Review of Voice of Freedom

weatherford_voice of freedom

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of 
the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate   Candlewick   45 pp. 8/15   978-0-7636-6531-9   $17.99 Weatherford’s latest picture-book biography (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, rev. 11/06; I, Matthew Henson, rev. 3/08; among many others) chronicles the life of civil […]

Review of Noah Webster: Man of Many Words

reef_noah webster

Noah Webster: Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef Middle School, High School   Clarion   214 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-12983-2   $18.99   g Think of what it would be like to create the first American dictionary: selecting the words, including those used in science and math as well as those from everyday speech; determining spelling, such as favor […]

Review of Tender Morsels


Margo Lanagan Tender Morsels 435 pp. Knopf 10/08 isbn 978-0-375-84811-7 $16.99 g Library edition isbn 978-0-375-94811-4 $19.99 (High School) Raped repeatedly by her father and, after his death, brutally gang-raped by village youths, fifteen-year-old Liga determines to kill herself and her baby. Instead of dying, the two enter a parallel world; a place without aggression, […]

Review of The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

Jaclyn Moriarty The Spell Book of Listen Taylor 479 pp. Levine/Scholastic 9/07 isbn 978-0-439-84678-3 $16.99 g (High School) Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments, rev. 3/04; The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, rev. 1/07) returns with another madly convoluted, over-the-top comedy-drama-mystery told from multiple points of view. Twelve-year-old Listen Taylor is too ashamed to tell […]

Review of Another Day

levithan_another day

Another Day by David Levithan Middle School, High School   Knopf   327 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-75620-4   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-385-75621-1   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-385-75622-8   $10.99 In Every Day (rev. 11/12), we heard from “A,” a gender-neutral sixteen-year-old character who wakes up in a different body each morning. As readers may recall, the day A inhabited Justin, […]

Review of Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

bandy_granddaddy's turn

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary   Candlewick   32 pp. 7/15   978-0-7636-6593-7   $16.99 “Patience, son, patience.” That’s what the young narrator’s grandfather tells him as they wait for the fish to bite. That’s also what Granddaddy says when he puts on […]

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

sheinkin_most dangerous

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

pinkney_rhythm ride

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 […]