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Review of Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood

Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen Intermediate, Middle School    Farrar    368 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-374-31415-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31416-3    $10.99 The prolific Paulsen dips into his seemingly inexhaustible well of memories to pen yet another memoir. Employing the same third-person narrative voice he used in...

Review of Dear Treefrog

Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Diana Sudyka Primary    Houghton    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-358-06476-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-06671-2    $12.99 In what is in essence a nonfiction early-chapter-book in verse, a young girl moves to a new home. She’s lonely, but when she explores the garden, she observes a...

Review of Starfish

Starfish by Lisa Fipps Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    256 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-9848-1450-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1451-7    $10.99 Since she was five, Ellie (now eleven) has lived by a list of Fat Girl Rules: “Make yourself small”; “Move slowly so / your fat doesn’t jiggle”; “When you hear laughter, /...

Review of The One Thing You'd Save

The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park; illus. by Robert Sae-Heng Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    72 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-328-51513-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-52601-8    $9.99 Ms. Chang has asked her students to think about what one thing they would save — beyond their families and pets — if...

Review of Amber & Clay

Amber & Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz; illus. by Julia Iredale Middle School, High School    Candlewick    544 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-0122-2    $22.99 Curation, historical fiction, performance piece — Schlitz (Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, rev. 11/07) brings a bundle of learning, artifice, and intentionality to this highly stylized tale of ancient...

Ramadan

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The Islamic month of Ramadan is a solemn holiday of fasting, charity, and additional prayer, culminating in the joyous feasting of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan mubarak to those observing, and Happy Eid! We’d like to call your attention to reading suggestions from our friends at KitaabWorld, who review and recommend children’s...

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day (established by the United Nations General Assembly) is January 27 and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, the United States, and other countries) is in April or May (in 2021 it's April 8). All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and...

Review of Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education

Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education by Lawrence Goldstone Middle School, High School    Focus/Scholastic    288 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-338-59283-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-59285-6    $11.99 Goldstone (Unpunished Murder, rev. 9/18) takes a long view of the historic 1954 civil rights case Brown v. Board of...

Review of The Rock from the Sky

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    96 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5362-1562-5    $18.99 In this collection of five connected short stories, clocking in at over ninety pages and composed solely of dialogue, Klassen introduces readers to a turtle, an armadillo, and a snake...

Review of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo High School    Dutton    416 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-525-55525-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-55526-1    $10.99 High school senior Lily Hu lives in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1954 with her medical professional parents; she behaves obediently and dreams of working at the Jet Propulsion...

Review of Bear Island

Bear Island by Matthew Cordell; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Feiwel    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-31716-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-82193-5    $10.99 As in his Caldecott Medal–winning Wolf in the Snow (rev. 11/16), Cordell begins his story before the title page, a series of wordless images telling of loss and...

Review of The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty-Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books

The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books by Anna Katz Chronicle    256 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4521-7695-6    $40.00 This homage explores Cleary's beloved character through artwork by her five primary illustrators: Louis Darling, Alan Tiegreen, Joanne Scribner, Tracy Dockray, and Jacqueline Rogers. After...

Review of The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas

The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón; illus. by Amanda Mijangos; trans. from Spanish by David Bowles Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Levine Querido    240 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-64614-015-2    $21.99 In this ambitious and expansive compendium, Esperón collects and presents lore and legend from a...

Review of Too Small Tola

Too Small Tola by Atinuke; illus. by Onyinye Iwu Primary    Candlewick    96 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-1127-6    $15.99 Tola is small, but she is mighty. In three episodic chapters, Tola uses her not-inconsequential perseverance to help her grandmother, other family members, and those in her wider Lagos community. As she does...

Review of Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights

Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights by Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Kristy Caldwell Primary, Intermediate   Peachtree    40 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-68263-136-2    $18.99 Not only was workers’ rights advocate and public servant Frances Perkins (1880–1965) the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet, she also improved the welfare...

