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Review of Raymie Nightingale

dicamillo_raymie nightingale

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo Intermediate    Candlewick    264 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-8117-3    $16.99    g When ten-year-old Raymie Clarke’s father runs away with a dental hygienist, Raymie has no idea how to take charge of her life. Her mother’s no help, and her father’s secretary simply assures her that “most things work out right in the end.” […]

Bob Raczka on Wet Cement

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In our May/June 2016 issue, reviewer Sarah Ellis asked Bob Raczka about poetry in unconventional places. Read the starred review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. Sarah Ellis: Have you ever, yourself, written in wet cement or indulged in any other sneaky poetry? Bob Raczka: Sneaky poetry? Hmmm. In my day job as […]

Review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

raczka_wet cement

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka Primary, Intermediate     Roaring Brook    44 pp. 3/16     978-1-62672-236-1     $17.99     g Graphic design meets riddle meets visual wordplay in this collection of sturdy and joyful perspectives on the ordinary stuff of the world. Each of the twenty-one offerings consists of a one-word title and […]

Twentieth-century friends

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Here are four works of historical fiction with vivid characters whose relationship with friends and family will draw middle-grade readers into their stories. In G. Neri’s Tru & Nelle, Truman, an eccentric Little Lord Fauntleroy aspirant, and Nelle, a feisty girl with a boyish haircut, strike up an unlikely and unshakable friendship in Depression-era Monroeville, […]

A variety of verses

morstad_when green becomes tomatoes

Poetry can rhyme, or not. It can take interesting shapes, or just use straightforward lines. These collections for primary and intermediate readers are great examples of the many forms poetry can take. Look for our What Makes Good Poetry? newsletter in your inbox on April 27, 2016. When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons […]

Review of Booked

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Booked by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    314 pp. 4/16    978-0-544-57098-6    $16.99    g Eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a wordsmith, thanks largely to his father, a linguistics professor and the author of Weird and Wonderful Words, which Nick is required to read page by page: “You’re the only kid / on your block / […]

Review of Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single […]

Review of A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter

yep_dragon's guide to making your human smarter

A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder; 
illus. by Mary GrandPré Intermediate    Crown    296 pp. 3/16    978-0-385-39232-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39233-4    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-39234-1    $10.99 Newly admitted to Spriggs Academy, Winnie Burton has more to contend with than the usual new-girl jitters. Winnie’s dragon-caretaker, Miss Drake, […]

Review of When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

fogliano_when green becomes tomatoes

When Green Becomes 
Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano; 
illus. by Julie Morstad Primary, Intermediate   Porter/Roaring Brook   56 pp. 3/16   978-1-59643-852-1   $18.99 This collection of nearly fifty seasonal poems begins and ends on “march 20” with a blue bird on a flowering tree branch. The poem is the same each time, too: “from […]

The Newbery App review

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The Newbery App (Sugar Coded Apps, 2011) is a handy resource if you’re interested in Newbery history, keeping track of which Medalists and Honor Books you’ve read, or choosing the next one to read. It’s also a fun place to test your skills. The landing page contains the enticing phrase, “Suggest a Book to Me.” […]