Review of The War That Saved My Life

bradley_war that saved my life

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Intermediate   Dial   316 pp. 1/15   978-0-8037-4081-5   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-101-63780-7   $10.99 Ten-year-old Ada has suffered almost unimaginable deprivation and abuse due to an unrepaired clubfoot: she has never been outside her squalid London flat; she’s hit, underfed, belittled, and locked inside a dark cupboard […]

Additional ALA Awards 2015

Alex Awards for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner) • Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia (Houghton) • Bingo’s Run by James A. Levine (Random House/Spiegel & Grau) • Confessions by Kanae Minato, trans. by Stephen Snyder (Little, Brown/Mulholland Books) • […]

Review of Home

ellis_home

Home by Carson Ellis; illus by the author Preschool, Primary   Candlewick   40 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6529-6   g Ellis presents a dreamy, painterly meditation on the diversity and range of dwellings around the world and across time and imagination. “Home is a house in the country,” the text begins, and the illustration shows a simple-looking house with […]

Reviews of the 2015 CSK Author Award winners

woodson_brown girl dreaming

Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate, Middle School     Paulsen/Penguin     328 pp. 8/14     978-0-399-25251-8     $16.99 g Here is a memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. It starts out somewhat slowly, with Woodson relying on others’ memories to relate her (1963) birth and infancy […]

Reviews of the 2015 Newbery Award winners

alexander_crossover

Winner: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   235 pp. 3/14   978-0-544-10771-7   $16.99   g Josh and Jordan (JB), identical twin sons of former basketball phenom Chuck “Da Man” Bell, are ball legends themselves, and they aren’t yet thirteen; Josh is the only middle schooler around who can dunk, JB has a mean three-point […]

Reviews of the 2015 Caldecott Award winners

santat_adventures of beekle

Winner: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/14     978-0-316-19998-8     $17.00 Imaginary friend Beekle waits and waits for a child to think him into existence. When it doesn’t happen, Beekle sails off to the real world — a city full of boring adults — […]

Reviews of the 2015 Sibert Award winners

bryant_right word

Winner: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary     Eerdmans    48 pp. 9/14     978-0-8028-5385-1     $17.50 Apt language and ingenious imagery combine to tell the life story of Peter Mark Roget, creator of the thesaurus. A solitary, though not unhappy, child, Roget spends his time keeping […]

Reviews of the 2015 Belpré Author Award winners

agosin_i lived on butterfly hill

Winner: I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín; illus. by Lee White; trans. by E. M. O’Connor Intermediate     Atheneum     455 pp. 3/14    978-1-4169-5344-9    $16.99 Eleven-year-old Chilean girl Celeste faces upheaval when a brutal dictator rises to power, her parents go into hiding, and she is shipped off to Maine. Threads of mysticism lend an […]

Reviews of the 2015 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Viva Frida

Winner: Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author with photos by Tim O’Meara Primary, Intermediate  Porter/Roaring Brook  40 pp. 9/14   978-1-59643-603-9   $17.99   g There have been several books for young readers about Frida Kahlo, but none has come close to the emotional aesthetic Morales brings to her subject, as a Mexican artist herself […]

Reviews of the 2015 Printz winners

nelson_i'll give you the sun

Winner: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson High School   Dial   375 pp. 9/14   978-0-8037-3496-8   $17.99   g In her much-anticipated second book, Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere, rev. 3/10) delivers another novel of romance, tragedy, grief, and healing, told in poetic prose with the barest hint of magical realism. Jude and Noah are fraternal […]