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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 How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild

How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-178-4    $18.99 A baby African elephant is born and immediately begins developing the important skills necessary to survive in the wild. In detailed accounts that integrate descriptions of elephant anatomy, […]

Review of Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson Middle School, High School    Candlewick    149 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8789-2    $16.99 Parable, satire, dystopic sci-fi — Anderson’s take on a near future in which alien “vuvv” have colonized America’s economy, land, and airspace has so many shiveringly close resemblances to the contemporary world that it might also […]

Review of Say Zoop!

Say Zoop! by Hervé Tullet; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Christopher Franceschelli Preschool    Chronicle    64 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-4521-6473-1    $15.99 Tullet’s latest old-school interactive picture book (Press Here, rev. 7/11, et al.) plays with sounds, primary colors, and creativity. The book begins in familiar Tullet fashion: touch a small blue dot […]

Review of Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales; illus. by Mehrdokht Amini Primary    Salaam/Simon    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-8936-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8937-9    $10.99 Gonzales pens an honest, heartfelt text about the beauty of cultural identity, a loving, compassionate exhortation to his daughter to embrace all that she is. Although written in […]

Review of Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm

Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy; illus. by Matt Collins Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3665-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3825-9    $16.95 Bitter cold, fatigue, leg cramps, driftwood obstacles, jellyfish stings, threats of shark attacks — it’s the rare individual who would risk […]

Review of Bruno: Some of the More Interesting Days in My Life So Far

Bruno: Some of the More Interesting Days in My Life So Far by Catharina Valckx; illus. by Nicolas Hubesch; trans. from the French by Antony Shugaar Primary, Intermediate    Gecko    88 pp. 4/17    978-1-77657-124-6    $16.99 Paper ed.  978-1-77657-125-3    $14.90 In six brief chapters, Bruno, a small cat in a blue checked cap, recounts in turn the […]

Review of Another Way to Climb a Tree

Another Way to Climb a Tree by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Hadley Hooper Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 8/17    978-1-62672-352-8    $17.99 Lulu likes trees. No, Lulu loves trees. Lulu climbs the tallest trees in the neighborhood with the widest branches and the stickiest sap. Lulu’s tree-loving joy jumps off the pages through Scanlon’s […]

Review of Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green Intermediate    Pajama    239 pp. 5/17    978-1-77278-033-8    $15.95 Paper ed.  978-1-77278-017-8    $9.95 Macy is fed up with all the changes impinging upon her: she’s finishing sixth grade and will have to move on to a new school and a new sign language interpreter; her mother is getting […]

Review of Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code

Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code [Scientists in the Field] by Amy Cherrix Middle School    Houghton    73 pp. 4/17    978-0-544-41165-4    $18.99 When thirteen-year-old Angela Dresch walks out on the Staten Island Beach on the afternoon of October 29, 2012, neither she nor readers know that in a […]

Review of And Then There Were Four

And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin High School    Dial    416 pp. 6/17    978-0-8037-4072-3    $18.99 After a three-book detour through the fantasy genre (Impossible, rev. 9/08, and sequels), Werlin (The Rules of Survival, rev. 9/06) returns to her mystery/thriller roots for another psychological page-turner. Five students at a private boarding school are called together […]