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Refugee children

sanna_the journey

The following recently published picture books focus on very young children’s experiences as refugees — fleeing war, unspeakable violence, destruction of all they’ve known — and hoping against hope they’ll be welcomed into a new country where their families can find better lives. In a piercing first-person account, one of the two children in the […]

Review of The Silver Gate

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The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey Intermediate, Middle School    Tegen/HarperCollins    313 pp. 1/17    978-0-06-239857-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-239859-8    $9.99 In Elric’s superstitious feudal village, people think children born with disabilities are changelings; even worse, that they bring down a curse on the community. That’s why Elric’s mother and younger sister, Wynn, with her strange […]

Review of The Three Lucys

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The Three Lucys by Hayan Charara; illus. by Sara Kahn Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-60060-998-5    $18.95    g Lebanese boy Luli loves his three cats: Lucy the Fat, Lucy the Skinny, and Lucy Lucy. Excited for his family’s annual weekend visit to his aunt Layla and uncle Adel’s house in Beirut, Luli sets […]

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day


Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, an international day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of their publication; reviews are reprinted from The Horn Book Guide Online. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real […]

Review of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness

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Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman; 
illus. by Daniel Minter Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 9/16    978-1-62014-148-9    $19.95    g William “Doc” Key was a self-taught veterinarian, businessman, and patent medicine salesman who was born into slavery in 1833 and became a free […]

Review of Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell; illus. by Shadra Strickland Middle School, High School    Chronicle    260 pp. 2/17    978-1-4521-2590-9    $21.99 Organized chronologically, the alternating first-person narratives, written in free verse, begin in 1952 as Mildred Jeter enters sixth grade at the “colored” school; six years […]

Books mentioned in the January 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Young people making a difference 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     2016 Trade ISBN 978-0-544-22379-0 Goodman, Susan E.  The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial Illustrated by E. B. Lewis Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 […]

Our solar system and beyond

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Adamson, Thomas K.  The Secrets of Neptune Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Berne, Emma Carlson  The Secrets of Earth Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Radomski, Kassandra  The Secrets of Saturn Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Smithsonian: Planets series. These books for second through fourth graders include basic facts about planets in our […]

Architecture and engineering

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Corey, Shana  The Secret Subway Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 pp.     Random/Schwartz & Wade Illustrated by Red Nose Studio. This tour de force tells of nineteenth-century inventor Alfred Ely Beach’s solution to New York City’s crowded streets: in 1870, he unveiled the first underground train, which went back and forth in a 294-foot tunnel. (Self-serving bigwigs […]

Farm to table

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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” […]