Review of She Rides like the Wind: The Story of Alfonsina Strada

She Rides like the Wind: The Story of Alfonsina Strada by Joan Negrescolor; illus. by the author; trans. from Portuguese by Jethro Soutar Primary    Little Gestalten    48 pp.    g 8/20    978-3-89955-853-1    $19.95 Spare first-person text describes Alfonsina Strada’s early childhood explorations with a bicycle and lightly sketches her groundbreaking career...

Review of Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone operators

Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone Operators by Claudia Friddell; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley Primary, Intermediate    Calkins/Boyds Mills & Kane   40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-68437-350-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63592-371-1    $11.99 Already a college graduate and an instructor at a switchboard operators’...

Review of Sylvie

Sylvie by Sylvie Kantorovitz; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Walker US/Candlewick    352 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5362-0762-0    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-5362-0763-7    $16.99 Author-illustrator Kantorovitz’s (Zig and the Magic Umbrella, rev. 5/15) graphic memoir is an engaging and thoughtful story of an observant child who grows into a...

Review of Girl on a Motorcycle

Girl on a Motorcycle by Amy Novesky; illus. by Julie Morstad Primary, Intermediate    Viking    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-593-11629-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-11630-2    $10.99 This picture-book biography of the first woman to complete a solo motorcycle trip around the world begins in 1973 Paris. Wishing to see and write about...

Review of Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker

Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    48 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-5344-0623-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0624-7    $10.99 “Church said / Help your neighbor. / Mama said / Lift as you climb.” So began the lifework of...

Review of A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women

A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women by Deborah Noyes Middle School, High School    Schwartz & Wade/Random    304 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-525-64623-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-64624-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-64625-9    $11.99 Before he actually had children, Bronson Alcott wondered, “Can parents limit ­outside influences and raise a perfect...

Céad míle fáilte!

Céad míle fáilte to all those celebrating St. Patrick's Day today. We've compiled three new Guide/Reviews Database booklists recommending books for primary, intermediate, and older readers on all things Irish. Sláinte!...

Review of Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tentler-Krylov; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Orchard/Scholastic    48 pp.    g 12/20    978-1-338-28283-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-67489-7    $11.99 With fittingly bold, whimsical, flowing illustrations, this picture-book biography showcases Iraqi British architect Zaha Hadid, who “dreamed big and defied convention.” Born...

Review of Kate's Light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse

Kate’s Light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse by Elizabeth Spires; illus. by Emily Arnold McCully Primary, Intermediate    Ferguson/Holiday    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4348-2    $18.99 This thorough and visually evocative picture-book biography tells the story of Kate Walker (1848–1931), who became one of the first women to serve as an...

Review of Winterkeep

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore High School    Dial    528 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8037-4150-8    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-6981-5890-0    $10.99 Cashore returns to the world of Graceling (rev. 11/08), Fire (rev 9/09), and Bitterblue (rev. 5/12) for the first time in some years and introduces Winterkeep, a nation distinctive for its higher education,...

Review of Mary Seacole: Bound for the Battlefield

Mary Seacole: Bound for the Battlefield by Susan Goldman Rubin; illus. by Richie Pope Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-7636-7994-1    $17.99 Mary Seacole was raised by a Jamaican Creole mother who taught her herbal medicine and a Scottish soldier father whose stories inspired her to see the world....

Review of Nice Try, Charlie!

Nice Try, Charlie! by Matt James; illus. by the author Primary    Groundwood    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-77306-180-1    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77306-181-8    $16.95 Sporting a full beard, shaggy hair, and a wide-brimmed hat, Charlie roams his neighborhood finding things: an old television, a pair of mismatched oven mitts (and Aunt Myrtle’s...

Review of Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima

Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima by Deirdre Langeland Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    208 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-62672-700-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-62672-699-4    $10.99 In time for the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster (March 2011), Langeland chronicles the largest nuclear disaster of the twenty-first century....

Review of Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins

Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins by Lincoln Peirce; illus. by the author Intermediate    Crown    258 pp.    g 12/20    978-0-593-12590-8    $13.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-12591-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-12592-2    $8.99 This Max & the Midknights (rev. 1/19) sequel finds Max enrolled at KSB (Knight School of Byjovia), Millie learning...

