Nicholl Montgomery

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Review of Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate    Paulsen/Penguin    176 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-399-54543-6    $17.99 In her latest novel in verse, Woodson (Locomotion, rev. 3/03; Brown Girl Dreaming, rev. 9/14) explores the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on football players and their families from the perspective of ZJ, son...

Overground Railroad

On June 24, 1944, my grandparents boarded a northbound train in Mount Olive, North Carolina, headed for New Haven, Connecticut, where my grandfather’s sister lived. For my grandparents, leaving Mount Olive meant opportunities for jobs other than working on the farm or cleaning someone’s house. It meant leaving behind the...

Review of The True Definition of Neva Beane

The True Definition of Neva Beane by Christine Kendall Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    240 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-338-32489-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-32493-8    $10.99 Twelve-year-old Neva Beane loves words and consults her dictionary to help find the right ones for any situation. But lately, with the changes that come with puberty,...

Happy Anniversary: The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales told by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1985. We look back on this iconic Coretta Scott King Author Award winner (also a CSK Illustrator honor) as it celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary.   Since...

Review of We Are Water Protectors

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom; illus. by Michaela Goade Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-250-20355-7    $17.99 The book opens with a young Indigenous girl collecting water with her grandmother, who tells her that “water is the first medicine.” Vibrant blues, greens, and purples depict the river...

Review of Clean Getaway

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate    Crown    229 pp. 1/20    978-1-9848-9297-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-9298-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9299-7    $9.99 When G’ma asks Scoob to go on “a little adventure” during spring break, he doesn’t hesitate to say yes (especially since he’s been grounded for fighting...

Review of The Dragon Thief

The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott; illus. by Geneva B Primary, Intermediate    Random    170 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-5247-7049-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7050-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7051-8    $9.99 According to Aunty, "every problem has a solution." But what if your problem is a dragon that won't stop growing? This sequel to Dragons in a Bag (rev. 9/18) alternates between Jaxon, the previous book's protagonist, and Kavita, sister of Jaxon's best friend Vikram....

Review of The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by John Parra Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 1/20    978-1-4814-6289-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6290-7    $10.99 Ethel L. Payne grew up on the South Side of Chicago surrounded by stories from her parents and from...

Review of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite High School    Inkyard    428 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-335-77709-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-488-05133-3    $9.99 To avoid being expelled after a school presentation accidentally lands a classmate in the hospital, Alaine Beauparlant is sent to Haiti, her parents’ birthplace, to participate in...

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