Reviews

Review of Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

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Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret 
History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School   Roaring Brook   361 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-952-8   $19.99   g Without a wasted word or scene, and with the timing and prowess of a writer of thrillers, Sheinkin takes on a spectacularly complex story — and makes it […]

Review of Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook) While comprehensive in his synthesis of the political, historical, and scientific aspects of the creation of the first nuclear weapon, Sheinkin focuses his account with an extremely alluring angle: the spies. The book opens in […]

Review of The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the 
Fight for Civil Rights

Port Chicago

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the 
Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin Middle School    Roaring Brook    190 pp. 1/14    978-1-59643-796-8    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-59643-983-2    $9.99 Sheinkin follows Bomb (rev. 11/12) with an account of another aspect of the Second World War, stemming from an incident that seems small in scope but […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Young Adult

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Bausum, Ann Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights 120 pp. Viking 2015. ISBN 978-0-670-01679-2 Bausum begins with a detailed, nuanced exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots as a galvanizing moment for the gay rights movement, then traces the movement’s evolution (in a somewhat more cursory way) for the second half of […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Intermediate

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Bartoletti, Susan Campbell Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America    230 pp. Houghton 2015. ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5 What was it like to be a servant, an immigrant, a woman in the early twentieth century? Bartoletti weaves the answers into the beginning of “Typhoid Mary” Mallon’s story — using Mary as […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Picture Books

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Applegate, Katherine Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla 40 pp. Clarion 2014. ISBN 978-0-544-25230-1 Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Applegate introduces picture-book readers to the true story that inspired her Newbery-winning The One and Only Ivan. In poetic prose she describes gorilla Ivan’s early life in Africa; his dramatic capture; his […]

Review of Shadows of Sherwood

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Shadows of Sherwood: A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure by Kekla Magoon Intermediate, Middle School   Bloomsbury   359 pp. 8/15   978-1-61963-634-7   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-61963-635-4   $13.99 When twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley sneaks out in search of a voltage adapter for her latest project, she has no idea that the junkyard’s guard dog will be the least of her […]

Review of Boom Snot Twitty: This Way That Way

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Boom Snot Twitty: This Way That Way by Doreen Cronin; 
illus. by Renata Liwska Preschool   Viking   40 pp. 6/15   978-0-670-78577-3   $16.99   g On the opening endpapers of this gentle story, the unfortunately named Snot (a snail) is happily gathering blueberries and putting them in a basket. The title page shows Boom (a bear) and Twitty […]

Review of Daylight Starlight Wildlife

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Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Paulsen/Penguin   32 pp. 5/15   978-0-399-24662-3   $17.99 In his signature representational artistic style — detailed, luminous, and pristine — Minor compares and contrasts diurnal and nocturnal animals. The opening double-page spread establishes the pattern. The creatures introduced are shown in a meadow, with half […]

Review of Adrift

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Adrift by Paul Griffin Middle School, High School   Scholastic   231 pp. 8/15   978-0-545-70939-2   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-70941-5   $17.99 Narrator Matt and his friend John have left their native Queens to take summer jobs in Montauk on the easternmost tip of Long Island. There they meet a trio of wealthy Portuguese teens — Driana; her […]