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Review of Essential Maps for the Lost

caletti_essential maps for the lost

Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti High School   Simon Pulse   323 pp. 4/16   978-0-4814-1516-3   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1519-4   $10.99 High-school grad Madison Murray is living in Seattle with her uncle’s family while reluctantly taking a real-estate course to fast-track a partnership with her controlling mother back in Spokane. Swimming in Lake Union […]

Review of Surf’s Up

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Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander; 
illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    North-South    32 pp. 2/16    978-0-7358-4220-5    $17.95    g Alexander follows up his poignant 2015 Newbery-winning middle-grade verse novel The Crossover (rev. 5/14) with…a picture book starring two frogs, one a surfer dude, the other a bookworm. “SURF’S UP, BRO!” calls the first frog to his bud. […]

Review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School   Feiwel   418 pp. 1/16   978-1-250-08029-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-250-06014-3   $9.99 Though definitely not a hagiography, this biography offers a frank yet positive account of Clinton’s life through the 2015 announcement of her presidential candidacy. Beginning with her birth in 1947, […]

Review of Burn Baby Burn

medina_burn baby burn

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina High School   Candlewick   308 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7467-0   $17.99   g This vividly evoked coming-of-age story is set against actual events in 1977 New York City, when tensions rose throughout a city enduring an oppressive heat wave, culminating in the historic blackout of July 13th. Seventeen-year-old Nora López faces an insecure […]

Review of When Spring Comes

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When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes; 
illus. by Laura Dronzek Preschool   Greenwillow   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-06-233139-7   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-233140-3   $18.89 “Before Spring comes, / the trees look like / black sticks against the sky. // But if you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms.” In a gently rhythmic text and lush, […]

Review of The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon

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The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 
Olympic Marathon by Meghan McCarthy; 
illus. by the author Primary   Wiseman/Simon   48 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-0639-0   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-0640-6   $10.99 The year 1904 saw the running of the first Olympic marathon on American soil, taking place in St. Louis during the World’s Fair. How fitting that […]

Review of Pax

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Pax by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Jon Klassen Intermediate, Middle School   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   278 pp. 2/16   978-0-06-237701-2   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-06-237703-6   $11.99 Twelve-year-old Peter and his pet fox have been inseparable since Peter rescued Pax as a kit. Now Peter’s father has enlisted, and there’s no room at Grandfather’s house (where the boy will […]

Review of Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper

twohy_oops pounce quick run

Oops Pounce Quick Run!: An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 32 pp.   2/16   978-0-06-237700-5   $17.99   g Shelves may groan under the weight of abecedaries, but this one stands out with its use of alphabetic structure to tell a spare, fast-paced story through cartoon illustrations that excel […]

MarcoPolo Recall app review

marcopolo recall

Kids these days, with their Minecraft and their interwebs. Not too long ago, Simon was the cutting edge of electronic gaming (and no one considered it educational*). Now MarcoPolo app Recall (January 2016) brings players a similar Simon experience. Four horizontal color bars — pink, sky-blue, orange, and green — appear on the screen. A […]

Review of Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion

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Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion by Elaine Scott Intermediate   Clarion   72 pp. 2/16   978-0-547-48394-8   $18.99   g This deep dive into the science of the moon includes explanations of its formation and composition, as well as details about the all-important Apollo missions (1963–1972) and the latest in lunar exploration. Scott begins with a […]