Picture Book Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

frazee_farmer and the clown

 Picture Book Winner The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary Beach Lane/Simon 32 pp. 10/14 978-1-4424-9744-3 $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9745-0 $10.99 Appearances can be deceiving in this superb wordless book from two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Frazee. At sunset, a grim-faced, pitchfork-wielding farmer comes to the rescue when a […]

Fiction Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

 Fiction Winner Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell Middle School   Simon   248 pp. 8/14   978-1-4424-9061-1   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9063-5   $10.99 Will (short for Wilhelmina), the only daughter of William Silver, white foreman of the Two Tree Hill Farm in Zimbabwe, leads a “wildcat” life with her Shona best friend Simon, filled with good rich mud, […]

Nonfiction Reviews of 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

fleming_family-romanov

Nonfiction Winner The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and 
the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School 
 Schwartz & Wade/Random  287 pp. 7/14 978-0-375-86782-8 $18.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96782-5 $21.99 g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89864-8 $10.99 Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman’s Charles and Emma (rev. 1/09) with the politics and intrigue […]

Review of My Family Tree and Me

petricic_my family tree and me

My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić; illus. by the author Primary   Kids Can   24 pp. 4/15   978-1-77138-049-2   $16.95 The truth that if one’s parents hadn’t met one wouldn’t exist is a head-exploding realization of childhood. In this celebration of ancestry, Petričić bounces off that revelation to create an innovative introduction to the ordinary […]

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 […]