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Investigating crime

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Eldridge, Stephen Trace Evidence: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Faulk, Michelle Gun Crimes: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Latta, Sara L. Bones: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Latta, Sara L. Cybercrime: Data Trails […]

Inspirational athletes

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Brown, Daniel James The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American 
Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics Middle school, high school     226 pp.     Viking Adapted by Gregory Mone. Overcoming a difficult childhood, Joe Rantz made the freshman crew team at the University of Washington. There, he met equally […]

Customs and lifestyles

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Bullard, Lisa My Clothes, Your Clothes Illustrated by Renée Kurilla Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Millbrook Bullard, Lisa My Home, Your Home Illustrated by Paula Becker Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Millbrook Cloverleaf Books: Alike and Different series. Young Jayden is thinking about “the right home for my family.” He considers apartments, single-family houses, mobile homes, and […]

Immigration

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Freedman, Russell Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain Gr. 4–6     81 pp.     Clarion Chinese poems translated by Evans Chan. Freedman’s slender volume on the history and importance of California’s Angel Island Immigration Station — the portal for Asian immigration to the U.S. — covers a lot of ground. He weaves a clear and straightforward narrative […]

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System app review

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Cats in space? Sign me up! Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System (Minilab Ltd., December 2015), a digital adaptation of Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman’s 2013 nonfiction book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, introduces users to our solar system — with plenty of humor and a retro, space-race vibe. Choose a kitty-cosmonaut (cat-stronaut, if […]

Review of Solving the Puzzle 
Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

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Solving the Puzzle 
Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh; 
illus. by Raúl Colón Primary   Wiseman/Simon   40 pp. 1/16   978-1-4814-1600-9   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1601-6   $10.99 The duo behind Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer spotlights another groundbreaking woman scientist: Marie Tharp, the oceanographic cartographer whose mapping of the Atlantic […]

The world around us

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Preschoolers’ curiosity makes them an ideal audience for books about animals and the natural world. These nonfiction picture books communicate information at a preschool-perfect pace — and with plenty of wonder. In Woodpecker Wham!, author April Pulley Sayre uses a rhyming, sound word–filled text to introduce the distinctively noisy woodpecker and the rhythmic cadences that […]

Review of A Year Without Mom

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A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova; 
illus. by the author Middle School   Groundwood   168 pp. 10/15   978-1-55498-692-7   $19.95 e-book ed. 978-155498-693-4   $16.95 Tolstikova’s illustrated memoir recounts the time when her mother relocated to America for graduate school and she, twelve years old, was left in the care of her grandparents in Moscow. Through present-tense […]

Review of Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark

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Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson Middle School   Scholastic   339 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-59220-8     $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-59222-2   $17.99 When Germany invaded Denmark in April 1940, the Nazis believed their small neighbor to the north would be a pushover. The Germans were partially right: […]

Review of W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary

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W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary by Tracey Fern; illus. by Boris Kulikov Primary   Ferguson/Farrar   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-374-38240-7   $17.99 This breezy picture-book biography introduces young readers to the man responsible for all those plain, sturdy dictionaries housed in elementary classrooms across America. Far from plain himself, Webster was tall with […]