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Farm to table

farm_barker_organic foods

Barker, David M.  Organic Foods Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.     Lerner Hand, Carol  Urban Gardening Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Mickelson, Trina  Free-Range Farming Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Perdew, Laura  Eating Local Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Growing Green series. This series for upper-middle-grades focusing on “green” […]

Civics and community

community_ancona_can we help

Ancona, George  Can We Help?: Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Candlewick Straightforward text describes various ways that children can help those in need: through knitting hats for the homeless, tending a community garden that donates its produce, etc. Young readers may find the text cumulatively leaden, but they’ll pore over […]

Young people making a difference

freedman_we will not be silent

Freedman, Russell  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Clarion Freedman’s photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their lives to write and […]

ALA Awards 2017: Horn Book reviews of the winners

2017 Newbery and Caldecott winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kelly Barnhill for The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Javaka Steptoe for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on January 23rd, 2017, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Atlanta. Also announced at the gathering […]

Review of the 2017 Printz Award winners


Winner: March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: […]

Review of If I Was Your Girl

russo_if i was your girl

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo High School    Flatiron    290 pp. 5/16    978-1-250-07840-7    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-250-07842-1    $9.99 After being beaten up in a mall bathroom, eighteen-year-old transgender woman Amanda goes to live with her previously unsupportive father in Lambertville, Tennessee, where no one knows her from her pre-transition life. Though she’s […]

Review of Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

Six Dots

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant; illus. by Boris Kulikov Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-449-81337-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-449-81338-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81339-3    $10.99 Bryant and Kulikov present the childhood of Louis Braille, from his 1809 birth to his invention, at fifteen, of his ingenious six-cell raised-dot system of […]

Review of Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II


Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin Middle School    Knopf    246 pp. 10/16    978-0-553-50936-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-50937-3    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-50938-0    $10.99 Marrin (FDR and the American Crisis, rev. 1/15) wanders far afield from the book’s subtitle in order to place his subject in a comprehensively broad context; readers […]

Review of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story


Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson Middle School, High School    Carolrhoda    144 pp. 10/16    978-1-4677-8903-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-1884-2    $9.99 The result of extensive interviews with Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor Sachiko Yasui, Stelson’s sensitively crafted account spans fifty years of Yasui’s life, starting in August 1945 when the bomb was dropped (she […]

Reviews of the 2017 Batchelder Award winners

ringtved_cry heart but never break

Winner: Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved; illus. by 
Charlotte Pardi; trans. from the 
Danish by Robert Moulthrop Primary    Enchanted Lion    32 pp. 3/16    978-1-59270-187-2    $16.95 Four children encounter Death, who has arrived at their country house to claim their beloved grandmother (leaving his scythe outside the door, so as not to frighten […]