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Review of Animal Architects

Animal Architects by Amy Cherrix; illus. by Chris Sasaki Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    56 pp.    g 9/21    978-1-5344-5625-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5626-6    $10.99 “Did you know the natural world is a construction zone? Whether they are large or small, in the ocean or on land, animals are amazing architects!” Cherrix (In...
      

Review of The Robber Girl

The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    416 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-7636-6956-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5362-0693-7    $9.99 Robber Girl only remembers the life she’s lived with outlaw Gentleman Jack, who rescued her when she was abandoned at age four. Or so he says. Now she’s eleven, a...
      

How a Prelingual Deaf Child Learned to Love Books

There have been several major studies in recent decades about the benefits of reading picture books to profoundly deaf children with delayed literacy skills. Often, the kids are compared to their average-hearing peers, and, though this may be perplexing to some, their skills have not been found wanting. Cheri L....
      

Review of Hurricane

Hurricane by John Rocco; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-7595-5493-1    $17.99 Life is good for our young narrator. He loves to fish, crab, swim, and just watch the river passing by, and claims a little-used and neglected neighborhood dock as his own. One summer...
      

Review of Bad Sister

Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by Rory Lucey Intermediate, Middle School    First Second    240 pp.    g 7/21    978-1-250-21906-0    $19.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-21905-3    $12.99 Skillfully told through the comics medium, this memoir centers on the author’s childhood experiences as a self-identified “bad sister”: “It wasn’t on purpose. The badness...
      

Review of Switch

Switch by A.S. King High School    Dutton    240 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-525-55551-3    $17.99 “It is, and has been, June 23, 2020, for nine months now.” Global time has inexplicably paused. The U.S. government has created a new school curriculum called “Solution Time” that instructs students “to solve the world’s time...
      

Review of The Fox and the Forest Fire

The Fox and the Forest Fire by Danny Popovici; illus. by the author Primary    Chronicle    40 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-7972-0282-2    $17.99 The book’s young narrator, sporting a red beanie, has just moved to the country with his mother and is not thrilled about it. “Nights are too quiet,” he complains....
      

Review of Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen; illus. by Aaron Becker Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 8/21    978-0-316-48767-2    $18.99 Colleen uses the cycle of the seasons to tell the remarkable story of New York City’s Survivor Tree. Through lyrical prose, she describes the Callery pear tree as it stood for...
      

Review of Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert Middle School, High School   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    224 pp.    g 10/21    978-0-06-305666-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-305668-8    $9.99 On May 30, 1921 — just over one hundred years ago — a young Black...
      

The Writer's Page: Imagining Our Way to the Other Side: Children's Literature and Radical Imagination

In a 2020 essay called “The Pandemic Is a Portal,” novelist and ­activist Arundhati Roy wrote, Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can...

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