Elissa Gershowitz

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Review of Firefighters' Handbook

Firefighters’ Handbook by Meghan McCarthy; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 9/19    978-1-5344-1733-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1734-2    $10.99 McCarthy (Astronaut Handbook, rev. 7/08; All That Trash, rev. 5/18) brings her recognizable illustration style (bug-eyed humans with sideways grins) to the kid-captivating topic of firefighting. Friendly, direct-address text covers...

Intermediate/middle school historical fiction

These works of historical fiction provide snapshots of time and place — and blood- and chosen families — for middle-graders and middle-schoolers. In Indian No More, it’s 1954 and eight-year-old Regina Petit and her family — members of the Umpqua tribe in northern Oregon — are forced by the U.S....

YA audiobooks

These audiobooks for young adults speak to important topics in engaging ways. This is a gripping audio version of A.S. King's Dig., a YA novel with so many characters that each chapter begins with a cast list. Three of the characters get their own readers — Mike Chamberlain, Kirby Heyborne,...

Election Day 2019

Today is Election Day -- I voted before work. My town's ballot was for City Council (twenty-two people running for nine spots!) and School Committee (eleven people running for six spots, with some great-seeming newcomers). Local elections are so important -- and I was happy and encouraged to see a...

The Little Guys

In Leave Me Alone!, a 2017 Caldecott Honor book, Vera Brosgol gave us a grouchy grandma who just wants to be left TF alone. In The Little Guys, we meet a pack of admittedly adorable underdogs, working ably together to better themselves and all others within the group — but acting like a bunch...

ABCs of Racism Parent/Educator Workshop with Wee The People

Wee The People, a Boston-based arts and social justice project, recently brought their “ABCs of Racism” workshop to the Watertown (MA) Free Public Library. (Hi, children’s librarian Kazia Berkley-Cramer, former Horn book intern!) I’ve been to several Wee The People events, with my kids, but this was something different: a...

Meet-cute love stories

Read our Five Questions interview with Rainbow Rowell, about pumpkin patch employees strolling toward love in the delicious graphic novel Pumpkinheads (Roaring Brook/First Second, 14 years and up). Then enjoy the following YA love stories in which the protagonists similarly meet-cute — and realize their feelings for each other —...

Five questions for Rainbow Rowell

Photo: Augusten Burroughs. Rainbow Rowell's graphic-novel debut Pumpkinheads (Roaring Brook/First Second, 14 years and up) takes place in a theme park–like pumpkin patch (petting zoo, pumpkin slingshot, haunted graveyard, s'mores pit), where over the course of their last day at work, college-bound employees and BFFs Deja and Josiah search for...

BFFs: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham at CPL

Last week I helped chaperone my child's class trip to the library to see author Shannon Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham talk about Best Friends, the follow-up to Hale's graphic memoir Real Friends (also illustrated by Pham). The two are frequent collaborators -- Princess in Black, anyone?! -- and their...

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