Dean Schneider

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In a Jar

Aren’t all of us collectors? If we are conscious of the lives we lead, we know we collect things. We treasure our partners, children, friendships, books, the myriad fine moments that make a life. But look even closer — “see a world in a grain of sand,” as William Blake would...

If You Come to Earth

How do you fit the whole world between the covers of a picture book? How do you describe our whole world to an alien? Well, narrator Quinn gives it a good shot in If You Come to Earth. (Sophie Blackall avoids gendering Quinn for this book.) Quinn writes, “Dear Visitor...

Review of Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay

Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Patterson/Little, Brown/Houghton    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-316-49816-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-49818-0    $9.99 Patterson and Alexander, two heavyweights in the world of books (and their respective publishing...

Review of Traitor

Traitor by Amanda McCrina High School    Farrar    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-374-31352-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31354-8    $9.99 In 1939, instigating World War II, Germany and subsequently the Soviet Union invaded Poland and divided it between themselves along the Curzon Line. But Germany later swept past the Line, attacked Soviet forces,...

Review of Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant; illus. by Frank Morrison Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    40 pp.    g 10/20   978-1-4197-4108-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-161-2    $15.54 “Things can change in time.” For NBA great Elgin Baylor, named for his father’s favorite wristwatch, the segregated parks, playgrounds, schools, and...

The Bear and the Moon

Sometimes a book comes along that makes me proud to be a part of the world of children’s literature, and The Bear and the Moon, written by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Cátia Chien, is one of those books. When I first read it, it felt like an old friend,...

Review of Apple: Skin to the Core

Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Levine Querido   352 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-64614-013-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-004-6    $18.99 Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, grew up on the Tuscarora reservation, making him always “the outsider inside.” The theme...

Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope

Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award — but as a teacher, children’s literature aficionado, and friend of Ashley’s, I’ve known the book was special for...

Review of The Last Mirror on the Left

The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles; illus. by Dapo Adeola Intermediate, Middle School    Versify/Houghton    272 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-358-12941-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-13043-7    $9.99 After their supernatural successes in The Last Last-Day-of-Summer (rev. 3/19), Sheed and Otto must now live up to their status as the Legendary...

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