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Review of The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by John Parra Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 1/20    978-1-4814-6289-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6290-7    $10.99 Ethel L. Payne grew up on the South Side of Chicago surrounded by stories from her parents and from...

Review of Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights by Karen Blumenthal High School    Roaring Brook    373 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-62672-165-4    $19.99 Multiple legal, social, religious, and medical strands comprise the history of reproductive rights in America. Blumenthal, in her trademark straightforward journalistic style (Tommy: The Gun That Changed...

Review of Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee; illus. by Ellen Rooney Primary    Page Street    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62414-654-1    $17.99 This stirring picture-book biography introduces Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race number. “Running was magic” to twelve-year-old Kathrine, but...

Review of A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino; illus. by the author Primary    Princeton    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-61689-836-6    $17.95 D’Aquino offers young readers “the story of an artist you may have never heard of”: Ruth Asawa (1926–2013), a Japanese American creator of nature-inspired wire sculptures....

Review of Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus; illus. by Tonya Engel Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 8/19    978-1-62014-587-6    $20.95 In propulsive free verse and vibrant illustrations, Hegedus and Engel present the life and legacy of Maya Angelou (1928–2014). The book opens...

Review of The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America

The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull; illus. by Alexandra Bye Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4814-9151-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9152-5    $10.99 President Roosevelt usually gets credit for the New Deal programs that helped pull America out of the...

Review of Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children by Jonah Winter; illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 2/20    978-0-449-81291-4    $17.99   g Library ed.  978-0-449-81292-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81293-8    $10.99 Creating a first-person narration (partly adapted from the labor activist’s letters and speeches, as explained in...

Review of The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by Oge Mora Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 1/20    978-1-5247-6828-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6829-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6830-0    $10.99 As an enslaved child on an Alabama plantation, Mary Walker would look up at the...

Review of Not a Bean

Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez; illus. by Laura González Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/19    978-1-58089-815-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-667-4    $9.99 “Jumping beans” are not in fact beans but moth larvae that have burrowed into the seedpods of the yerba de la flecha shrubs found alongside arroyos in...

Review of Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson by Katherine Johnson Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    250 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-4083-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4085-2    $10.99 To help her older brother with his math work at school, Katherine Johnson hatched a plan. She joined his class for a day...

Review of Nesting

Nesting by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins    40 pp. 3/20    978-0-06-288592-0    $17.99 Every spring, across North America, robins mate, build nests, lay eggs, and nurture their young. Cole illustrates this sequence of events with a pair of robins, employing gentle black-and-white crosshatching and one dramatic pop...

Review of Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Doreen Rappaport; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4847-4717-9    $17.99 Velasquez’s riveting jacket portrait of Ginsburg, superimposed on a facsimile of the U.S. Constitution, conveys a woman of purpose; Rappaport’s biography, largely focused on Ginsburg’s work for...

Review of The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America's Presidents

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner; illus. by Adam Rex Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 3/20    978-1-4521-7488-4    $18.99 “No matter who holds the job right now, the presidents of tomorrow are always out there somewhere.” There are picture books aplenty about United...

Review of Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace

Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    107 pp. 10/19    978-1-5344-0490-8    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0491-5    $10.99 Ashley Bryan was a nineteen-year-old art student when he was drafted into a segregated army unit of...

Review of Anna & Samia: The True Story of Saving a Black Rhino

Anna & Samia: The True Story of Saving a Black Rhino by Paul Meisel; illus. by the author Primary    Farrar    32 pp. 10/19    978-0-374-30577-2    $17.99 When a newborn black rhinoceros is abandoned in a Kenyan rhino sanctuary in 1985, conservationist Anna Merz steps in to rescue and raise the baby...

Review of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese Middle School, High School    Beacon    270 pp. 7/19    Paper ed.  978-0-8070-4939-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8070-4940-2    $14.99 Mendoza and Reese, children’s literature scholars and bloggers at American Indians in Children’s...

Review of By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music

By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary    Atheneum    48 pp. 1/20    978-1-5344-2636-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2637-5    $10.99 Born to a free mother in 1851 Maryland, Charles Albert Tindley was technically considered free. However, the law didn’t protect...

Review of To Dance

To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel; illus. by Mark Siegel Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    86 pp. 10/19    978-1-4814-8663-7    $19.99 Paper ed.  978-1-4814-8664-4    $11.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8665-1    $8.99 Even more effectively than the original, this special edition of the 2006 graphic memoir about Cherson Siegel’s youth as a School of American...

