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Banned Books Week 2020

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from media stories and...

Review of Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canalby Margarita EngleMiddle School    Houghton    260 pp.3/14    978-0-544-10941-4    $17.99    gOf the thousands of people from around the world who helped build the Panama Canal, the voices of the dark-skinned workers have been seldom heard. Known as the “silver people” because they were paid in...

Banned Books Week 2016

It’s Banned Books Week, "an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community; librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types,...

Review of The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the 
Fight for Civil Rights

The Port Chicago 50:Disaster, Mutiny, and the 
Fight for Civil Rightsby Steve SheinkinMiddle School    Roaring Brook    190 pp.1/14    978-1-59643-796-8    $19.99    ge-book ed.  978-1-59643-983-2    $9.99Sheinkin follows Bomb (rev. 11/12) with an account of another aspect of the Second World War, stemming from an incident that seems small in scope but whose...

Reviews of selected books by Patrick Jennings

Putnam and Pennyroyalby Patrick Jennings; illus. by Jon J MuthIntermediate     Scholastic     165 pp.11/99     0-439-07965-9     $15.95From the beginning of his narrative, it’s evident that Cora Lee’s Uncle Frank is possessed by a contrary streak. Cora always spends New Year’s with Frank, fishing in one of Arizona’s rare ponds, because he won’t...

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slaveryby Albert MarrinMiddle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp.4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    ge-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an issue...

Review of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolfby Ambelin KwaymullinaMiddle School, High School    Candlewick    371 pp.4/14    978-0-7636-6988-1    $17.99    ge-book ed.  978-0-7636-7225-6    $17.99In this Australian import, Ashala Wolf is head of the Tribe, a group of refugees deemed Illegals because of their supernatural abilities, which the government claims threaten the world’s fragile Balance. Some...

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

Tap Tap Boom Boomby Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian KarasPreschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden...

Review of Half a Chance

Half a Chanceby Cynthia LordIntermediate    Scholastic    218 pp.3/14    978-0-545-03533-0    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-545-62083-3    $16.99When twelve-year-old Lucy enters a photography contest, she must decide whether or not to send in her very best photo — a picture of her new friend Nate’s grandmother, whose life has become punctuated with moments of dementia...

Review of Galápagos George

Galápagos Georgeby Jean Craighead George; 
illus. by Wendell MinorPrimary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.4/14    978-0-06-028793-1    $15.99    gJean Craighead George begins the evolutionary story of the tortoises on Galápagos archipelago with a single female, Giantess George, and asks readers to extrapolate from the life cycle of that one animal to the development of...

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