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The Writer's Page: Navigating the N-Word

The mere mention of the n-word is usually cause for conversation and consternation, to put it mildly. Whenever used in a song lyric or a piece of literature, dialogue and debate are quick to follow. Even so, the n-word is a brick wall I occasionally crash into, on purpose, whenever...
      

Review of Night Wishes

Night Wishes selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illus. by Jen Corace Preschool, Primary    Eerdmans    40 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-8028-5496-4    $18.99 The late Lee Bennett Hopkins gathered these fourteen poems, written by such prominent children’s poets as Joyce ­Sidman, Nikki Grimes, and Eileen Spinelli, for this picture book of dreamy, comforting...
      

Review of Your Place in the Universe

Your Place in the Universe by Jason Chin; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-8234-4623-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4878-4    $11.99 The relative sizes of objects can be endlessly fascinating to curious young minds. How many books tall is an eight-year-old? How many eight-year-olds standing on...
      

Review of Twins

Twins by Varian Johnson; illus. by Shannon Wright Intermediate, Middle School    Graphix/Scholastic    256 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-338-23617-0    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-338-23613-2    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-23619-4    $7.99 It’s the first day of sixth grade for the identical Carter twins, and while Maureen is more than content to face the year with...
      

Review of The Bear and the Moon

The Bear and the Moon by Matthew Burgess; illus. by Cátia Chien Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4521-7191-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4521-8125-7    $11.99 A wide-eyed bear — a furry stand-in for toddlers learning to manage strong emotions, as well as readers of all ages dealing with sorrow —...
      

Review of Quill Soup: A Stone Soup Story

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Quill Soup: A Stone Soup Story by Alan Durant; illus. by Dale Blankenaar Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-62354-147-7    $16.99 This retelling of the traditional “Stone Soup” tale stars a porcupine named Noko, hungry, tired, and seeking hospitality in a small village; and features animals of South Africa —...
      

Review of Apple: Skin to the Core

Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Levine Querido   352 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-64614-013-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-004-6    $18.99 Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, grew up on the Tuscarora reservation, making him always “the outsider inside.” The theme...
      

Review of Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It

Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by Brian Pinkney Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    224 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-316-53677-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-53676-9    $9.99 Spanning roughly three generations, covering the years 1927 to 1968, this lyrical oral history of the fictional Little...
      

Letter to the Editor from Kathleen T. Isaacs, November 2020

September/October 2020 Horn Book   As I work at being really, really nearly retired and paring down all the children’s literature–related memberships, emails, unsolicited books, etc., I had been thinking of not renewing my Horn Book subscription. The September/October issue changed my mind. The opening “Effin’ Jeez” editorial spoke directly...
      

Review of Our Little Kitchen

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki; illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4197-4655-0    $17.99 Our narrator explains, with great enthusiasm and gusto, how “every Wednesday, we come together in this little kitchen” to prepare a communal meal for all who are hungry. Meal prep begins with...

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