Review of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh

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The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School    Schwartz & Wade/Random    364 pp.    g 2/20    978-0-525-64654-9    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-64655-6    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-64656-3    $10.99 Stitching together important life events, insightful anecdotes, and primary sources, Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev....

Review of Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War

Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-4197-3682-7    $18.99 Growing up Mexican American in Texas at the turn of the twentieth century meant racism and discrimination to José de la Luz Sáenz:...

Review of Being Frog

Being Frog by April Pulley Sayre; photos by the author Preschool, Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp. 2/20    978-1-5344-2881-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2882-9    $10.99 A green frog moves through its woodland environment, its motions described in short rhyming sentences that match the pace of the creature as it hunts, crawls, jumps,...

Review of The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs by Gail Jarrow Middle School, High School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane    155 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-62979-438-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68437-895-1    $11.99 Formaldehyde in milk, cocaine in toothache drops, sausage made from pulverized meat scraps swept off factory...

Review of How Many?: A Different Kind of Counting Book

How Many?: A Different Kind of Counting Book [Talking Math] by Christopher Danielson; photos by Scott Dorrance Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-58089-943-7    $15.99 Paper ed.  978-1-58089-945-1    $7.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-813-5    $6.99 Danielson upends the traditional counting book format by letting viewers decide for themselves what to count. Take,...

Review of The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come

The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come by Sue Macy; illus. by Stacy Innerst Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 10/19    978-1-4814-7220-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7221-0    $10.99 “Kum aher. Sit down. I want to tell you a story.” With a storyteller’s cadence, Macy (Miss...

Review of Thurgood

Thurgood by Jonah Winter; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-5247-6533-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6534-7    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6535-4    $.10.99 Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993) — who grew up to “change the law of the land” — was a skilled debater and orator from a young age....

Review of Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schulz and the Creation of Peanuts

Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schulz and the Creation of Peanuts by Ginger Wadsworth; illus. by Craig Orback Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-250-17373-7    $18.99 From the time he was born, Charles Schulz’s (1922–2000) name was connected to comic strips, thanks to his uncle nicknaming him “Sparky”...

Review of Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars

Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars by Richard Ho; illus. by Katherine Roy Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/19    978-1-250-19833-4    $18.99 Debut author Ho and experienced illustrator Roy (Neighborhood Sharks, rev. 11/14; Otis and Will Discover the Deep, rev. 3/18) deliver an informative and surprisingly tender portrayal of Curiosity, the...

Review of Todos iguales / All Equal: Un corrido de Lemon Grove / A Ballad of Lemon Grove

Todos iguales / All Equal: Un corrido de Lemon Grove / A Ballad of Lemon Grove by Christy Hale; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Children’s/Lee & Low    40 pp. 8/19    978-0-89239-427-2    $19.95 Hale’s storytelling shines in this account of Mexican American resistance against racism in the 1930s. Inspired by...

Review of Best Friends

Best Friends by Shannon Hale; illus. by LeUyen Pham; color by Hilary Sycamore Intermediate, Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    250 pp. 8/19    978-1-250-31745-2    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-31746-9    $12.99 In this follow-up to her graphic memoir Real Friends (rev. 5/17), Hale straps in to the roller coaster rides, both real and...

Review of Firefighters' Handbook

Firefighters’ Handbook by Meghan McCarthy; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 9/19    978-1-5344-1733-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1734-2    $10.99 McCarthy (Astronaut Handbook, rev. 7/08; All That Trash, rev. 5/18) brings her recognizable illustration style (bug-eyed humans with sideways grins) to the kid-captivating topic of firefighting. Friendly, direct-address text covers...

Review of A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein; illus. by Jerry Pinkney Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-8234-4331-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4374-1    $11.99 This superbly executed picture book takes readers behind the scenes of the writing of Dr....

Review of The Magnificent Migration: On Safari with Africa's Last Great Herds

The Magnificent Migration: On Safari with Africa’s Last Great Herds by Sy Montgomery; photos by Roger Wood and Logan Wood Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    162 pp. 6/19    978-0-544-76113-1    $24.99 Montgomery takes readers on safari, joining a group led by eminent scientist Dr. Richard Despard Estes to follow wildebeest migrations through...

