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Review of Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West

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Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School    Porter/Roaring Brook    259 pp. 9/16    978-1-59643-763-0    $19.99    g Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) sets her sights on two connected myths of American history: William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s life story and the American […]

Listening in on the past

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These engaging audio productions of four excellent historical nonfiction titles give teens another entry point into the profound (and profoundly personal) tales of courage and determination they relate. Steve Sheinkin‘s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War uses Ellsberg as a focal point to tell the story of the Vietnam […]

Recommended School Stories: High School

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Alsenas, Linas Beyond Clueless 249 pp. Abrams/Amulet 2015. ISBN 978-1-4197-1496-2 Ever since fifth grade, Martha “Marty” Sullivan has been happy with just one friend: flamboyantly gay Jimmy. But now she’s attending an all-girls’ Catholic high school, which expands her social horizons both among girls (rebellious new friend Xiang) and guys. This mostly light comedy of […]

Hester and relevance

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Recently, I co-taught a course with a colleague from the BU English department (I’m in English education) about teaching American literature. A great deal of time is spent in the course considering what ‘counts’ as American literature, and my colleague convinced me we should read The Scarlet Letter. We chose this novel as a highly […]

Review of March: Book Three

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March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: the […]

Five questions for John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

550_Comic-Con 2016 Children's-March by Justin Eisinger

“To the past and future children of the movement,” reads the dedication of March: Book Three (Top Shelf, 14 years and up), the concluding volume in the graphic-novel memoir trilogy about the life of Congressman John Lewis, a sitting congressman since 1987 and hero of the Civil Rights Movement. Congressman Lewis, his coauthor Andrew Aydin, […]

Review of Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb

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Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy 
Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    
306 pp. 6/16    978-0-545-73243-7    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-73533-9    $17.99 In this young readers’ edition of The Winter Fortress, Bascomb (The Nazi Hunters, rev. 9/13) turns his attention to a single, crucial Allied operation of WWII: the disruption of […]

“What are you doing after graduation?”

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What high-school senior doesn’t dread that question? Young adulthood is full of change and daunting decisions; even those with solid post-graduation plans may feel as much uncertainty as excitement. The protagonists of these new novels are on the cusp of similarly life-changing moments. In Bryan Bliss’s Meet Me Here, Thomas watches his classmates celebrate graduation […]

Review of A World Without You

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A World Without You by Beth Revis High School    Razorbill/Penguin    371 pp. 7/16    978-1-59514-715-8    $17.99    g Two alternating and emotionally entangling first-person narrations present different versions of reality and of the novel’s events. Bo tells readers that he attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs, an exclusive boarding school for students with supernatural […]

Recommended Page-Turners: High School Fiction and Nonfiction

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Bow, Erin  The Scorpion Rules 368 pp.     McElderry     2015     ISBN 978-1-4814-4271-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-4273-2 Pan Polar Confederacy princess Greta and the world’s other royal children are held hostage: if a leader goes to war, his or her child is killed; if that child survives to eighteen, he or she is released. There’s a welcome spin […]