Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3664-4    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3796-2    $16.95 McCully’s profile of remarkable nineteenth-century astronomer Caroline Herschel reveals the scientist’s complicated yet productive life as her brother William’s co-researcher and housekeeper. After childhood illnesses […]

Review of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    512 pp.    g 6/17    978-0-06-238280-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-238282-5    $9.99 Eighteen-year-old Monty, spoiled heir to a wealthy estate in eighteenth-century Britain, embarks on a year-long “Tour” of Europe, after which he will settle unhappily into respectable […]