Review of Liberty Arrives!: How America's Grandest Statue Found Her Home

Liberty Arrives!: How America’s Grandest Statue Found Her Home by Robert Byrd; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Dial    40 pp.    g 6/19    978-0-7352-3082-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-5255-5451-6    $10.99 Byrd (Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award winner for Electric Ben, rev. 11/12) approaches his topic as systematically and artistically as did...

Review of Crossing On Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

Crossing On Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, 
and a Journey to the New World by David Macaulay; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Roaring Brook    128 pp. 5/19    978-1-59643-477-6    $24.99 Macaulay chronicles his own mid-twentieth-century immigration story in full color and a wide trim size—along with plenty of diagrams...

Review of Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes High School    Wordsong/Boyds Mills    325 pp. 10/19    978-1-62979-881-3    $19.99 As poetically written as Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (rev. 9/14) with a story as hard-hitting as Sapphire’s Push. In her author’s note, poet Grimes (winner of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award) says that...

Review of Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship”

Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” by Deborah Heiligman Intermediate, Middle School    Godwin/Holt    291 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-62779-554-8    $19.99 Nonfiction maestro Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09; Vincent and Theo, rev. 3/17) here tells a riveting wartime survival story. As World War...

Review of What Miss Mitchell Saw

What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett; illus. by Diana Sudyka Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 9/19    918-1-4814-8759-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8760-3    $10.99 Born in the early part of the nineteenth century “on the fog-wrapped island of Nantucket,” Maria Mitchell was a learner, expanding her educational horizons from her family...

Review of Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America

Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin; illus. by Bijou Karman Middle School    Roaring Brook    264 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-62672-130-2    $19.99 “There were about nine thousand licensed pilots in the United States in 1929. Fewer than one hundred of them were women. Of those,...

Review of Guts

Guts by Raina Telgemeier; illus. by the author; color by Braden Lamb Intermediate    Graphix/Scholastic    215 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-545-85251-7    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-85250-0    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-85253-1    $7.99 In this graphic memoir chronicling her fourth-grade year, Telgemeier (Smile; Sisters, rev. 11/14) shares her childhood experiences with anxiety. A bout with...

Review of The Miracle & Tragedy 
of the Dionne Quintuplets

The Miracle & Tragedy 
of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller Middle School, High School    
Schwartz & Wade/Random    309 pp.    8/19    978-1-5247-1381-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1382-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1383-6    $10.99 The “miracle” referred to in the title was of course the birth of the five identical Dionne sisters in...

Review of The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney

The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney by Alice B. McGinty; illus. by Elizabeth Haidle Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 5/19    978-1-5247-6831-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6832-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6833-1    $10.99 Making smart use of the liberty that a picture-book biography can choose to take by...

Review of Hummingbird

Hummingbird by Nicola Davies; illus. by Jane Ray Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-5362-0538-1    $16.99 Weighing less than three-quarters of an ounce (or, in Davies’s spot-on comparison for young readers, “less than a nickel”), the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates annually between Central and North America, approximately two thousand miles each...

Review of They Called Us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott; illus. by Harmony Becker Middle School, High School    Top Shelf    208 pp. 9/19    Paper ed. 978-1-60309-450-4    $19.99   From the publisher of the March trilogy (March, rev. 1/14, and sequels), co-written by civil rights leader and U.S....

Review of A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II

A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein Middle School, High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    388 pp. 1/19    978-0-06-245301-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245304-4    $8.99 Wein has established herself as a consummate writer of historical fiction (Code Name Verity, rev. 5/12; Rose...

Review of Children of the First People: Fresh Voices of Alaska's Native Kids

Children of the First People: Fresh Voices of Alaska’s Native Kids by Tricia Brown; photos by Roy Corral Intermediate, Middle School    Alaska Northwest    48 pp.    g 4/19    Paper ed.  978-1-5132-6197-3    $13.99 Twenty years after Children of the Midnight Sun (rev. 7/98), Brown and Corral present ten additional portraits of contemporary...

Review of Skulls!

Skulls! by Blair Thornburgh; illus. by Scott Campbell Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-1400-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1401-3    $10.99 “You probably don’t think much about skulls,” the book begins, as readers meet a round-faced girl with puffball pigtails. A page-turn places the girl, who’s contentedly chomping on an apple, amid...

