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Review of The Truth Commission

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby High School    Viking    310 pp. 4/15    978-0-451-46877-2    $18.99     g Presented as narrator Normandy Pale’s spring creative nonfiction project, the story recounts the excavation of truth — and its unanticipated after-effects — by three students at a super-artsy Vancouver Island high school. Norm and her two best friends, Neil and […]

Review of Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare; adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds Middle School, High School   Candlewick   146 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6943-0   $21.99 Paper ed. 978-0-7636-7802-9   $12.99 Whereas Romeo and Juliet received a striking makeover with a new setting and an ethnically diverse cast in Hinds’s graphic-novel version (rev. 11/13), he has chosen to remain faithful to the […]

Review of The Boy in the Black Suit

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds Middle School, High School   Atheneum   257 pp. 1/15   978-1-4424-5950-2   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-5952-6   $10.99 High-school senior Matt wears a black suit because he has a job at Mr. Ray’s funeral home (setting up chairs and food for services), but also — metaphorically — because he himself […]

Review of Meet the Dullards

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Daniel Salmieri Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp. 3/15   978-0-06-219856-3   $17.99 The tradition of Bottner’s The Scaredy Cats (rev. 3/03) and Allard’s Stupids books (The Stupids Die, rev. 8/81) lives on with the Dullards, a family of five engulfed in ennui. The Dullard parents are horrified when […]

Review of How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys

How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys by Todd Spector; illus. by Arree Chung Preschool   Holt   32 pp. 4/15   978-0-8050-9773-3   $12.99   g This lighthearted peeing primer by a family doctor/father encourages both kids and parents to add some fun to the sometimes-fraught process. In an introductory note “Dr. Todd” explains his approach. When he was […]

Review of Shadow Scale

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman Middle School, High School   Random   600 pp. 3/15   978-0-375-86657-9   $18.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96657-6   $21.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89659-0   $10.99 With the dragon civil war closing in on Goredd, Seraphina (Seraphina, rev. 7/12) begins an uncertain mission: she and Abdo, a fellow half-dragon, embark on a journey to recruit other ityasaari […]

Review of I Don’t Like Koala

I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell; illus. by Charles Santoso Preschool, Primary   Atheneum   40 pp. 4/15   978-1-4814-0068-8   17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-0069-5   $12.99 Picture this front-matter illustration: a boxed gift neatly tied up with red ribbon. An eager little boy with arms outstretched. It’s a perfect Kodak (ahem, make that smart-phone) moment. But when […]

Sally M. Walker on Winnie

In our March/April 2015 issue, Shoshana Flax chatted to author Sally M. Walker about the spark behind her new nonfiction book, Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh. Read the review of Winnie here. Shoshana Flax: What inspired your Winnie-the-Pooh research? Sally M. Walker: I enjoyed reading Winnie-the-Pooh as a […]

Review of Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker; illus. by Jonathan D. Voss Primary   Holt   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-8050-9715-3   $17.99 A real bear plays a part in Winnie-the-Pooh’s origin story: at the London Zoo, a bear named Winnie made such a strong impression on young Christopher Milne that he […]

Review of Gone Crazy in Alabama

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia Intermediate, Middle School   Amistad/HarperCollins   291 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-221587-1   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-221588-8   $17.89   g e-book ed. 978-0-06-221590-1   $9.99 Williams-Garcia says goodbye to the Gaither family (One Crazy Summer, rev. 3/10; P. S. Be Eleven, rev. 5/13) in this involving and emotional concluding installment. It’s been a year since […]