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Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish four brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Wednesdays, and poetry on Thursdays.

Review of Windows

Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-9035-9    $15.99 “At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep… / you can take a walk, out your door / into the almost-night.” A brown-skinned child puts on a red hoodie and heads out to take the […]

Review of That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes; illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55017-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55018-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55019-5    $10.99 Langston Hughes’s 1924 poem “Dream Variation” tells of a wish “to fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun, / To whirl and to dance / Till […]

Review of Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies; illus. by Emily Sutton Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-7636-9483-8    $15.99 “How many different kinds of living things are there on our planet? One, two, three, MANY!” With this important question and response, Davies begins her consideration of biodiversity, starting with the idea that […]

Review of Tumble & Blue

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley; illus. by the author Intermediate    Dial    392 pp. 8/17    978-0-525-42844-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-18907-2    $10.99 Way back when, there were strange things done in the Okefenokee Swamp. A plot was set in motion by two bad people, horse thief Walcott Montgomery and murderer Almira LaFayette. Their descendants, especially a […]

Review of The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-7754-1    $17.99 The opening of this latest Barnett/Klassen collaboration (an original pourquoi tale) seems to presage dire events: “Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.” But once inside, […]

Review of Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad

Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy; illus. by Beatriz Vidal; with excerpts from Versos sencillos by José Martí; trans. into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez Primary    Children’s/Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-89239-375-6    $17.95 “I come from every place, / And I’m on the road to everywhere: / I […]

Review of Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon

Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    64 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-520-1    $19.99 “She is a chameleon, changing her appearance from photograph to photograph, so that she is many people but never Cindy.” Prolific biographers-of-artists Greenberg and Jordan (Ballet for Martha, rev. 7/10; The Mad Potter, […]

Review of A Line in the Dark

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo High School    Dutton    282 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-735-22742-2    $17.99 Jess’s feelings for her best friend Angie are strong and complicated — a mix of longstanding affection, mutual dependence, protectiveness, and unrequited longing. Jess and Angie are both queer and out, but have never been together. When Angie […]

Review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James Primary   Millner/Bolden Books/Agate    32 pp. 10/17    978-1-57284-224-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-57284-808-5    $17.95 Brown skin, a dimpled smile, and a fresh haircut worthy of a standing ovation. Barnes takes a weekly, mundane activity for an African American boy — a trip […]

Review of I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris; illus. by Lane Smith Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    228 pp. 9/17    978-0-316-26657-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-26659-8    $9.99 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by… / Since then I’ve been completely […]