Review of A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade; illus. by Veronica Miller Jamison Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 3/19    978-0-316-43517-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-51131-5    $9.99 Math genius Katherine Johnson (née Coleman) was a star student, twice skipping a grade before her family...

Review of The Lost Forest

The Lost Forest by Phyllis Root; illus. by Betsy Bowen Primary    University of Minnesota    40 pp. 4/19    978-0-8166-9796-0    $17.95 In 1882, a survey team mapping out the wilderness areas of Minnesota made a mistake. As the land was being divided into townships, one of the surveying crew came to Township...

Review of Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner

Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner by Jessie Hartland; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-5344-0233-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0234-8    $10.99 Today the original star-spangled banner is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in...

Review of The Iliad

The Iliadadapted by Gareth Hinds; illus. by the adapterMiddle School, High School    Candlewick    264 pp.3/19    978-0-7636-8113-5    $27.99Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9663-4    $16.99As with his treatment of The Odyssey (rev. 11/10), Hinds offers an ambitious and compelling comics adaptation of a Homerian epic. This complex, winding tale picks up in the tenth year...

Review of Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Workby Victoria OrtizMiddle School, High School    Clarion    184 pp.    g6/19    978-0-544-97364-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-328-63990-5    $9.99Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a hero to many Americans for her progressive positions on cases involving free...

2019 BGHB Nonfiction Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 29th, 2019, at School Library Journal's Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here.Read reviews of all of the...

Review of Moth: An Evolution Story

Moth: An Evolution Storyby Isabel Thomas; illus. by Daniel EgnéusPrimary    Bloomsbury    48 pp.    g6/19    978-1-5476-0020-5    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0024-3    $13.29“This is a story of light and dark. Of change and adaptation, of survival and hope.” In a shadowy (pre-industrial) wood, a peppered moth — its “speckled, freckled” wing patterns wonderfully detailed...

Review of Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America

Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in Americaby Ann BausumMiddle School, High School    Viking    166 pp.    g6/19    978-0-425-28720-0    $17.99“The first to die left behind little more than their names and brief stories of chaotic, terrifying deaths. Individual by individual, they went from being seemingly well to perplexingly ill in a matter...

Review of D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History

D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed Historyby Deborah HopkinsonIntermediate, Middle SchoolScholastic Focus/Scholastic    376 pp.    g8/18    978-0-545-68248-0 $16.99e-book ed.    978-0-545-68249-7 $16.99D-Day marked the beginning of the end for Hitler’s stranglehold on Europe. A massive, coordinated attack that was months in the planning, Operation Overlord saw Allied forces land on...

Review of We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adultsby Susan Kuklin; photos by the authorMiddle School, High School    Candlewick    182 pp.1/19    978-0-7636-7884-5    $19.99The Trump administration’s 2017 repeal of DACA put photojournalist Kuklin (Beyond Magenta, rev. 3/14) and her work-in-progress, about undocumented immigrants, in an awkward place: would she be...

Reviews of the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner and Honor Books

Nonfiction WinnerThis Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equalityby Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie LevyIntermediate, Middle School    Bloomsbury    311 pp.    g1/19    978-1-68119-852-1    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-68119-853-8    $12.59 In 1956 in the small town of Clinton, Tennessee, twelve African American students integrated the all-white high school. Jo Ann...

Books mentioned in the May 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Life skillsAlexander, Kwame  The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called LifePhotographs by Thai NeaveGr. 4–6, middle school     172 pp.     Houghton     2017Trade ISBN 978-0-544-57097-9Ebook ISBN 978-1-328-69892-6Groban, Betsy, Editor  Totally Middle School: Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting InGr. 4–6, middle school     181 pp.     Delacorte     2018Trade...

Sustainable eating

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Archer, Joe and Craig, Caroline  Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children's CookbookGr. 4–6     112 pp.     CharlesbridgeArcher and Craig provide an overview of different plant food sources (including roots, leaves, flowers, and stems) and then, with an emphasis on the process, explain how to grow and cook them yourself. Readers are encouraged...

Evolution

Bonner, Hannah  When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big, & When Dinos Dawned: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life on EarthGr. 4–6     128 pp.     National GeographicNew ed. Bonner's excellent trilogy (published between 2004 and 2012) of the evolution of life from 430 to 65 million years ago — the rise...

