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Review of In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives


In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis Middle School    Holt    279 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-311-7    $17.99 Best known for his Don’t Know Much About History titles, Davis here presents another view of the American past, bringing to light the stories of five enslaved […]

Review of Snow White

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Snow White by Matt Phelan; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    216 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-7233-1    $19.99 Phelan has visited the 1930s Dust Bowl in The Storm in the Barn (rev. 11/09), early-1900s vaudevillian Buster Keaton in Bluffton (rev. 11/13), and late-nineteenth-century explorers in Around the World (rev. 11/11). Here he heads off to […]

Review of Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

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Goodbye Summer, 
Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak; illus. by the author Preschool    Holt    32 pp. 8/16    978-1-62779-415-2    $17.99    g “Hello, late summer morning,” says a young girl in a red scarf as she leaves her house on a double-page spread suffused in soft greens. She greets the trees, a variety of animals, flowers, thunder, and […]

Board Book Roundup: Summer 2016 Edition

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This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Here are board books to enjoy with your toddler […]

International Primate Day


For International Primate Day, here are a few books to get you in the swing of things. One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne; illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp. 2/13    978-0-7636-6352-0    $16.99 For Anthony Browne, a gorilla is never just a gorilla. In this seemingly simple counting book from one to […]

Review of Giant Squid

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Giant Squid by Candace Fleming; 
illus. by Eric Rohmann Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-59643-599-5    $18.99 A mysterious giant squid lurks in the dark corners of the ocean depths. Page-turn by page-turn, parts of the squid are revealed: first, a few tentacles sweep across the blue/black-hued ocean environment; then, a few more emerge, and […]

Review of Dara Palmer’s Major Drama


Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah; illus. by Helen Crawford-White Intermediate    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    282 pp. 7/16    978-1-4926-3138-5    $16.99    g Though not a sequel to Shevah’s first novel, Dream On, Amber, this book is set at the same British elementary school and features another memorable narrator. Fifth grader Dara is genuinely gobsmacked when she isn’t […]

Review of How This Book Was Made: Based on a True Story

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How This Book Was Made: Based on a True Story by Mac Barnett; illus. by Adam Rex Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 9/16    978-1-4231-5220-0    $17.99    g Barnett and Rex, no strangers to metafiction (Chloe and the Lion), have outdone themselves in terms of tongue-in-cheekiness as they describe the process of creating a book. “Ideas can come […]

Review of Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

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Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    198 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-6565-6    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6567-0    $10.99 Atkins (Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters, rev. 5/10) here tells the stories, again in poetry, of three real-life self-taught female […]

Recommended School Stories: High School


Alsenas, Linas Beyond Clueless 249 pp. Abrams/Amulet 2015. ISBN 978-1-4197-1496-2 Ever since fifth grade, Martha “Marty” Sullivan has been happy with just one friend: flamboyantly gay Jimmy. But now she’s attending an all-girls’ Catholic high school, which expands her social horizons both among girls (rebellious new friend Xiang) and guys. This mostly light comedy of […]