Review of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother)

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother) by David Levithan Intermediate, Middle School    Knopf    224 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-9848-4859-8    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-4860-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-4861-1    $9.99 Lucas’s brother Aidan goes missing, which leads to the worried, sympathetic response one would expect from his community....

Review of Measuring Up

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte; illus. by Ann Xu; color by Sunmi Intermediate, Middle School    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    208 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-297387-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-297386-3    $12.99 In this encouraging — and nourishing — graphic novel, twelve-year-old Cici’s family moves to Seattle from Taiwan, taking her away from her beloved A-má,...

Review of Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sandra Neil Wallace; illus. by Rebecca Gibbon Primary    Wiseman/Simon    56 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-5344-3154-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3155-3    $10.99 Marjory Stoneman Douglas, journalist and fierce champion of Florida’s natural environment, spent her long life (1890–1998) advocating for the protection...

Review of Letters from Cuba

Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    272 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-525-51647-7    $17.99 In 1938, eleven-year-old Jewish girl Esther is the first of her siblings to emigrate from Poland to Cuba, joining her father, who went three years earlier. Her letters to her sister, kept in a...

Review of War and Millie McGonigle

War and Millie McGonigle by Karen Cushman Intermediate    Knopf    224 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-9848-5010-2    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-5011-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-5011-9    $9.99 Cushman (The Ballad of Lucy Whipple) sets her WWII home front novel in 1941 San Diego, where feisty and headstrong Millie McGonigle is coping with…a lot. Grief...

Review of In a Flash

In a Flash by Donna Jo Napoli Intermediate    Lamb/Random    400 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-101-93413-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93414-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93415-9    $9.99 Narrator Simona is eight years old in 1940, and her younger sister five, when they leave their home outside Rome for Tokyo — their father has been...

Review of The Daughters of Ys

The Daughters of Ys by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Jo Rioux Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    208 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-62672-878-3    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-1-25079-036-1    $11.99 In graphic novel form, Anderson (Yvain, rev. 3/17; The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, rev. 9/18) and Rioux (The Golden Twine) tell the traditional...

Review of The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation

The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation by Alice B. McGinty; illus. by Shonto Begay Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-525-64500-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-64501-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-64502-3    $10.99 In this illuminating story about a contemporary child’s experience with water insecurity,...

Review of Claudette Colvin and Harriet Tubman

Claudette Colvin [She Persisted] by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by Gillian Flint Primary, Intermediate    Philomel    80 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-593-11583-1    $14.99 Paper ed.  978-0-593-11584-8    $5.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-11585-5    $5.99 Harriet Tubman [She Persisted] by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by Gillian Flint Primary, Intermediate    Philomel    80 pp.    g 1/21     978-0-593-11565-7     $14.99 Paper...

Review of Love Is a Revolution

Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson High School    Bloomsbury    400 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5476-0060-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0061-9    $13.29 All Nala has on her summer agenda is to pick a new hairstyle, spend time with her “cousin-sister-friend” Imani, and find love. Nala is not very inspired by Imani’s activism...

Review of The Lion Queens of India

The Lion Queens of India by Jan Reynolds Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-64379-051-0    $18.95 Gir Wildlife Sanctuary’s first female forest ranger and original “Lion Queen,” Rashila Vadher, narrates this compelling introduction to her life’s work. The sanctuary is home to more than five hundred Asiatic...

Review of Watercress

Watercress by Andrea Wang; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-8234-4624-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5054-1    $11.99 Transcending space and time, memories bring a Chinese American family together. A girl in cutoffs and a T-shirt is embarrassed when her parents stop the car to pick wild watercress...

Review of Concrete Rose

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    368 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-284671-6    $19.99 Library ed.  978-1-4328-8474-1    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-284675-4    $12.99 One of the most dynamic characters in Thomas’s acclaimed The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) is Starr’s father, Maverick Carter. In this prequel, seventeen-year-old Mav has...

