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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 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 […]

Review of Jabari Jumps

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 5/17    978-0-7636-7838-8    $15.99    g Jabari is a spirited little boy with a pretty big mission: after finishing his swimming lessons and passing his test, he’s ready to jump off the diving board at the community pool! […]

Review of When My Sister Started Kissing

When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Farrar    195 pp. 3/17    978-0-374-30303-7    $16.99    g Claire and Abigail have few memories of their mother — she died when they were very young — but at their family’s lakeside cabin, the girls are surrounded by the poetry, art, […]

Review of Magnets Push, Magnets Pull

Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David A. Adler; illus. by Anna Raff Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3669-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3805-1    $17.95 Adler’s excellent explanations of physical science for young children (Things That Float and Things That Don’t, rev. 11/13; Simple Machines) continue with this exploration of magnets and […]

Review of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. edited by Betsy Bird Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    205 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-451-477-316    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-409-446    $10.99 Fuse #8 blogger Bird’s compilation includes twenty-eight entries from “laugh-out-loud funny” female children’s book creators, whom Bird argues are underrepresented in the publishing industry, plus a […]

Review of Uncle Holland

Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson; illus. by Natalie Nelson Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-929-4    $17.95 Lawson, author of the touching Sidewalk Flowers (rev. 5/15), returns with a whimsical story based on his uncle Holland, who was always getting into trouble as a child. With an eye for pretty things and […]

Review of Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko poems by Misuzu Kaneko; narrative by David Jacobson; illus. by Toshikado Hajiri; trans. from the Japanese by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Chin Music Press    64 pp. 9/16    978-1-634905-962-6    $19.50 Part biography, part poetry collection, this book introduces Japanese children’s poet […]

Review of Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton; illus. by the author Primary    Viking    40 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-670-01694-5    $16.99 The main character of this book — a cartoon boy named Edgar, eyes opened wide in amusingly fearful and skeptical facial expressions — definitely doesn’t like bees. This gives the (offstage) […]

Review of King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats and King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler; illus. by Nancy Meyers Primary    Peachtree    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-56145-877-6    $14.95 King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code by Dori Hillestad Butler; illus. by Nancy Meyers Primary    Peachtree    48 pp. 3/17  […]

Review of Goldfish Ghost

Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket; illus. by Lisa Brown Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-62672-507-2    $17.99 This story begins with a death framed in terms of a birth. “Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in a bowl on the dresser in a boy’s room.” Our hero […]