Review of Goodbye Stranger

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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead Middle School   Lamb/Random   289 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-74317-4   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-99098-4   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-98085-4   $10.99 The main narrative in this new novel from the talented Stead (When You Reach Me, rev. 7/09) follows seventh-grader Bridget Barsamian, who nearly died in an accident when she was eight. A nurse’s […]

Rebecca Stead on Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead

In our July/August 2015 issue, reviewer Jennifer Brabander asked Goodbye Stranger author Rebecca Stead about the writing her teen girl protagonist’s friendships. Read the starred review of Goodbye Stranger here. Jennifer M. Brabander: Longtime friends Bridge, Em, and Tab have such different interests, but they manage to sustain their friendship; the three girls are “independent […]

Easy reading

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With summer coming to a close and school peeking its head around the corner, children can get into the swing of things with the following titles about kid-friendly subjects, from dance and princesses to raccoons and robots. It’s that age-old childhood dilemma: “What do you want to play today?” In Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret […]

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 […]

Review of Shadow of the Wolf

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Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall High School   Fickling/Scholastic   472 pp. 6/15   978-0-545-81664-9   $18.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-82313-5   $18.99 This retelling of the legend of Robin Hood features Game of Thrones–levels of brutality and not much in the way of “merry men,” but it is a richly imagined emotional and physical adventure for Robin, […]

Review of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

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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 Binny in Secret

mckay_binny in secret

Binny in Secret by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player Intermediate, Middle School     McElderry     276 pp. 6/15      978-1-4424-8278-4     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8280-7     $10.99 Belinda (Binny for Short, rev. 1/14) is back, along with her single-parent mum, responsible sister Clem, and lovable little brother James. In this second adventure the Cornwallis family […]

Review of Fuzzy Mud

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Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar Intermediate, Middle School   Delacorte   184 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-74378-5   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-99129-5   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-385-37021-9   $10.99 A shortcut through the woods? What could go wrong? Neighbors and fellow outsiders Tamaya (fifth grade) and Marshall (seventh) are in bigger trouble than they know when Marshall diverts them from their […]

Review of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

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The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly Intermediate, Middle School     Holt     309 pp. 7/15     978-0-8050-9744-3     $16.99     g Kelly returns to turn-of-the-last-century small-town central Texas to continue the story of nascent scientist Callie Vee. Kelly quickly fills readers in on essential background (only girl in the family, with six brothers; […]

Review of Finding Audrey

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Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Middle School, High School     Delacorte     287 pp. 6/15     978-0-553-53651-5     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-53652-2     $10.99 Audrey wears dark glasses all of the time, “even in the house.” But it’s not out of excessive devotion to her movie-star namesake; it’s because she’s afraid. Of everyone. We learn, incompletely, that “some […]