Review of Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani; illus. by Maris Wicks Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    168 pp. 2/20    978-1-62672-877-6    $19.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-76003-6    $12.99 At the attention-grabbing start of ­Ottaviani and Wicks’s second graphic ­collaboration (Primates, rev. 5/13), a series of panels shows a “famous astronaut” (gender...

Review of Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Christian Robinson Primary    Putnam    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-399-54908-3    $18.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-593-35462-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-54909-0    $10.99 Harold and the Purple Crayon meets twenty-first-century urban realism in this picture book by the Last Stop on Market Street (rev....

Review of The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy

The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy by Kekla Magoon; illus. by Laura Freeman Primary, Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-291251-0    $17.99 “Thurgood would become the first to do a lot of things that a Black person had never done before.” When he attended Lincoln University,...

Review of Red Stars: The Case of Viktor and Nadya's Notebooks

Red Stars: The Case of Viktor and Nadya’s Notebooks by Davide Morosinotto; trans. from Italian by Denise Muir Intermediate, Middle School    Delacorte    432 pp.    g 11/20    978-1-9848-9332-1    $19.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-9333-8    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9334-5    $10.99 Viktor and Nadya are twelve-year-old twins living in Leningrad during World War II. In...

Review of Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds; adapted and illus. by Danica Novgorodoff High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    208 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-53444-495-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4497-3    $8.99 Skillful editing and rearranging of Reynolds’s original verse novel (Long Way Down, rev. 7/17) creates room for Novgorodoff’s impressionistic ink and watercolor...

Review of Time for Kenny

Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-073528-9    $17.99 Four brief stories take us through young Kenny’s day as he gets dressed, has an encounter with a monster-like vacuum cleaner, learns “no hands!” soccer skills, and resists bedtime. Pinkney’s text...

Review of Everything Naomi Loved

Everything Naomi Loved by Katie Yamasaki and Ian ­Lendler; illus. by Katie Yamasaki Primary    Norton    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-324-00491-2    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-00492-9    $17.48 Naomi lives on busy, bustling 11th Street — “It wasn’t pretty but it was alive!” — where she and her best friend Ada love to...

Review of Off to See the Sea

Off to See the Sea by Nikki Grimes; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Preschool    Sourcebooks    32 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-4926-3829-2    $17.99 It’s bath time for the child we first met in Bedtime for Sweet Creatures (rev. 1/20), and once again the youngster’s mother is the narrator. As in many households, here...

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Year of the Ox! We wish all who are celebrating a new year full of joy and prosperity. Here is our Lunar New Year reading list with fiction and nonfiction books featuring the holiday for preschool, primary, and intermediate readers. All of the titles below were recommended by The...

Review of Where We Go from Here

Where We Go from Here by Lucas Rocha; trans. from Brazilian Portuguese by Larissa Helena High School    PUSH/Scholastic    288 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-338-55624-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-63375-7    $11.99 In this translated novel from Brazilian debut author Rocha, three young gay men (two protagonists are eighteen, one is twenty-one) living in...

Review of You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson High School    Scholastic    336 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-338-50326-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-50362-3    $10.99 Senior Liz Lighty has successfully stayed out of the spotlight and off of Campbell County High School’s new social networking app, Campbell Confidential. Being poor and Black...

Review of The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar Middle School, High School    Page Street    400 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-62414-968-9    $17.99 Nishat is a Bengali Muslim teen attending a conservative Catholic school in Dublin. When she comes out as lesbian to her parents, she is met with near-silence. Meanwhile, Nishat creates a henna...

Review of A Complicated Love Story Set in Space

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson High School    Simon    464 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-5344-4853-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4855-1    $10.99 Noa wakes up to find himself, inexplicably, in a spacesuit floating outside a spaceship, with no recollection of how he got there. Neither does DJ, another...

Review of Love Is for Losers

Love Is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann High School    Farrar    352 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-374-31397-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31398-2    $9.99 “I hate people,” declares fifteen-year-old Phoebe, and perhaps with good reason: her mother abruptly left her (again) to care for sick people in Syria (“Mum’s a doctor first and a...

