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Review of Funny Bones

tonatiuh_funny bones

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day 
of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Abrams   40 pp. 8/15   978-1-4197-1647-8   $18.95 Artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1915) didn’t invent calaveras, the iconic skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, but they attained their greatest popularity during the twenty-four years that […]

Review of The Hired Girl

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 The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz Middle School   Candlewick   392 pp. 9/15   978-0-7636-7818-0   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-0-7636-7943-9   $17.99 In 1911, spirited fourteen-year-old Joan, the only girl in a family of three boys plus a verbally abusive father (her weak-of-constitution mother has died), musters her courage and leaves her rural Pennsylvania home for Baltimore, the […]

Review of Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond; illus. by the author Primary   Ferguson/Farrar   40 pp. 7/15   978-0-374-38077-9   $17.99 Bond relates a story from 1914 Ontario, during her grandfather’s childhood, when he lived at a lakeside hotel run by his mother. Art and text describe young Antonio wandering the […]

Review of Sunny Side Up

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Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; 
illus. by Matthew Holm; color by Lark Pien Intermediate   Graphix/Scholastic   218 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-74165-1   $23.99 Paper ed. 978-0-545-74166-8   $12.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-74167-5   $12.99 Set largely during the summer of 1976, this semiautobiographical graphic novel from the brother-and-sister team behind the Babymouse series includes an […]

Review of Waiting

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Waiting by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   32 pp. 9/15   978-0-06-236843-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-236844-7   $18.99   g Waiting is a huge part of every child’s life, and Henkes uses a light touch to address the topic. Five toys wait on a windowsill. An owl waits for the moon; a pig holding an […]

Review of Fire Engine No. 9

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Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin; illus. by the author Preschool   Random   40 pp. 9/15   978-0-553-51095-9   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-97428-1   $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-51096-6   $10.99 Firefighter-wannabes ride along as Engine No. 9 races across town to put out a fire. At the firehouse, a loudspeaker blares, “ALERT! ALERT! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” The crew springs […]

Review of Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of 
the Civil Rights Movement

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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of 
the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate   Candlewick   45 pp. 8/15   978-0-7636-6531-9   $17.99 Weatherford’s latest picture-book biography (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, rev. 11/06; I, Matthew Henson, rev. 3/08; among many others) chronicles the life of civil […]

Review of Two Mice

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Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 9/15   978-0-544-30209-9   $12.99 Using only two-word phrases (“One house / Two mice / Three cookies”) and a simple repeating number pattern (one, two, three; three, two, one; one, two, three), this clever book (with an extra-small, preschooler-perfect trim size) creates a […]

Review of Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

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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 […]

Review of Goodbye Stranger

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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead Middle School   Lamb/Random   289 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-74317-4   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-99098-4   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-98085-4   $10.99 The main narrative in this new novel from the talented Stead (When You Reach Me, rev. 7/09) follows seventh-grader Bridget Barsamian, who nearly died in an accident when she was eight. A nurse’s […]