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Review of the Killer of Enemies trilogy

Killer of Enemiesby Joseph BruchacMiddle School, High School     Tu/Lee & Low     358 pp.10/13     978-1-62014-143-4     $19.95     gA deadly assassin with extrasensory powers that help her locate her adversaries, Lozen works as a monster-killer, taking out genetically modified superbeasts — giant bloodthirsty eagles, the vampiric Bloodless, a colossal anaconda —...

Reviews of the 2016 Sibert Award winners

Winner: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day 
of the Dead Calaverasby Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate Abrams 40 pp.8/15 978-1-4197-1647-8 $18.95Artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1915) didn’t invent calaveras, the iconic skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, but they attained their greatest popularity during the twenty-four...

Reviews of the 2016 Batchelder Award winners

Winner:The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishyby Beatrice Alemagna; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe BedrickPrimary     Enchanted Lion     44 pp.9/15     978-1-59270-180-3     $18.95After Eddie overhears her sister say "birthday — Mommy — fuzzy — little — squishy," she frets, "She's going to give Mom the most amazing present!"...

Reviews of the 2016 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner:Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage 
Changed Musicby Margarita Engle; 
illus. by Rafael LópezPrimary    Houghton    40 pp.3/15    978-0-544-10229-3    $16.99A young girl dreams of becoming a drummer. Though she lives “on an island of music / in a city of drumbeats,” hers is an impossible dream: only boys play drums....

Reviews of the 2016 CSK Illustrator Award winners

Winner:Trombone Shortyby Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; illus. by Bryan CollierPrimary   Abrams   40 pp.4/15   978-1-4197-1465-8   $17.95In New Orleans parlance, “Where y’at?” means “hello.” As an opening greeting (repeated three times, creating a jazzy beat), it also signals the beginning of this conversational and personable 
autobiography. Andrews, a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, concentrates on...

Reviews of the 2016 CSK Author Award winners

Winner:Gone Crazy in Alabamaby Rita Williams-GarciaIntermediate, Middle School   Amistad/HarperCollins   291 pp.4/15   978-0-06-221587-1   $16.99Library ed. 978-0-06-221588-8   $17.89   ge-book ed. 978-0-06-221590-1   $9.99Williams-Garcia says goodbye to the Gaither family (One Crazy Summer, rev. 3/10; P. S. Be Eleven, rev. 5/13) in this involving and emotional concluding installment. It’s been a year since Delphine,...

Review of Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game

Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Gameby John Coy; illus. by Randy DuBurkePrimary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp.10/15   978-1-4677-2604-7   $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-4677-8810-6   $17.99Based closely on a 1996 New York Times article by Scott Ellsworth, this picture book tells the dramatic story of an illegal college basketball game planned and played...

Review of City of Halves

City of Halvesby Lucy InglisMiddle School, High School   Chicken House/Scholastic   361 pp.11/15   978-0-545-82958-8   $17.99   ge-book ed. 978-0-545-83054-6   $17.99While on reconnaissance for her lawyer father in the City of London, sixteen-year-old Lily is viciously attacked by a two-headed dog and discovers the existence of the other half of the City she...

Review of On the Ball

On the Ballby Brian Pinkney; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary   Disney-Hyperion   32 pp.9/15   978-1-4847-2329-6   $17.99Pinkney’s latest picture-book offering begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and the accompanying illustrations show a boy first dribbling and...

Review of Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark

Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmarkby Deborah HopkinsonMiddle School   Scholastic   339 pp.9/15   978-0-545-59220-8     $17.99   ge-book ed. 978-0-545-59222-2   $17.99When Germany invaded Denmark in April 1940, the Nazis believed their small neighbor to the north would be a pushover. The Germans were partially right:...

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