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Review of Flannery

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Flannery by Lisa Moore High School    Groundwood    272 pp. 5/16    978-1-55498-076-5    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-873-0    $16.95 Sixteen-year-old Flannery has a lot on her plate: she can’t afford her biology textbook (in fact, her free-spirited artist mother can’t even pay the utility bill), and her best friend Amber is unhealthily obsessed with a sketchy new boyfriend. […]

Red.

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Red. Red tells us a young lady is daring. Bold. Bright. She’s ready to break out of old, familiar roles and start anew, maybe with a new boy (or a new boy, or a new boy). She’s ready for anything. Except showing her face. ‘Cause that’s a bit much, y’all.       Also, she […]

Brave new worlds

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Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world. Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads her band of refugees […]

Allegiant movie review

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Last spring, the inimitable Siân reviewed Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent series. Among her observations: “Things exploded. A lot.” I doubt it will surprise anyone that in Allegiant (directed by Robert Schwentke; Summit, March 2016; PG-13), the third adaptation in the trilogy — no, wait, the first part of the two-part adaptation of […]

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World

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Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World by Winifred Conkling Middle School, High School   Algonquin   227 pp. 1/16   978-1-61620-415-0   $17.95 e-book ed. 978-1-61620-555-3   $17.95 While there have been plenty of biographies of Marie Curie for teens, little has been published for this audience about her daughter, Irène. Conkling’s biography […]

From the Guide: Narrative Nonfiction

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The trending genre of narrative nonfiction is one we have followed closely — see for example our August 2015 What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction e-newsletter and Marc Aronson’s Writer’s Page article “What Is Narrative Nonfiction?” The Horn Book Guide’s wide-lens view on children’s publishing makes narrative nonfiction’s current popularity and usefulness abundantly clear. All recommended […]

Review of Essential Maps for the Lost

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Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti High School   Simon Pulse   323 pp. 4/16   978-0-4814-1516-3   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1519-4   $10.99 High-school grad Madison Murray is living in Seattle with her uncle’s family while reluctantly taking a real-estate course to fast-track a partnership with her controlling mother back in Spokane. Swimming in Lake Union […]

Review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School   Feiwel   418 pp. 1/16   978-1-250-08029-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-250-06014-3   $9.99 Though definitely not a hagiography, this biography offers a frank yet positive account of Clinton’s life through the 2015 announcement of her presidential candidacy. Beginning with her birth in 1947, […]

Review of Burn Baby Burn

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Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina High School   Candlewick   308 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7467-0   $17.99   g This vividly evoked coming-of-age story is set against actual events in 1977 New York City, when tensions rose throughout a city enduring an oppressive heat wave, culminating in the historic blackout of July 13th. Seventeen-year-old Nora López faces an insecure […]

Her-stories

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March is Women’s History Month, and this is an especially noteworthy year for one of the subjects of these four YA biographies (and possible vindication for another one of them whose notorious reputation precedes her). Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal offers a positive yet frank account of Clinton‘s life through […]