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Review of My Seneca Village

nelson_my seneca village

 My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson Middle School, High School   Namelos   88 pp. 11/15   978-1-60898-196-0   $21.95 Paper ed. 978-1-60898-197-7   $11.95 e-book ed. 978-1-60898-198-4   $9.95 Seneca Village in Manhattan was founded in 1825 by free African Americans; by 1857 it had been razed to make way for the construction of Central Park. In forty-one poems Nelson […]

Review of Calvin


Calvin by Martine Leavitt High School   Ferguson/Farrar   182 pp. 11/15   978-0-374-38073-1   $17.99   g Seventeen-year-old Calvin has recently been diagnosed as schizophrenic. Calvin believes that his life is inextricably linked to Bill Watterson, the famously reclusive artist behind the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes — a belief reinforced by the constant presence of the voice of […]

Review of The Amber Spyglass

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The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman Middle School, High School     Knopf     523 pp. 10/00     0-679-87926-9     $19.95 Armed with a rare numbered typescript copy of The Amber Spyglass, I’m tempted to roll up my shirtsleeves, light a cigar, splash some Tokay into a glass, and discuss fine points of reason, fancy, and theology before all hell […]

Review of Flop to the Top!

davis_flop to the top

 Flop to the Top! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing; 
illus. by the authors Primary   TOON   38 pp. 9/15   978-1-935179-89-4   $12.95 Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. Oblivious to her family’s dismay, she forces everyone within arm’s reach to endure invasive photos, rude orders, and diva-like dismissals. After posting a selfie taken […]

Review of Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

deutsch_hereville how mirka caught a fish

Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch; illus. by the author; backgrounds by Adrian Wallace; 
colors by Jake Richmond Middle School   Amulet/Abrams   141 pp. 11/15   978-1-4197-0800-8   $17.95 Mirka is stuck babysitting her pesky six-year-old half-sister Layele while the rest of the family is away from their all-Hasidic community. Fruma, Mirka’s stepmother, leaves strict […]

Review of The Emperor of Any Place

wynne-jones_emperor of any place

The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones High School   Candlewick   328 pp. 10/15   978-0-7636-6973-7   $17.99 “So much of grief is unlearning,” observes Wynne-Jones in this perceptive and 
multi-layered page-turner. When Evan’s single father, Clifford, dies suddenly, the high-schooler must work through his own grief while dealing with Clifford’s estranged father Griff, a military man […]

Review of Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever


 Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy Intermediate, Middle School   Clarion   128 pp. 12/15   978-0-547-82183-2   $18.99   g Murphy (An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, rev. 7/03; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, rev. 7/12) here […]

Review of All American Boys

reynolds_all american boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely High School   Dlouhy/Atheneum   316 pp. 9/15   978-1-4814-6333-1   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-6335-5   $9.99 Teens Rashad (who is African American) and Quinn (who is white) are high school classmates and not much more — neither even knows the other’s name. But when a quick stop at the corner […]

Review of Tiptoe Tapirs

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 Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim; illus. by the author; trans. from the Korean by Sera Lee Preschool, Primary   Holiday   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-8234-3395-7   $16.95 e-book ed. 978-0-8234-3495-4   $16.95 First published in South Korea in 2013, this pourquoi tale explaining why animals move stealthily begins in the jungle long ago when animals were all quite noisy […]

Review of Funny Bones

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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 […]