Review of Root Magic

Root Magic by Eden Royce Intermediate, Middle School    Walden/HarperCollins    352 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-289957-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-289960-6    $8.99 Eleven-year-old Jezebel’s family has done “rootwork” for generations. In 1963, many of the people on their South Carolina island frequent her grandmother and uncle’s cabin for the healing potions they make,...

Review of Ikenga

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    229 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-593-11352-3    $16.99 His father, the police chief, is dead, and eleven-year-old Nnamdi knows who murdered him — the Chief of Chiefs, an infamous criminal in their Nigerian province. Vowing to bring justice, Nnamdi is unsure how to proceed...

Review of Tristan Strong Destroys the World

Tristan Strong Destroys the World by Kwame Mbalia Intermediate, Middle School    Riordan/Disney-Hyperion    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-368-04238-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-4328-8471-0    $21.99 e-book ed.   978-1-368-06802-4    $10.99 In the sequel to CSK honoree Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (rev. 7/20), Tristan once again finds himself responsible for saving...

Review of Maya and the Rising Dark

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    304 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-328-63518-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-10622-7    $9.99 Twelve-year-old Maya is seeing things, or so she thinks, as weird creatures start appearing in her Chicago neighborhood. Add to that her dreams about a scary shadow-man, and...

Review of William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad

William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad by Don Tate; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Peachtree    40 pp.    g 11/20    978-1-56145-935-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68263-277-2    $8.99 Tate introduces readers to the African American abolitionist known as the Father of the Underground Railroad in this...

Review of She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    40 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-62014-346-9    $19.95 “Unbought and Unbossed”: Shirley Chisholm’s 1968 campaign slogan, still relevant today. Russell-Brown (Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, rev. 11/14) engagingly presents...

Review of One Step Further: My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission

One Step Further: My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore; illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow Primary    National Geographic Kids    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-4263-7193-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-4263-7194-3    $27.90 This picture-book biography isn’t just the story of NASA...

Review of Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds

Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel; illus. by the author Primary    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    64 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-298221-6    $12.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-298222-3    $7.99 It’s an early chapter book! It’s a graphic novel! It’s a story about a creature with an overabundance of pride! It’s an unexpected friendship...

Review of Me & Mama

Me & Mama  by Cozbi A. Cabrera; illus. by the author  Preschool, Primary    Millner/Simon    40 pp.    g  8/20    978-1-5344-5421-7    $17.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5422-4    $10.99  In the early morning, a young unnamed Black girl tiptoes through the house and past various sleeping family members, to be greeted by the smell of...

Review of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Floyd Cooper Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5415-8120-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1738-7    $27.99 In 1921, over the course of sixteen hours, the Black community of Greenwood, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was all but destroyed, with most of its...

Review of Out the Door

Out the Door by Christy Hale; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-8234-4644-5    $18.99 Hale’s got a clever premise here — a this-is-how-I-get-to-school picture book written entirely with prepositional phrases that combine a direction or position with a location. The title page kicks things off...

Review of The Bear in My Family

The Bear in My Family by Maya Tatsukawa; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-525-55582-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-55583-4    $10.99 A child asserts that there is a bear in his family, and indeed the illustrations show a little boy sharing space with a large gray creature. “Scary, right?” The...

Review of R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul  by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Frank Morrison  Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp.    g  8/20    978-1-5344-5228-2    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5229-9    $10.99  This impressionistic picture-book biography of Aretha Franklin (1942–2018) consists of a series of rhyming couplets following the iconic singer through her life. Weatherford employs a...

Review of We Are Not from Here

We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez High School    Philomel    349 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-9848-1226-1    $17.99 Inseparable teens Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña live in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where the politicians are as corrupt as the gang leaders. When Pulga and Chico witness the death of Don Feliciano, murdered by...

