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Review of Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds

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Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta; illus. by 
Alfonso Ruano; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 10/16    978-1-55498-849-5    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-850-1    $16.95 Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Review of Midnight Without a Moon

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Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson Middle School    Houghton    310 pp. 1/17    978-0-544-78510-6    $16.99    g In the summer of 1955, thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter chafes at the daily drudgery of life in rural Mississippi. Rose, who lives with her sharecropper grandparents, suffers from low self-esteem fostered by her despotic grandmother, who incessantly reminds […]

Review of Flying Lessons & Other Stories

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Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    225 pp. 1/17    978-1-101-93459-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93460-9    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-101-93461-6    $10.99 Edited by Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, ten stories by (mostly) well-known authors of diverse backgrounds present young protagonists dealing with common themes of growing up […]

Move Over, Shmelf…There Are Other Books on the Shelf

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This past fall I posted a critical review of picture book Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and Facebook. This caused quite a brouhaha. My review was quoted in the Tablet magazine article, “Stay in Your Lane, Elf,” by Marjorie Ingall, and I was interviewed (along with my colleague Kathy Bloomfield) […]

Review of When the Sea Turned to Silver

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When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    373 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-12592-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-31769-6    $9.99 In this companion to Lin’s Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (rev. 9/09) and Starry River of the Sky (rev. 11/12), young Pinmei goes in […]

Transgender Awareness Month 2016 resources

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November is Transgender Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the lives of trans people, remember those lost to anti-trans hate crimes, and renew our commitment to fight for trans rights. The Trevor Project urges the trans community and its allies to educate others, to be “agents of change, transforming fear and bigotry into understanding and […]

Native American Heritage Month 2016 resources

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November is Native American Heritage Month, a celebration of the many varied Native American cultures. Check out the official website for more information and lots of resources. If you’re looking for ways to help the Standing Rock demonstrators, consider donating to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council, or Sacred […]

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 […]

On “Who Can Tell My Story”

Photo: Marty Umans

Last Thursday at a panel on diversity in children’s and YA publishing hosted by Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program, Kirkus editor Vicky Smith referenced the current #OwnVoices movement in support of books featuring diverse characters created by authors and illustrators from the same diverse group. For those in the audience unfamiliar with #OwnVoices, Vicky […]