Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Intermediate

bartoletti_terrible typhoid mary

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America    230 pp. Houghton 2015. ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5 What was it like to be a servant, an immigrant, a woman in the early twentieth century? Bartoletti weaves the answers into the beginning of “Typhoid Mary” Mallon’s story — using Mary as […]

Review of Shadows of Sherwood

magoon_shadows of sherwood

Shadows of Sherwood: A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure by Kekla Magoon Intermediate, Middle School   Bloomsbury   359 pp. 8/15   978-1-61963-634-7   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-61963-635-4   $13.99 When twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley sneaks out in search of a voltage adapter for her latest project, she has no idea that the junkyard’s guard dog will be the least of her […]

Review of Terrible Typhoid Mary

bartoletti_terrible typhoid mary

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest 
Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   230 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-31367-5   $17.99   g In a strange publishing quirk, this is the second book about Typhoid Mary this year, the first being Gail Jarrow’s Fatal Fever (rev. 3/15). That book featured George Soper […]

Easy reading

shea_ballet cat

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 […]

The Bedsby Tales app review

bedsby menu

Tales from the Crypt fans who’ve been dying to introduce the next generation to episodic horror will be all over The Bedsby Tales (Jacob Duane Johnson, March 2015), a series of short stories for middle graders with some interactive elements. “Episode 1: Thoughts of Unknown” begins with a dubious welcome from a shadowy-creature storyteller in […]

Review of Firefly Hollow

mcghee_firefly hollow

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 The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

trevayne_accidental afterlife of thomas marsden

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 The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

kelly_curious world of calpurnia tate

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 The Octopus Scientists

montgomery_octopus scientists

The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     71 pp. 5/15     978-0-544-232-70-9     $18.99 The French Polynesian island region of Moorea is home to the Pacific day octopus and to a research center that serves as home base […]