Review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry Middle School    Roaring Brook    354 pp. 9/14    978-1-59634-956-6    $15.99    g This airy confection could not be more different from Berry’s most recent (and pitch-black) novel All the Truth That’s in Me (rev. 11/13). Part murder mystery, part girls’-school story, part dark drawing-room comedy (think Edwin Drood, […]

Review of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

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Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Kids Can    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-894786-33-1    $16.95 Despite her brothers’ teasing, little Hana plans to play her violin at the talent show. True, she’s only a beginner, but Hana is a stalwart and determined young lady, practicing every day and performing for any […]

Review of Poisoned Apples

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Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann; 
photos by various artists High School    Greenwillow    106 pp. 10/14    978-0-06-228957-5    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-228959-9    $9.99 For this poet, there is no dividing line between fairy tales and reality: “You can lose your way anywhere,” claims the poem with which she begins this collection […]

Review of Beetle Boy

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Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey High School    Carolrhoda Lab    200 pp. 9/14    978-1-4677-2639-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-4677-4626-7    $12.95 As eighteen-year-old Charlie Porter slowly and painfully convalesces from a ruptured Achilles tendon at his girlfriend Clara’s house, bits of his past — years of being paraded around in a bug costume by his exploitive father as […]

Review of Draw!

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Draw! by Raúl Colón; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-9492-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-9493-0    $10.99 A young artist, inspired by his books about African animals, is transported to an imaginary safari in this dreamy wordless book. Armed only with his pencil, sketch pad, and easel, this budding Leonardo finds his models […]

Review of This Is Dalí, This Is Pollock, and This Is Warhol

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This Is Dalí by Catherine Ingram; 
illus. by Andrew Rae Middle School, High School     Laurence King/Chronicle     80 pp. 5/14    978-1-78067-109-3    $15.95         This Is Pollock by Catherine Ingram; 
illus. by Peter Arkle Middle School, High School    Laurence King/Chronicle    80 pp. 5/14    978-1-78067-346-2    $15.95         This Is Warhol by Catherine […]

Review of Egg & Spoon

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  Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire Middle School    Candlewick    479 pp. 9/14    978-0-7636-7220-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7582-0    $17.99 An imprisoned man tells his story, Scheherazade-like, in letters to the tsar. He begins with Elena, a young girl in the impoverished Russian countryside who is nursing her dying mother and who has witnessed her brother […]

Review of I’m My Own Dog

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I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-6139-7    $15.99 “I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.” This independent, self-starter narrator looks down on ordinary pups, the ones owned by people. This dog will not sit for anyone, even if a bone […]

Review of Buried Sunlight

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Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have 
Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    48 pp. 9/14    978-0-545-57785-4    $17.99    g In the latest of Bang and Chisholm’s excellent books on the role of the sun’s energy in powering life processes on Earth (Living Sunlight, rev. 5/09; Ocean […]

Review of The Madman of Piney Woods

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The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis Intermediate, Middle School   Scholastic    370 pp. 9/14    978-0-545-15664-6    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-63376-5    $16.99 In this companion to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton (rev. 11/07), it is now 1901, and for thirteen-year-old Benji Alston of Buxton, Ontario, the American Civil War is ancient history — […]