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 […]

2014 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate Fiction and Nonfiction

appelt_true blue scouts of sugar man swamp

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 […]

Review of Half a Chance

lord_half a chance

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord Intermediate    Scholastic    218 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-03533-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-62083-3    $16.99 When twelve-year-old Lucy enters a photography contest, she must decide whether or not to send in her very best photo — a picture of her new friend Nate’s grandmother, whose life has become punctuated with moments of dementia […]

Life during wartime

boyne_stay where you are and then leave

War wreaks havoc on civilians, soldiers, and those they leave behind. Nevertheless, the following four works of historical fiction epitomize the WWII Britain motto: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Four years ago, Alfie Summerfield’s dad, Georgie, signed up to fight in WWI. For a while, letters came regularly; then they stopped altogether. Eventually Alfie learns […]

Review of Alien Encounter

harper_alien encounter

Alien Encounter [Sasquatch and Aliens] by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by the author Intermediate    Ottaviano/Holt    205 pp. 4/14    978-0-8050-9621-7    $12.99    g Minutes after fourth graders Morgan and Lewis meet for the first time (underpants are involved), they share an alien sighting. This is obviously a solid basis for friendship, because they are practically inseparable in […]