Activists and activism

Easton, Emily  Enough!: 20 Protesters Who Changed AmericaGr. K–3     48 pp.     CrownIllustrated by Ziyue Chen. Each spread of this book features a person, pair, or group that became known for their change-making actions, which are briefly described in a line of text (e.g., "Colin took a knee") and ably represented...

Life skills

Alexander, Kwame  The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called LifeGr. 4–6, middle school     172 pp.     HoughtonPhotographs by Thai Neave. Alexander turns motivational speaker in this collection organized like a basketball game, with four quarters and rules. Alexander's narrative of his early life in...

Review of Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War IIby Andrea WarrenIntermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    214 pp.3/19    978-0-8234-4151-8    $22.99Continuing her theme of children in peril because of governmental policies outside of their control, Warren (Surviving Hitler, rev. 3/01; Escape from...

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Bornby Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason ChinPrimary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first...

Review of Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir

Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muirby Julie Bertagna; illus. by William GoldsmithIntermediate, Middle School    Yosemite Conservancy    128 pp.3/19    978-1-930238-94-7    $17.99This creatively rendered biography-in-comics-format of John Muir (1838–1914) is filled with the naturalist’s adventures, from his childhood in Scotland to his pioneering conservation work and formation of America’s National Parks....

Review of Beware of the Crocodile

Beware of the Crocodileby Martin Jenkins; illus. by Satoshi KitamuraPrimary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g3/19    978-0-7636-7538-7    $16.99Heeding the old adage “when introducing a topic to children, start with what they know,” Jenkins initiates his discussion of crocodiles with their most prominent feature: those fascinating and intimidating teeth, which Kitamura depicts in...

Review of Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti

Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacomettiby Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; illus. by Hadley HooperPrimary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    64 pp.    g4/19    978-0-8234-4170-9    $21.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4224-9    $16.99Experts at accessibly describing art and exploring the often-complex lives of its creators, Greenberg and Jordan (most recently Meet Cindy Sherman, rev....

Review of Dogs in Space

Dogs in Spaceby Vix Southgate; illus. by Iris DeppePrimary    Kane Miller    32 pp.3/19    978-1-61067-824-7    $14.99With a happier ending than that of their legendary predecessor Laika, dogs Belka and Strelka became, in 1960, among the first animals to return, alive, from orbital flight. That does not, however, deny the suspense with...

Review of Titanosaur: Discovering the World’s Largest Dinosaur

Titanosaur: Discovering the World’s Largest Dinosaurby José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol; illus. by Florencia GigenaPrimary, Intermediate    Orchard/Scholastic    40 pp.    g3/19    978-1-338-20739-2    $18.99The paleontologists who discovered the fossilized bones of a group of seven of the largest-known (“for now”) dinosaurs take readers step-by-step through the careful and time-consuming process of...

Review of A Ray of Light: A Book of Science and Wonder

A Ray of Light: A Book of Science and Wonderby Walter Wick; photos by the authorIntermediate    Scholastic    40 pp.    g2/19    978-0-439-16587-7    $17.99Wick explores the concepts of light and color in a sophisticated yet comprehensible format. As in his masterful A Drop of Water (rev. 3/97; winner of the 1997 Boston...

Books mentioned in the March 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Collective biographies for Women's History MonthBagieu, Pénélope  Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the WorldTranslated by Montana KaneMiddle school, high school     296 pp.     Roaring Brook/First Second     2018Trade ISBN 978-1-62672-868-4Paperback ISBN 978-1-62672-869-1Clinton, Chelsea  She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed HistoryIllustrated by Alexandra BoigerGr. K–3     32 pp.     Philomel     2018Trade ISBN...

Librarianship and information science

Agard, John  Book: My AutobiographyGr. 4–6     138 pp.     CandlewickIllustrated by Neil Packer. This is a quirky history of the codex (with a brief glimpse at ebooks), narrated in an alternately whimsical and lyrical style by the personified Book. Packer's illustrations, many of which resemble woodcuts, punctuate the brief narratives, as...

Animals on the move

Bierregaard, Rob  Belle's Journey: An Osprey Takes FlightGr. 4–6     106 pp.     CharlesbridgeIllustrated by Kate Garchinsky. Belle, an osprey born on Martha's Vineyard, is tracked by two scientists as she migrates to South America and back. Bierregaard (one of the scientists) writes engagingly about Belle's adventure — over eighteen months and...

