Review of One Plastic Bag

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One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary   Millbrook   32 pp. 2/15   Library ed. 978-1-4677-1608-6   $19.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-6299-1   $19.99 In the 1980s in the cities of the Gambia, a switch from using baskets made of natural materials to non-biodegradable plastic bags led […]

Review of Tomboy

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Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   Zest Books   256 pp. 9/14   Paper ed. 978-1-936976-55-3   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-936976-56-0   $15.99 “When you don’t look or act like what everyone has been told is the norm, you get proverbially barfed on a lot.” In an often funny, sometimes […]

Review of Welcome to the Family

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Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman; illus. by Ros Asquith Primary   Frances Lincoln   28 pp. 12/14   978-1-84780-592-8   $17.99 This chatty, informative book covers all the bases — and then some — in its survey of how families are made. Friendly cartoon illustrations highlight various permutations, from families formed by birth and adoption to foster […]

Be-bop-a-skoodley!

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These new picture-book biographies of African American music pioneers give primary readers something to sing about during Black History Month — and all year long. Seven-year-old Melba Liston chose to learn to play the trombone — an unconventional choice for a girl. By age seventeen, she was touring alongside the jazz greats. As a female […]

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs app review

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Though the American Museum of Natural History‘s Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit closed a few weeks ago, those of us who missed it can learn about these fascinating animals with the associated app (2014). The first section, “What Is a Pterosaur?,” introduces this prehistoric creature, which lived for 150 million years, going […]

Review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; illus. by Anna Hymas Intermediate, Middle School   Dial   294 pp. 2/15   978-0-8037-4080-8   $16.99   g As a young boy growing up in Malawi, William Kamkwamba believed in — and was fearful of — magic. As he got a bit older, he […]

Review of Dreaming in Indian

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Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale Middle School, High School   Annick   130 pp. 11/14   978-1-55451-687-2   $19.95 “If your imagination isn’t working — and, of course, in oppressed people that’s the first thing that goes — you can’t imagine anything better. Once you can imagine something different, […]

Books mentioned in the January 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Black History Month Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs series Aretha, David The Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow     2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7660-4234-6 Aretha, David The Story of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow     2014 Library […]

Physics and chemistry

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Adams, Tom Super Science: Matter Matters! Gr. 4–6    18 pp.    Candlewick/Templar Illustrated by Thomas Flintham. In this chemistry overview on eight double-page pop-up spreads, readers can explore topics ranging from atoms and elements to water, air, and radioactivity. Some of the movable features creatively present content, such as mini-booklets for scientist profiles and flaps that […]

Language and literature

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Becker, Helaine AlphaBest: The Zany, Zanier, Zaniest Book About Comparatives and Superlatives Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Kids Can Illustrated by Dave Whamond. Adjectival comparatives and superlatives from angry, angrier, angriest to zany, zanier, zaniest are presented alongside energetic cartoons of carnival scenes. Some pages require a careful look to discern the connection between word and […]