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Review of Well, That Was Awkward

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Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail Middle School    Viking    314 pp. 2/17    978-0-670-01308-1    $16.99    g As eighth grade comes to a close and her fourteenth birthday approaches, Gracie Grant discovers she has a problem. Out of the blue, Gracie realizes she like-likes longtime and suddenly very attractive classmate AJ Rojanasopondist. But that’s not the […]

Review of North, South, East, West

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North, South, East, West by Margaret Wise Brown; illus. by Greg Pizzoli Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/17     978-0-06-026278-5     $17.99 Pizzoli’s digital illustrations for this never-before-published text by Margaret Wise Brown follow a little red bird whose mother sings to her about taking flight. She sets out exploring […]

Review of Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon by Jason Chin; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 2/17    978-1-59643-950-4    $19.99    g Vacationing in Grand Canyon provides a father and daughter — and readers — numerous opportunities to explore this National Park’s geology and ecology. Travel guide–like narration (“After climbing out of the Inner Gorge, you’ll find yourself […]

Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

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Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Review of Life on Mars

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Life on Mars by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 2/17    978-0-399-53852-0    $17.99    g It’s Only Stanley (rev. 5/15) was a star-crossed (canine) love story that ended on the moon. Now Agee brings readers to the Red Planet. What would you bring along on a trip to search for life […]

Frederick Douglass booklist

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Need to refresh your knowledge of great abolitionist Frederick Douglass? Want to introduce his life and accomplishments to a young reader? Looking for Douglass to round out your Black History Month or social justice reading recommendations? The following children’s and teen books, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of […]

Review of Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe

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Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal; 
illus. by Laura Freeman Primary    Little Bee    40 pp. 1/17    978-1-4998-0239-9    $17.99    g While the fashion world continues to recognize her work, many do not know the name Ann Cole Lowe. Blumenthal and Freeman have teamed up to place the spotlight […]

Refugee children

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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 […]