National Poetry Month 2019

Bulion, Leslie  Leaf Litter CrittersGr. 4–6     56 pp.     PeachtreeIllustrated by Robert Meganck. Nineteen poems (in various forms) accompanied by bright digital illustrations provide information both whimsical and scientific about inhabitants of the brown food web — the layer of leaves and soil where organic matter breaks down and plants grow....

Collective biographies for Women's History Month

Bagieu, Pénélope  Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the WorldMiddle school, high school     296 pp.     Roaring Brook/First SecondTranslated by Montana Kane. French artist Bagieu's brief vignettes of sequential comics art expose readers to brazen women of all fields, times, and places, both famous and little-known. Each entry gives just enough information...

Review of Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trumpby Martha BrockenbroughMiddle School, High School    Feiwel    416 pp.11/18    978-1-250-30803-0    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-250-30804-7    $9.99Brockenbrough opens her critical biography of Donald Trump with a sampling of events leading up to the surprising (to most) results of the 2016 presidential election. She then takes readers back to...

Review of SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir

SHOUT: A Poetry Memoirby Laurie Halse AndersonHigh School    Viking    290 pp.    g3/19    978-0-670-01210-7    $17.99“This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.” So opens Anderson’s three-part autobiographical collection of dynamic, mostly free-verse poems that serves as a potent poetic endnote for her...

Review of Soaring Earth

Soaring Earthby Margarita EngleMiddle School, High School    Atheneum    160 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5344-2953-6    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2955-0    $10.99In this companion verse memoir to Enchanted Air (rev. 7/15), Engle provides a glimpse into her high school years in Los Angeles and early adulthood as a Cuban American person coming to an understanding of...

Review of I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroonby Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth ZunonPrimary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5124-4914-3    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4380-5    $19.99 Even as a young child Tantoh Nforba loves the rich soils of his native northwestern Cameroon, earning the nickname “Farmer” from his mocking classmates;...

Review of Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planetby Curtis Manley; illus. by Jessica LananPrimary    Roaring Brook    48 pp.1/19    978-1-250-15533-7    $18.99 The ever-fascinating idea that there may be life on other planets drives this smart discussion of the major advances in astronomy that have led to the discovery of exoplanets (officially, “extrasolar planets”), along...

Celebrating Black History 2019

February is Black History Month. The following nonfiction titles present informative, inspirational, and moving stories about notable African American people and events, to be shared with readers all year long. See also our Five Questions interview with Claire Hartfield, winner of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award for A...

Review of The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Centuryby Neal BascombMiddle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    276 pp.9/18    978-1-338-14034-7    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-338-14035-4    $11.99 Bascomb follows his two previous WWII histories for young adults (The Nazi Hunters, rev. 9/13; Sabotage, rev. 7/16) with another gripping work of narrative nonfiction, this time...

Review of Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 audiobook

Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918by Albert Marrin; read by Jim FrangioneMiddle School, High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/185 CDs    5.75 hrs.    978-1-525-52609-4    $45.00Marrin’s account of the flu pandemic that killed millions of people during World War I, plus modern-day efforts to identify that strain and prevent...

Review of The Elephant

The Elephantby Jenni Desmond; illus. by the authorPrimary    Enchanted Lion    48 pp.10/18    978-1-59270-264-0    $18.95In this companion to the author-
illustrator’s The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear (rev. 3/17), a brown-skinned boy wearing a red crown introduces readers to one of nature’s endangered wild things: the elephant. In a setup similar...

Reviews of the 2019 Sibert Award winners

WinnerThe Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Scienceby Joyce Sidman; 
photos by the authorIntermediate    Houghton    140 pp.    g2/18    978-0-544-71713-8    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-328-83028-9    $9.99Sidman introduces readers to Maria Merian, a seventeenth-century German naturalist whose illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and moths included groundbreaking scientific details, such...

Review of This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equalityby Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie LevyIntermediate, Middle School    Bloomsbury    311 pp.    g1/19    978-1-68119-852-1    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-68119-853-8    $12.59 In 1956 in the small town of Clinton, Tennessee, twelve African American students integrated the all-white high school. Jo Ann Allen...

