Review of Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook) While comprehensive in his synthesis of the political, historical, and scientific aspects of the creation of the first nuclear weapon, Sheinkin focuses his account with an extremely alluring angle: the spies. The book opens in […]

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Look for The Horn Book’s new quarterly newsletter, WHAT MAKES A GOOD…? debuting on August 26th with “What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction?” The issue features Five Questions for Steve Sheinkin, an essay about how to select NNF by the Junior Library Guild’s Deborah Brittain Ford, and brief reviews of our choices for the best narrative nonfiction published for kids […]

Review of Daylight Starlight Wildlife

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Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Paulsen/Penguin   32 pp. 5/15   978-0-399-24662-3   $17.99 In his signature representational artistic style — detailed, luminous, and pristine — Minor compares and contrasts diurnal and nocturnal animals. The opening double-page spread establishes the pattern. The creatures introduced are shown in a meadow, with half […]

Review of Terrible Typhoid Mary

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Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest 
Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   230 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-31367-5   $17.99   g In a strange publishing quirk, this is the second book about Typhoid Mary this year, the first being Gail Jarrow’s Fatal Fever (rev. 3/15). That book featured George Soper […]

Five questions for Sonia Manzano

Photo: Edward Pagan

Sonia Manzano’s forty-four-year run as Sesame Street‘s Maria recently came to a close, but that doesn’t mean she’s taking it easy. Her newest book, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx (Scholastic, 14 years and up), is a memoir in which Manzano recounts her rough childhood and adolescence, ending just as she auditions […]

This is my life

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Memoirs capture moments in time, those events that are formative or emblematic or otherwise meaningful for their subjects. Surprising, intimate, cathartic — Brown Girl Dreaming, El Deafo, Becoming Maria (see Randy Ribay’s interview with Sonia Manzano), the new books below, and these recommended by The Horn Book Guide, for example — memoirs offer glimpses into […]

Review of Enchanted Air

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Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle Middle School   Atheneum   195 pp. 8/15   978-1-4814-3522-2   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3524-6   $10.99 Well known for her portrayals of historic Cubans in verse novels such as The Surrender Tree (rev. 7/08) and The Poet Slave of Cuba (rev. 7/06), Engle explores her own past […]

Review of Tommy


Tommy: The Gun that Changed America by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School     Roaring Brook     223 pp. 6/15     978-1-62672-084-8     $19.99     g In this biography of a gun and the times in which it lived, Blumenthal traces the Thompson submachine gun, a.k.a. the Tommy. After the Spanish-American War, an Army officer, John […]

Review of Secrets of the Rainforest

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Secrets of the Rainforest: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown; illus. by Alyssa Nassner Preschool, Primary     Kane Miller     40 pp. 3/15     978-161067-325-9     $12.99 In Nassner’s eye-catching illustrations, the lush foliage of a tropical rainforest, filled with abstract, bright-green leaves and brown branches and trunks, hides a host of living organisms. To find out what kinds […]

Review of The Octopus Scientists

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The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     71 pp. 5/15     978-0-544-232-70-9     $18.99 The French Polynesian island region of Moorea is home to the Pacific day octopus and to a research center that serves as home base […]