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Music makers

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Deans, Karen  Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Holiday Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. This book recounts the highs (performing for soldiers overseas) and lows (dealing with Jim Crow laws in the South) for the Sweethearts, an all-female jazz band started in 1939 at a school for African […]

Psychology and empowerment

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Cain, Susan  Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts Gr. 4–6     259 pp.     Dial Illustrated by Grant Snider. With Gregory Mone and Erica Moroz. This distillation of the concepts in Cain’s adult book Quiet focuses on situations likely to affect kids and teens, with anecdotes from young introverts. Quiet Power discusses the challenges of introversion […]

American immigration

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Coy, John  Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land Gr. K–3, 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Carolrhoda Photographs by Wing Young Huie. A short poetic text focuses on both the difficulties and rewards of immigrant life. Poignant black-and-white and color photos, taken over thirty years in Huie’s home state of Minnesota […]

Native American Heritage Month

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Behnke, Alison  A Timeline History of the Trail of Tears Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Lerner Timeline Trackers: Westward Expansion series. This entry in the approachable series examines events surrounding the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their land. From the arrival of the first Europeans through the Trail of Tears and after, this well-organized […]

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 […]

Review of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Radiant Child

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this introduction […]

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 […]

Review of Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis

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Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim; illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-16856-7    $16.99    g John Lewis, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was a member of the “Big Six” during the 1963 March on Washington and went on to solidify his […]

Books mentioned in the October 2016 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Presidential biographies Presidential Powerhouses series Brennan, Linda Crotta  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner     2016 Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-7928-9 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-8549-5 Goddu, Krystyna Poray  George Washington’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner     2016 Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-7924-1 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-8598-3 Rowell, Rebecca  John F. Kennedy’s Presidency Middle […]