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Review of History Is All You Left Me

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera High School    Soho Teen    293 pp. 1/17    978-1-61695-692-9    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-61695-693-6    $10.99 Seventeen-year-old Griffin loses Theo, his best friend and first love, twice: first when the young men break up, and again, as the book opens, when Theo drowns. Dual timelines carry readers simultaneously […]

Dystopian teen heroes

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These four novels envision authoritarian societies, some in the future, some not-so-futuristic, that cause their teenage protagonists to take revolutionary action. Under Little Town’s strict Regime, no one crosses the border to or from Old Country — until the Duda family arrives as refugees. Protagonist Charlie befriends teenager Pavel Duda and tries to teach him […]

Writing for adults and adolescents

Untwine by Edwidge Danticat

Last January, I was at the annual meeting of the School Reform Initiative, a wonderful organization that works to help schools find ways to communicate and collaborate more effectively.  I was thrilled to find out that the keynote speaker was Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American novelist I’ve loved for a long time. She delivered an important […]

Patricia Hruby Powell on Loving vs. Virginia

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In our January/February 2017 issue, our editors asked author Patricia Hruby Powell about approaching a landmark historical event through a novelistic lens in Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case. Read the full review. Horn Book Editors: Why did you choose to write the Lovings’ story as a “documentary novel”? […]

Review of Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell; illus. by Shadra Strickland Middle School, High School    Chronicle    260 pp. 2/17    978-1-4521-2590-9    $21.99 Organized chronologically, the alternating first-person narratives, written in free verse, begin in 1952 as Mildred Jeter enters sixth grade at the “colored” school; six years […]

Review of If I Was Your Girl

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo High School    Flatiron    290 pp. 5/16    978-1-250-07840-7    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-250-07842-1    $9.99 After being beaten up in a mall bathroom, eighteen-year-old transgender woman Amanda goes to live with her previously unsupportive father in Lambertville, Tennessee, where no one knows her from her pre-transition life. Though she’s […]

Review of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story

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Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson Middle School, High School    Carolrhoda    144 pp. 10/16    978-1-4677-8903-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-1884-2    $9.99 The result of extensive interviews with Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor Sachiko Yasui, Stelson’s sensitively crafted account spans fifty years of Yasui’s life, starting in August 1945 when the bomb was dropped (she […]

Review of Almost Autumn

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Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin; trans. from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger High School    Levine/Scholastic    281 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-88965-0    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-88966-7    $10.99 Ilse Stern, a typical rebellious, lovelorn adolescent, lives with her Jewish family in 1942 Nazi-occupied Oslo, where her father, Isak, runs a tailor shop. A present-tense narration creates immediacy, while […]

Review of Cloudwish

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Cloudwish by Fiona Wood High School    Poppy/Little, Brown    309 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-24212-7    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-24211-0    $9.99 The Australian author’s third novel focuses on two minor characters from Wildlife (rev. 11/14). Vân U’ó’c Phan is a hardworking scholarship student, an artist, and the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who expect her to become a doctor. […]

Review of Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box

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Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus Middle School, High School    Candlewick    176 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-5938-7    $24.99 A foreword by David Small and Marcus’s brief outline of the history of comics introduce the book. Marcus (The Wand in the Word: Conversations with […]