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Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish four brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Wednesdays, and poetry on Fridays.

Review of Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing by Leda Schubert; illus. by Raúl Colón Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62672-250-7    $17.99 This picture-book biography of folk legend Seeger lays out the events of his adult life with a focus not on dry facts but on helping child readers […]

Review of The Pants Project

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke Middle School    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    267 pp.    g 3/17    978-1-4926-3809-4    $16.99 Eleven-year-old Liv and best friend Maisie begin sixth grade at a new middle school with a strict uniform policy. At Bankridge, all students are required to wear a “white shirt, a tie, and a […]

Review of The Ring Bearer

The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper; illus. by the author Primary    Philomel    32 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-399-16740-9    $16.99 Mama is getting married, leaving Jackson to worry about his place in the new arrangement. What will he call Mama’s new husband? How will it work out with a new sister? But […]

Review of Ronit & Jamil

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    183 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-245854-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245855-1    $9.89 This Romeo and Juliet–inspired story unfolds in five acts of verse, swapping the setting of Renaissance-era Italy with present-day Israel. Teenagers Ronit (an Israeli girl) and Jamil (a Palestinian boy) are […]

Review of Caroline’s Comets: A True Story

Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3664-4    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3796-2    $16.95 McCully’s profile of remarkable nineteenth-century astronomer Caroline Herschel reveals the scientist’s complicated yet productive life as her brother William’s co-researcher and housekeeper. After childhood illnesses […]

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 […]