Books mentioned in the January 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

General knowledge13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About EverythingGr. 4–6, middle school     176 pp.     DK     2017Trade ISBN 978-1-4654-6112-4DiPiazza, Francesca Davis  Fandom: Fic Writers, Vidders, Gamers, Artists, and CosplayersMiddle school, high school     120 pp.     Twenty-First Century     2018Trade ISBN 978-1-5124-5049-1Ebook ISBN 978-1-5124-9887-5Esbaum, Jill  Little Kids First Big Book of HowGr. K–3    ...

Graphic biographies and memoirs

Agrimbau, Diego  Anne FrankIllustrated by Fabián Mezquita.Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     CapstoneAgrimbau, Diego  Leonardo da VinciIllustrated by Diego Aballay.Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     CapstoneGraphic Library: Graphic Lives series. These graphic novels detail the lives of the titular historical figures, with emphasis on events that garnered each the most notoriety. The comic-book format...

Weather and climate

de Seve, Karen  Little Kids First Big Book of WeatherGr. K–3     128 pp.     National GeographicA comprehensive, age-appropriate exploration of hot, cold, windy, cloudy, and rainy weather, with activities and games to reinforce the concepts at the conclusion of each chapter. An eclectic mix of appealing color photographs augments the text,...

Exploring our oceans

Cottman, Michael H.  Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich LegacyGr. 4–6, middle school     127 pp.     National GeographicThe ship Henrietta Marie transported enslaved Africans from 1698 until its sinking in 1700. The African American author traces the ship's path...

General knowledge

13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About EverythingGr. 4–6, middle school     176 pp.     DKThis browsable compendium serves up random trivia on eighty wide-ranging subjects. Each busy, colorful double-page spread focuses on a topic, including earth science, plants, animals, communication, water, philosophy, ancient civilizations, movies, helicopters, and much more. Crisp...

Review of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpréby Anika Aldamuy Denise; illus. by Paola EscobarPrimary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp.1/19     978-0-06-274868-3     $17.99In her native Puerto Rico, a young Pura Belpré retells folk stories to children under a tamarind tree; when she visits Nueva York in 1921 and decides to stay,...

Review of Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survivalby Lindsay Moore; illus. by the authorPrimary     Greenwillow     48 pp.     g1/19     978-0-06-279128-3     $17.99A polar bear wanders alone through icy northern landscapes and across the seasons in search of food, her survival practices described as she hunts seals and paddles past sharks, narwhals, and...

Eye-opening history

The following works of narrative nonfiction for middle schoolers and high schoolers focus on events that may be overlooked by school curricula but can help make history come alive.In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black "freedmen" in the town of Colfax in central...

Review of Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin audiobook

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassinby James L. Swanson; read by Kim StauntonMiddle School, High School    Scholastic Audio5 CDs    5.67 hrs.    978-1-338-22724-6    $29.99With intensity and clarity, Swanson documents the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Earl Ray — King’s assassin — and...

Review of Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the Worldby Gary Golio; illus. by Rudy GutierrezPrimary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp.9/18    978-1-62779-512-8    $18.99When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santanaby Michael Mahin; illus. by Jose RamirezPrimary    Atheneum    48 pp.9/18    978-1-5344-0413-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0414-4    $10.99Carlos Santana’s 1971 rendition of Tito Puente’s...

Review of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientistby Sylvia AcevedoIntermediate, Middle School     Clarion     311 pp.9/18     978-1-328-80956-8     $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-328-52690-8     $9.99Spanish ed. 978-1-328-53481-1     $18.99Acevedo defied expectations as a girl growing up in a working-class Mexican American family in 1960s and 1970s Las Cruces,...

Review of Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story

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Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Storyby Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by John HolyfieldPrimary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g9/18    978-1-60060-969-5    $17.95William “Bill” Lewis (1810?–1896) was born into slavery in Tennessee on a plantation owned by Colonel Lewis. As a boy toiling alongside his mother, aunt, and siblings in the...

Review of Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife [Scientists in the Field]by Amy CherrixMiddle School    Houghton    73 pp.    g10/18    978-1-328-85868-9    $18.99The human population of western North Carolina is encroaching on the natural habitat of the region’s black bears. In this encouraging case study of efforts to manage...

Myths and folktales around the world

Bowles, David  Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of MexicoMiddle school, high school     303 pp.     CincoIn this dense but readable anthology of captivating tales from pre-Columbian Mexico, a variety of creation and origin myths are ordered chronologically to share a narrative history of the world from the Aztec and...
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