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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 Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb

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Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy 
Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    
306 pp. 6/16    978-0-545-73243-7    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-73533-9    $17.99 In this young readers’ edition of The Winter Fortress, Bascomb (The Nazi Hunters, rev. 9/13) turns his attention to a single, crucial Allied operation of WWII: the disruption of […]

Review of As Brave As You

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As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    415 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-1590-3​    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1592-7    $10.99 Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit, rev. 3/15; with Brendan Kiely, All American Boys, rev. 11/15) delivers an emotionally resonant middle-grade story of an African American family working to overcome its tumultuous past in […]

Review of Mr. Hulot at the Beach

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Mr. Hulot at the Beach by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 5/16    978-0-7358-4254-0    $18.95 At the end of Hello, Mr. Hulot (rev. 1/14), the hero is seen planning a holiday. In this sequel we discover what particular challenges a seaside vacation offers the lanky, well-meaning, and diffident Frenchman. Having borrowed […]

Review of Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

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Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; illus. by Don Tate Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge   40 pp. 5/16    978-1-58089-297-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-640-1    $9.99 From childhood, African American inventor Johnson was a tinkerer: 
“Lonnie loved building and creating. Ideas for inventions just kept on flowing.” We learn about how young Lonnie made model […]

Review of Wolf Hollow

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    294 pp. 4/16    978-1-101-99482-5    $16.99    g Two story lines wind around each other in this novel set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1940s. The narrator, twelve-year-old Annabelle, is one of the objects of vicious attacks by new girl Betty, who has inexplicably but relentlessly taken against […]

Review of Who Wants a Tortoise?

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Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane; 
illus. by K. G. Campbell Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-385-75417-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75418-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75419-4    $10.99 In spite of her father’s allergies, the narrator longs for a puppy for her birthday. The “present with the holes in the top” looks promising, but […]

Review of The Great White Shark Scientist

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The Great White Shark Scientist [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery;
 photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    70 pp. 6/16    978-0-544-35298-8    $18.99 Biologist Greg Skomal studies great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, using a variety of technologies, including video and telemetry, to document their burgeoning population as the marine […]

Review of A World Without You

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A World Without You by Beth Revis High School    Razorbill/Penguin    371 pp. 7/16    978-1-59514-715-8    $17.99    g Two alternating and emotionally entangling first-person narrations present different versions of reality and of the novel’s events. Bo tells readers that he attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs, an exclusive boarding school for students with supernatural […]

Review of Lion Lessons

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Lion Lessons by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 7/16    978-0-8037-3908-6    $17.99    g Disregarding a city block full of advertised classes (baking, karate, knitting, yoga), a small but determined little boy heads straight into the building offering “Lion Lessons.” The instructor, a real lion whose diploma reads “Harvard School of […]

Review of Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong

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Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome; 
illus. by James Ransome Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-8234-3428-2    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3598-2    $16.95 Today’s child may know Louis Armstrong only as the trumpeter of “What a Wonderful World” or as a character in an old movie; the Ransomes’ newest […]