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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 Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor High School    Little, Brown    533 pp. 3/17    978-0-316-34168-4    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-34164-6    $10.99 Lazlo Strange is a lowly librarian with a keen and singular interest in the mysterious city of Weep, which lost contact with the rest of the world over two […]

Review of Spring for Sophie

Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber; illus. by Jen Hill Preschool, Primary    Wiseman/Simon    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-4814-5134-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5135-2    $10.99 In the middle of winter (a snowy, northern, rural winter), Sophie is ready for spring. She wonders when it will arrive and how she will know it is […]

Review of Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    280 pp. 1/17    978-1-59643-954-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-955-9    $9.99 Football icon Jim Thorpe is the indisputable star of Undefeated, although other compelling narratives come into play, including those of the infamous […]

Review of Bull

Bull by David Elliott High School    Houghton    188 pp. 3/17    978-0-544-61060-6    $17.99    g There’s little grand or heroic in Elliott’s clever verse version of the classical story of the Minotaur: its title, Bull, is topically and colloquially apt. The story unrolls in the voices of seven characters, each with his […]

Review of Short Stories for Little Monsters

Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay; illus. by the author Primary    Groundwood    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-55498-896-9    $19.95 Here’s a collection of super-short stories — one per double-page spread — in the growing tradition of such collections (recently, for instance, One Day, the End, rev. 9/15; Benjamin Bear in “Brain […]

Review of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen Middle School, High School    Algonquin    228 pp. 1/17    Paper ed.  978-1-61620-586-7    $16.95    g This lively anthology, edited by Book Riot associate editor Jensen, broaches the subject of “feminism for the real world” through forty-four essays, comics, poems, interviews, […]

Review of Amina’s Voice

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    197 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-9206-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9208-9    $10.99 Musically talented Amina struggles with shyness and, since she started middle school, with issues of assimilation. Her best friend Soojin, who is Korean American, is considering changing her name with […]

Review of When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]

Review of One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep

One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt; 
illus. by Christoph Niemann Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    168 pp. 11/16    978-0-316-34121-9    $19.99 A former Children’s Poet Laureate has compiled over 120 short and engaging poems by an impressive number of today’s children’s writers. Here you won’t find the […]

Review of The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white prep school she attends, […]