Review of Enchanted Air

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Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle Middle School   Atheneum   195 pp. 8/15   978-1-4814-3522-2   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3524-6   $10.99 Well known for her portrayals of historic Cubans in verse novels such as The Surrender Tree (rev. 7/08) and The Poet Slave of Cuba (rev. 7/06), Engle explores her own past […]

Review of Firefly Hollow

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Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee; illus. by Christopher Denise Intermediate   Atheneum   292 pp. 8/15   978-1-4424-2336-7   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9812-9   $10.99 A kindred spirit “understands the deepest dream of your heart,” Vole says to Firefly and Cricket. This trio of friends has big dreams: Vole dreams of sailing down the river to rejoin family and […]

Paper Towns movie review

Paper Towns poster

If Paper Towns, the book by John Green (Dutton, October 2008) were a comedy, it would be Paper Towns, the movie (directed by Jake Schreier, Fox/Temple Hill, July 2015). That’s not to say the novel lacks funny moments. It has plenty, and the new film makes good use of them. There are pranks and witty […]

Reviews of select books by Ashley Bryan


Ashley Bryan’s Puppets: Making Something from Everything by Ashley Bryan; photos by Ken Hannon; photos edited by Rich Entel Primary    Atheneum    80 pp. 7/14    978-1-4424-8728-4   e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8729-1 It’s impossible to come away from this book without renewed respect for Ashley Bryan as a fine artist. In addition to being a storyteller and illustrator, Bryan […]

Review of The Fun Book of Scary Stuff

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The Fun Book of Scary Stuff by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Hyewon Yum Primary   Foster/Farrar   32 pp. 8/15   978-0-374-30000-5   $16.99 A child shares with his two chatty dogs the list he wrote of things that scare him: monsters, ghosts, witches, trolls. The pug seems sympathetic, but the self-proclaimed “bravest dog ever” bull terrier is unfazed […]

Motion Math: Cupcake! app review

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I am not a math person. But I am a cupcake person, so math about making and selling cupcakes is far more appealing. Motion Math: Cupcake! (Motion Math, April 2015) allowed me to enact my cupcake-bakery (cupcakery?) daydreams. As the app opens, you set up shop with a one-oven bakery facility, a cute sea-green Vespa […]

We got your Brooklyn booklist right here.


A quick and handy search on the Horn Book Guide Online (keyword search: “Brooklyn”) brings up 167 reviews of books published since 1989 that are about, in, or around Brooklyn. (Plus, we’ve heard a tree grows there.) Here’s a selection of favorites to consider while enjoying Stephen Savage’s article about the People in His (Brooklyn) […]

Review of Tommy


Tommy: The Gun that Changed America by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School     Roaring Brook     223 pp. 6/15     978-1-62672-084-8     $19.99     g In this biography of a gun and the times in which it lived, Blumenthal traces the Thompson submachine gun, a.k.a. the Tommy. After the Spanish-American War, an Army officer, John […]

Review of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

trevayne_accidental afterlife of thomas marsden

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne Intermediate, Middle School     Simon    247 pp. 7/15     978-1-4424-9882-2     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9886-0     $10.99 While out grave-robbing with his father one night, Thomas Marsden digs up a corpse that looks exactly like him, down to the birthmark on his cheek. In his […]

Review of Playful Pigs from A to Z

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Playful Pigs from A to Z by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Knopf     40 pp. 7/15     978-0-553-50832-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-50833-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-50834-5     $10.99 Twenty-six pigs wake up in their pen and decide to explore the countryside, running down the road and finding a field of “magical surprises”: […]