Review of Never Look Back

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera High School    Bloomsbury    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-5476-0373-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0374-9    $13.29 Pheus is an Afro-Dominican, bachata-singing teen whose Bronx world is upended when he meets Eury, a Puerto Rican girl visiting New York after she is forced from her home in the aftermath...

Review of Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story)

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri Middle School    Levine Querido    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-64614-000-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-002-2    $9.99 Framed loosely as his twelve-year-old self’s responses to a series of school assignments, Nayeri’s fictionalized memoir swirls through his own memories as well as stories from his family history,...

Review of When You Trap a Tiger

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller Intermediate, Middle School    Random House    298 pp.    g 1/20    978-1-5247-1570-0    $16.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1572-4    $9.99  Korean American middle schooler Lily thinks she has to take on a magical tiger in order to save her beloved Halmoni (grandmother), but the truth is much more complicated....

Review of A Wish in the Dark

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    375 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-5362-0494-0    $17.99 Soontornvat balances inner change and political action with insight and stylistic flair in this fantastical Les Misérables retelling. In Chattana City, the Governor wields a power that is almost...

Review of The Cat Man of Aleppo

The Cat Man of Aleppo  by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha; illus. by Yuko Shimizu Primary, Intermediate    Putnam    32 pp.    g  4/20    978-1-9848-1378-7    $17.99  In 2012, civil war comes to Aleppo, then the largest city in Syria. ­Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel is an ambulance driver who remains behind while many of his neighbors...

ALA Awards 2021: Horn Book Reviews of the Winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Tae Keller for When You Trap a Tiger and Michaela Goade for We Are Water Protectors on January 25, 2021, at the American Library Association’s virtual midwinter meeting. Also announced at the gathering were the...

Additional ALA Awards 2021

  Alex Award [for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences] Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press/Gallery Books/Simon) The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Tor Books/Tom Doherty Associates/Macmillan) The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O'Brady (Scribner/Simon)...

Review of Try It!: How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat

Try It!: How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat by Mara Rockliff; illus. by Giselle Potter Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-5344-6007-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6008-9    $10.99 Go to a market today, and the range of foods is amazing. Thank produce pioneer Frieda Caplan for that....

Reviews of the 2021 Sibert Award Winners

Winner Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming; illus. by Eric Rohmann Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp. 2/20    978-0-8234-4285-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4304-8    $11.99 A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The “teeming, trembling flurry” of bees within...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré YA Award Winners

Winner Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez High School    Algonquin    368 pp.    g 9/20    9781616209919    $17.95 REVIEW TO COME             Honor Books Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera High School    Bloomsbury    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-5476-0373-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0374-9    $13.29 Pheus is an...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winners

Winner ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go Eat by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-328-55704-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33070-7    $9.99 Little Lobo and his canine sidekick Bernabé, whom we met in ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the Market (rev. 3/19),...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré Author Award Winners

Winner Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros Intermediate, Middle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    272 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-06-288168-7    $16.99 REVIEW TO COME           Honor Books Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera Intermediate, Middle School    Levine Querido    272 pp.    g...

Reviews of the 2021 Printz Award Winners

Winner Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri Middle School    Levine Querido    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-64614-000-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-002-2    $9.99 Framed loosely as his twelve-year-old self’s responses to a series of school assignments, Nayeri’s fictionalized memoir swirls through his own memories as well as stories from his family...

Reviews of the 2021 CSK Illustrator Award Winners

Winner R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul  by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Frank Morrison  Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp.    g  8/20    978-1-5344-5228-2    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5229-9    $10.99  This impressionistic picture-book biography of Aretha Franklin (1942–2018) consists of a series of rhyming couplets following the iconic singer through her life. Weatherford employs...

Reviews of the 2021 CSK Author Award Winners

Winner 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...

Reviews of the 2021 Caldecott Medal Winners

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Winner 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...

Reviews of the 2021 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller Intermediate, Middle School    Random House    298 pp.    g 1/20    978-1-5247-1570-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1572-4    $9.99 Korean American middle schooler Lily thinks she has to take on a magical tiger in order to save her beloved Halmoni (grandmother), but...

