Review of The Last Leaves Falling

benwell_last leaves falling

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell High School   Simon   360 pp. 5/15   978-1-4814-3065-4   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3067-8   $10.99 Sora, only seventeen, has ALS — “an old man’s 
disease” — and knows he’s going to die in just a few years. First, however, he’ll become a vegetable, dependent on his single mom to do […]

Review of Fun in the Sun

catrow_fun in the sun

Fun in the Sun by David Catrow; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Holiday   32 pp. 5/15   978-0-8234-2945-5   $16.95 When the sun comes out, it’s time for a trip to the beach, in Catrow’s (I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, the Silly Dilly Songs books) inimitable, frenetic style. The main character (a human-like dog) packs […]

Prehistoric life

aronson_griffin and the dinosaur

Aronson, Marc  The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     National Geographic With Adrienne Mayor. Illustrated by Chris Muller. Mayor is a scholar whose fascination with mythical creatures led her to uncover a scientific basis for the existence of the legendary griffin. Hard […]

Social issues

behnke_up for sale

Behnke, Alison Marie  Up for Sale: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Middle school, high school     72 pp.     Twenty-First Century This slim volume takes on human trafficking all over the world, covering debt bondage, forced domestic servitude, the sex trade, organ and adoption trafficking, forced military service, and more. Although the text takes a thorough, businesslike […]

Human body

burmingham_tastes like music

Birmingham, Maria  Tastes like Music: 17 Quirks of the Brain and Body Gr. 4–6     40 pp.     Owlkids Illustrated by Monika Melnychuk. The eccentric neurological conditions outlined here are usually classified as “diseases” or “disorders,” but Birmingham treats them matter-of-factly and even — with the aid of the cartoon illustrations — lightly. The science of phenomena […]

Creepy-crawlies

burns_beetle busters

Burns, Loree Griffin  Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.   Houghton Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. Scientists in the Field series. The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens “the entire northeastern hardwood forest.” In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists and residents hypothesize that destroying all of […]

Rock ‘n’ roll

anniss_story of hip-hop

Anniss, Matt  The Story of Hip-Hop Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Pop Music Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Punk and Indie Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Rock Music Gr. 4–6      32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story […]

Review of March: Book Two

lewis_march bk 2

March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   192 pp. 1/15   978-1-60309-400-9   $19.95   g Lewis and Aydin begin this second volume of the graphic memoir trilogy in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009 (President Obama’s first inauguration), then they move back in time […]

Review of The Game of Love and Death

brockenbrough_ game of love and death

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough High School   Levine/Scholastic   332 pp. 5/15   978-0-545-66834-7   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-66835-4   $17.99 Love and Death have played many Games down through the centuries — and Death has always won. The setting for this particular battle is Depression-era Seattle, and while Love has chosen as his […]

Review of Roger Is Reading a Book

van biesen_roger is reading a book

Roger Is Reading a Book by Koen Van Biesen; illus. by the author; trans. from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson Primary   Eerdmans   40 pp. 3/15   978-0-8028-5442-1   $16.00 The rainy-night endpapers of this 
Belgian import draw readers into the cozy lamplight of Roger’s apartment. “Shhhh! Quiet. Roger is reading. Roger is reading a book.” The page […]