Dean Schneider

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Review of The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs by Gail Jarrow Middle School, High School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane    155 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-62979-438-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68437-895-1    $11.99 Formaldehyde in milk, cocaine in toothache drops, sausage made from pulverized meat scraps swept off factory...

Nine Months

Jason Chin, author and illustrator of such excellent science books as Grand Canyon (2017), Island (2012), Coral Reefs (2011), and Redwoods (2009) has a talent for combining story and nonfiction content. The narratives, illustrations, and nonfiction elements always work together, so much so that his books make great read-alouds and the information, woven into the stories,...

Borderlands: Reading as Theater

In the introduction to Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children (1990), William Zinsser wrote, “This gift — to get good language into the ear of children at a very early age — is what children’s literature has in its power to bestow…to write well it...

Two Brothers, Four Hands

Biographies by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan are among my favorite nonfiction books. Action Jackson; Ballet for Martha; Chuck Close, Up Close; and Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond, among others, are models of fine writing and creative presentations. And I loved Hadley Hooper’s illustrations for Patricia MacLachlan’s...

Review of Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Workby Victoria OrtizMiddle School, High School    Clarion    184 pp.    g6/19    978-0-544-97364-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-328-63990-5    $9.99Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a hero to many Americans for her progressive positions on cases involving free...

Review of The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

The Last Last-Day-of-Summerby Lamar Giles; illus. by Dapo AdeolaIntermediate, Middle School    Versify/Houghton    289 pp.    g4/19    978-1-328-46083-7    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-358-04721-6    $9.99African American cousins Otto and Sheed Alston are local legends in their small Virginia town, often featured in the Logan County Gazette for their daring exploits — getting rid of ghosts,...

The 2019 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

Perched on her rocking chair (brightly painted by her students with Alabama outsider artist Chris Clark), teacher Robin Smith would launch with glee and gusto into a beloved picture book, her second graders in a semicircle at her feet. Every day for 24 years she would read to her students...

Otis and Will Discover the Deep

I remember my father’s story of when, as a teenager on Staten Island, he built a diving apparatus — a diving helmet — to enable him to descend into watery depths and explore the world below. My father is gone now and with him the details of how he created it —...

Hawk Rising

If the flight of a hawk is poetry in motion, then this book is, too. Author Maria Gianferrari provides the poetry, and illustrator Brian Floca provides the hawk in motion. Parallel stories are at work here: Father Hawk hunts, while Mother Hawk stays with their chicks; a human girl, binoculars...

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