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Review of The Magic Word

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The Magic Word by Mac Barnett; illus. by Elise Parsley Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-235484-6    $17.99 Here, the magic word isn’t please, it’s Alakazoomba, and it’s what amped-up Paxton C. Heymeyer says to summon the cookie that his babysitter won’t let him have — without first saying “the magic word.” With his […]

Review of Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White

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Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    164 pp. 10/16    978-0-544-31959-2    $18.99    g Salutations! Sweet raises her collage skills to new heights while bringing her love and admiration for fellow Mainer E. B. White to the page for everyone to appreciate. Just as […]

Review of Gertie’s Leap to Greatness

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Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley; illus. by Jillian Tamaki Intermediate    Farrar    250 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30261-0    $16.99    g Gertie Reece Foy lives with her great-aunt Rae in coastal Alabama while her kind and loving father, Frank, works on an oil rig. Her mother, Rachel, who left the family when Gertie was a baby, lives […]

Review of Return

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Return by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-7730-5    $15.99 This third, wordless installment (Journey, rev. 9/13; Quest, rev. 9/14) brings the story full circle, beginning and ending in the same city brownstone shown in the first book. While Return can be enjoyed on its own, fans will find rewarding […]

Review of The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales

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The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Shaun Tan; abridged and adapted from translations of Grimms’ fairy tales by Jack Zipes; sculptures and photos by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    
186 pp. 10/16    978-0-545-94612-4    $24.99    g In the hands of creative teachers, librarians, and parents, this book-lover’s book will find its way […]

Review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party

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To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown Middle School, High School    Candlewick    292 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-7811-1    $17.99 In this compelling verse novel, Brown (Caminar, rev. 3/14) imagines the Donner Party’s harrowing survival tale as experienced by nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves, a real-life member of the […]

Review of Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-6530-2    $16.99    g Picture books have traditionally been a rich source of neologisms. Grinch, knuffle: plums in the puddings of picture book texts. In this story, told in dialogue, Ellis pushes that tradition and invents an entire language. On the […]

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science 
from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

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Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science 
from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos Middle School, High School    
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    259 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-238762-2    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-238764-6    $9.99 Each of eleven chapters chronologically traces the development of one branch of forensic science and the experts who practice it. Methods […]

Review of Ashes

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Ashes [Seeds of America] by Laurie Halse Anderson Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    296 pp. 10/16    978-1-4169-6146-8    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4508-6    $6.99 It’s been five long years since Isabel’s younger sister, Ruth, was stolen away by hated slave owner Madam Lockton (Chains, rev. 11/08), but as Isabel continues her fraught journey south in June 1781 […]

Review of King Baby

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King Baby by Kate Beaton; illus. by the author Preschool    Levine/Scholastic    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-545-63754-1    $17.99    g Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but this ruler can’t yet support his own neck. A king (really a newborn baby) greets his loyal subjects (really relatives and friends of the family): “I am King Baby!…I […]