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Review of Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice

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Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice by Susan Goldman Rubin Intermediate, Middle School    Holiday    132 pp. 10/16    978-0-8234-3646-0    $18.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3708-5    $18.95 In 1950, Thurgood Marshall was a young African American lawyer determined to “wipe out…all phases of segregation in education from professional school to kindergarten.” He and other […]

Review of Ghost

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Ghost [Track] by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    181 pp. 8/16    978-1-4814-5015-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5017-1    $10.99 When it comes to providing mirrors for contemporary African American teens, Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest, rev. 1/14; The Boy in the Black Suit, rev. 3/15) has proven himself to be an emerging leader. His latest […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

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Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

Review of Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine

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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat Middle School, High School    Ferguson/Farrar    223 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30251-1    $17.99    g In this follow-up to her first memoir (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood), and beginning where that book left off, Barakat leads readers through her adolescent years in the West Bank during […]

Talented tweens

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Discovering new talents — from running to writing to pranking — helps these middle-school protagonists figure out who they are and what their futures could be. In Ghost, the first volume of Jason Reynolds’s Track series, seventh grader Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw has a talent for running as well as a tendency to get into trouble, […]

YA love stories in troubling times

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Love can flourish in even the most challenging of circumstances. In the following stories, teens fall in love in the shadow of the September 11th attacks, at a self-harm therapy group, and despite cultural and familial pressures. In Gae Polisner’s The Memory of Things, it’s the morning of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, and the […]

Five questions for Nicola Yoon

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Natasha’s family is about to be deported to Jamaica. It’s a bad time to fall in love, and she fights it mightily. But Daniel Jae Ho Bae is so kind, sweet, and charming, she can’t resist — and neither will readers be able to resist Nicola Yoon’s romantic and multifaceted The Sun Is Also a […]

Review of Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

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Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    56 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-5690-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5691-3    $10.99 A historical document dated July 5, 1828, lists the property to be sold from the Fairchilds’ estate. Hogs. Cattle. A handmill. Men. […]

Review of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

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The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; illus. by Hatem Aly Middle School, High School    Dutton    365 pp. 9/16    978-0-525-42616-5    $17.99    g An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints’ lives, the Joan of Arc legend, thirteenth-century French history, and elements of The Canterbury Tales, Gidwitz’s hopeful story of […]

Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two based on an original new story by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne; written by Jack Thorne 7/16    Levine/Scholastic    328 pp. Middle School, High School    978-1-338-09913-3    $29.99 This “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” of the two-part play that opened in London’s West End in […]