Review of The Inker’s Shadow

say_inker's shadow

The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School, High School   
Scholastic   80 pp. 10/15   
978-0-545-43776-9   $19.99   g This “patchwork of memories” (“and memories are unreliable, so I am calling this a work of fiction made of real people and places I knew”) sequel to Drawing from Memory (rev. 9/11) takes […]

Review of Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and 
Defender of His People

nelson_sitting bull

Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and 
Defender of His People by S. D. Nelson; illus. by the author Intermediate   Abrams   56 pp. 11/15   978-1-4197-0731-5   $19.95 e-book ed. 978-1-61312-855-8   $15.54 This handsome biography combines the story of Sitting Bull’s life with a brief history of the Lakota people in the nineteenth century. Sitting Bull (who belonged to […]

Sounds good

ryan_echo audio

Audio can add another layer to a story, whether through the addition of story-enhancing music, through a narrator’s command of tricky jargon, or the way he or she can make even the prickliest character seem lovable. Here are four audiobooks recommended for older intermediate and middle school readers. As Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan begins, […]

The Earth app review

tinybop earth title screen

At the start of The Earth app (Tinybop, September 2015), our blue planet rotates against a field of stars, with occasional comets flashing by (reminiscent of the opening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos). Scroll along a timeline at top of the screen to move through four geological eras, beginning with the Hadean Eon — the […]

Don Brown on Drowned City

brown_drowned city

In our September/October issue, reviewer Betty Carter asked Don Brown, author/illustrator of nonfiction graphic novel Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans, about what we can learn from the events of Hurricane Katrina. Read the full starred review of Drowned City here. Betty Carter: So many of your books cover a pivotal moment in American […]

Review of Drowned City

brown_drowned city

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   96 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-15777-4   $18.99 To date, the majority of children’s and young adult books about Hurricane Katrina are microcosmic stories or accounts of a single person or family. Here, in powerful comic-book format, Brown delivers the […]

Review of Mothman’s Curse

hayes_mothman's curse

Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes; illus. by James K. Hindle Intermediate, Middle School   Roaring Brook   311 pp. 6/15   978-1-62672-027-5   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-62672-028-2   $9.99 Spine-tingling mystery meets small-town gossip in this ghost story set in Athens, Ohio, “the most haunted town in America.” Josie Fletcher and her scheming brother Fox are no strangers to the […]

Brainbean app review

brainbean instructions

When you open Brainbean (Tanner Christensen, 2014), you’re greeted with eight possible brain-stimulating games (plus a “Surprise me!” option). Each game gives you sixty seconds to complete a challenge; you can read a brief description and watch a demonstration of each by tapping the information icon. In “Letter List,” see how many words you can […]

Not-scary magic

heppermann_sadie's story

Not everyone wants the pants scared off of them on Halloween. Some people like their witches sweet and their HobGrackles cuddly. Sadie’s Story, the first in the Backyard Witch series by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge, introduces readers to nine-year-old Sadie, her cat — and the small witch who takes up residence in the plastic […]

Review of Sunny Side Up

holm_sunny side up

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; 
illus. by Matthew Holm; color by Lark Pien Intermediate   Graphix/Scholastic   218 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-74165-1   $23.99 Paper ed. 978-0-545-74166-8   $12.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-74167-5   $12.99 Set largely during the summer of 1976, this semiautobiographical graphic novel from the brother-and-sister team behind the Babymouse series includes an […]