Nell Beram

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Review of Islandborn

Islandbornby Junot Díaz; illus. by Leo EspinosaPrimary Dial 48 pp.3/18 978-0-7352-2986-0 $17.99Spanish ed. 978-0-525-55281-9 $17.99Lola’s school, in an unnamed U.S. city, is full of immigrants like her. For homework one day, Ms. Obi tasks her young students with drawing “a picture of the country you are originally from.” Lola has...

Review of Between the Lines audiobook

Between the Linesby Nikki Grimes; read by Cherise Boothe, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Ruffin Prentiss, and James ShippyMiddle School, High School    Recorded BooksRev. 3/18    4 CDs    4 hrs.    978-1-5019-6261-5    $13.99Nine high school students take turns giving readers their impressions of a poetry class they’re all...

Review of We Don't Eat Our Classmates

We Don’t Eat Our Classmatesby Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp.6/18    978-1-368-00355-1    $17.99The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you’re a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino...

Review of Betty Before X audiobook

Betty Before Xby Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson; read by Ilyasah ShabazzIntermediate, Middle School    Macmillan Young Listeners    Rev. 3/184 CDs    4.5 hrs.    978-1-4272-9368-8    $29.99Long before she was the wife of Malcolm X, Betty Shabazz was a girl growing up in 1940s Detroit within a solid churchgoing community engaged in the...

Review of Waylon!: Even More Awesome audiobook

Waylon!: Even More Awesomeby Sara Pennypacker; read by Christopher GebauerIntermediate    Recorded Books    Rev. 11/173 CDs    2.5 hrs.    978-1-5019-8150-0    $10.45Fourth grader Waylon and his classmate Baxter (“the closest thing to a juvenile delinquent [Waylon] had ever encountered”) are dog lovers with a problem: if they don’t find a permanent home for...

Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick]by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp.4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers...

Review of Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitosby Monica Brown; illus. by John ParraPrimary    NorthSouth    40 pp.9/17    978-0-7358-4269-4    $17.95Spanish ed.  978-0-7358-4292-2    $17.95Mexican painter, feminist icon, artistic genius — to these descriptors for Frida Kahlo we should add “animal lover.” That’s the takeaway from this lovely biographical portrait (simultaneously published in a Spanish-language edition),...

Review of Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters!

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters!by Marikka Tamura; illus. by Daniel RieleyPreschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g1/18    978-1-101-99696-6    $16.99The book begins with a snapshot of penguin paradise: “Penguins on ice. / Penguins in the sea. Penguins love the sea!” But wait: “WHAT is this?” A ship has spilled its oil in the ocean. The...

Review of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

A Hundred Billion Trillion Starsby Seth Fishman; illus. by Isabel GreenbergPrimary    Greenwillow    40 pp.9/17    978-0-06-245578-9    $17.99“This entire world is filled with crazy numbers, built one on top of the other, making it whole and complete.” Fishman and Greenberg engagingly highlight the wondrousness of numbers and stars, as well as just...

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