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Review of Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman High School    Holt    451 pp. 4/17    978-0-8050-9339-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0969-9    $9.99 Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09) again examines the impact of a family member on her main subject, this time unpacking the friendship between artist Vincent […]

Review of Town Is by the Sea

 Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz; illus. by Sydney Smith Primary    Groundwood    56 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-871-6    $19.95 “From my house, I can see the sea. It goes like this — house, road, grassy cliff, sea. And town spreads out, this way and that.” There’s a distilled, haiku-like quality to […]

Review of Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    280 pp. 1/17    978-1-59643-954-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-955-9    $9.99 Football icon Jim Thorpe is the indisputable star of Undefeated, although other compelling narratives come into play, including those of the infamous […]

Review of Bull

Bull by David Elliott High School    Houghton    188 pp. 3/17    978-0-544-61060-6    $17.99    g There’s little grand or heroic in Elliott’s clever verse version of the classical story of the Minotaur: its title, Bull, is topically and colloquially apt. The story unrolls in the voices of seven characters, each with his […]

Review of Short Stories for Little Monsters

Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay; illus. by the author Primary    Groundwood    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-55498-896-9    $19.95 Here’s a collection of super-short stories — one per double-page spread — in the growing tradition of such collections (recently, for instance, One Day, the End, rev. 9/15; Benjamin Bear in “Brain […]

Review of When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]

Review of The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white prep school she attends, […]

Review of Big Cat, Little Cat

Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 3/17    978-1-62672-371-9    $16.99 Spare in both text and illustration, this is an affecting, unsentimental picture book about the cycle of life. Cooper (Train, rev. 1/14; Farm, rev. 5/10) often takes detailed looks at broad […]

Review of Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    164 pp. 2/17    978-0-7636-7063-4    $19.99    g In 1936, economist John Maynard Keyes bought a set of Isaac Newton’s manuscripts at auction only to discover that many of the pages had nothing to do with science, but rather alchemy. Newton, Keyes […]

Review of A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-62672-536-2    $17.99 Just what is the definition of a perfect day? Well…it depends on your perspective. All the animals in Bert’s backyard are having the best day. Cat enjoys being in the flowerbed in the sunshine. “It was […]