To infinity and beyond!

mass_space taxi

Inquisitive intermediate readers travel into the great unknown with these four new sci-fi offerings (two of which are series openers) involving space exploration, inventions gone berserk, and UFOs. In Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer’s Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight, eight-year-old Archie learns, on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” that his plain old dad is […]

Exploratorium: Sound Uncovered app review

sound uncovered highest note

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is one of the (if not the) coolest hands-on science and discovery museums in the country. The Exploratorium’s app Sound Uncovered (2013) lets you experience what makes the place so great without having to hop a plane. An intro — “Hear Here” — gives an overall explanation of sound, concluding: […]

Review of The Pilot and the Little Prince

sis_pilot and the little prince

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Foster/Farrar    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-374-38069-4    $18.99    g On glorious blue endpapers, an airplane loops across a map of the world, its contrail made of words that seem to dissolve on the page. The pointillist […]

The Adventures of Captain Underpants app review

captain underpants menu

The Adventures of Captain Underpants app (Scholastic, 2013) features an easy-to-navigate full-color digital adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s graphic novel of the same name, plus an avatar generator, a sound effects mixer, and a panoply of other mini-games based on the story. Best friends and class pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain […]

Review of Dust of Eden

nagai_dust of eden

Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai Intermediate, Middle School    Whitman    122 pp. 3/14    978-0-8075-1739-0    $16.99 In this verse novel, we first meet Mina Tagawa and her Seattle-based family just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, her father is imprisoned, and the rest of the family — Mina, her mother, grandfather, and older brother […]

Kids Discover Ancient Egypt app review

ancient egypt menu

Long-running children’s nonfiction magazine Kids Discover has made an admirable jump to digital — twenty-one of their issues on natural and social sciences are currently available as apps. I took a look at the digital version of volume 11: Ancient Egypt (Joe Zeff Design, 2013). The app offers eight content chapters: “The Gift of the […]

Review of Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology

napoli_treasury of egyptian mythology

Treasury of Egyptian 
Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, 
Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli; 
illus. by Christina Balit Intermediate, Middle School    National Geographic    192 pp.    10/13    978-1-4263-1380-6    $24.95 Library ed.  978-1-4263-1381-3    $33.90 As she did for her Treasury of Greek Mythology (rev. 1/12), Napoli brings a storyteller’s art and a scholar’s diligence to […]

Review of The Boundless

oppel_boundless

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel Intermediate, Middle School    Simon    332 pp. 4/14    978-1-4424-7288-4    $15.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-7290-7    $10.99 Will Everett’s father has risen high in the railroad company. He’ll be driving the Boundless, the longest train ever, on her maiden voyage, and among its 987 cars is the heavily guarded funeral car of railroad […]

Review of West of the Moon

preus_west of the moon

West of the Moon by Margi Preus Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    216 pp. 4/14    978-1-4197-0896-1    $16.95 Preus, whose Shadow on the Mountain (rev. 11/12) was set in Nazi-occupied Norway, here takes readers to mid-nineteenth-century Norway in a tale strongly infused with myth. Fourteen-year-old Astri is determined to go to America to find her widowed father. […]

2014 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Early Readers and Younger Fiction

archer_big bad wolf

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? We’ve hand-picked our top ten in each age range, all published 2013–2014, that are ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of titles, follow this link to a printable […]