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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 […]

Review of The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

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The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-4197-2130-4    $16.95 After a string of award-winning picture-book biographies (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15), Tonatiuh turns to folklore for this adapted pourquoi story that explains the origins of […]

Review of Lucy

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Lucy by Randy Cecil; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    144 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-6808-2    $19.99 In the fictional, old-fashioned metropolis of Bloomville, store-clerk-by-day Sam moonlights as a (stage fright–suffering) juggler. His daughter Eleanor lavishes attention on the neighborhood dogs, including a stray named Lucy. When Lucy — who is often in survival mode — […]

Review of Owl Sees Owl

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Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin; 
illus. by Rob Dunlavey Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-553-49782-3    $17.99    g In this elegantly simple picture book, a little owl leaves its nest and flies out into the deep blue night of the forest. Each double-page spread has just four words, each on a separate […]