Review of On Account of the Gum

On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex; illus. by the author Primary    Chronicle    56 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4521-8154-7    $17.99 Shown wordlessly before the title page, our unnamed protagonist is in a sticky situation after falling asleep while chewing gum. Upon awakening, and after that unpleasant discovery, the child’s ­gum-removal...

Review of The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen; illus. by the author Middle School    RH Graphic/Random    256 pp.   g 10/20    978-0-593-12529-8    $23.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-5160-4    $26.99 Paper ed.  978-1-9848-5159-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-5161-1    $10.99 In this imaginative graphic novel, thirteen-year-old Vietnamese American boy Tin and his Vietnamese-refugee seamstress mother, Hin, have...

Review of Your House, My House

Your House, My House by Marianne Dubuc; illus. by the author; trans. from French by Yvette Ghione Preschool, Primary    Kids Can    24 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-5253-0490-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5253-0573-3    $9.99 “It’s the start of a new day at 3 Maple Street. But not just any day — it’s Little...

Review of All He Knew

All He Knew by Helen Frost Intermediate, Middle School    Farrar    272 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-374-31299-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31300-5    $9.99 In free-verse poems, Frost tells the story of Henry, deafened by disease in 1937 at age four. Because Henry is deemed “unteachable” by the School for the Deaf, his family...

Review of The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives

The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives [Scientists in the Field] by Elizabeth Rusch Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    80 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-544-88904-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33579-5    $9.99 Off the Pacific Northwest coast, running about six hundred miles from British Columbia to Northern California, lies...

Review of Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species by Ana Pêgo and Isabel Minhós Martins; illus. by Bernardo P. Carvalho; trans. from Portuguese by Jane Springer Intermediate, Middle School    Greystone Kids    176 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-77164-643-7    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77164-644-4    $9.99 Pêgo, a marine biologist, warns of the impact of “invasive” plastics on...

Review of Mammoth Science: The Big Ideas That Explain Our World

Mammoth Science: The Big Ideas That Explain Our World by David Macaulay; illus. by the author Intermediate    DK    160 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-4654-9146-6    $19.99 A unique and amusing encyclopedia of general scientific topics from master draftsman Macaulay, geared to a slightly younger audience than the author’s The Way Things Work...

Review of Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math

Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math by Jeannine Atkins Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    320 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-5344-6068-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6070-6    $10.99 Atkins’s (Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science, rev. 7/16) latest collective biography in verse spotlights seven “women who used math to frame and solve problems, fix...

Review of Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary, Intermediate    Algonquin    136 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-64375-005-7    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-64375-121-4    $15.95 Badger is perfectly content to live alone in a brownstone owned by Aunt Lula, which he’s arranged to suit his rather particular preferences, when a surprise roommate...

Review of Fox & Rabbit Make Believe

Fox & Rabbit Make Believe [Fox & Rabbit] by Beth Ferry; illus. by Gergely Dudás Primary    Amulet/Abrams    96 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4197-4687-1    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68335-983-8    $11.69 In their second volume, Fox and Rabbit return for five new loosely connected adventures as summer turns to fall. Flush with their lemonade-stand...

Review of The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    416 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-268325-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-268327-4    $9.99 In an alternate version of 1983 England, eighteen-year-old Susan Arkshaw travels to London to search for the father she’s never known. Almost immediately, Susan encounters dashing Merlin St. Jacques...

Review of Burn

Burn by Patrick Ness High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    371 pp.    g 6/20    978-0-06-286949-4    $18.99 It’s 1957, and Sarah Dewhurst’s father has hired a dragon to work on their farm despite his prejudices against them. That’s not really big news; in this alternate universe, humankind has maintained an uneasy peace with...

Review of Igniting Darkness

Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers High School    Houghton    560 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-544-99109-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33580-1    $9.99 In the second book of a duology (Courting Darkness, rev. 1/19) set in an alt-historical world of fifteenth-century Brittany and France (also the setting of several of her other novels), LaFevers returns...
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