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Review of Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas

Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    89 pp. 5/19    978-1-5362-0131-4    $14.99 This sequel to Juana & Lucas (rev. 11/16) offers welcome narrative continuity for fans of Bogotá–dwelling protagonist Juana Medina Rosas and her beloved pet dog Lucas, while skillfully balancing changes...

Review of If I Was the Sunshine

If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Loren Long Preschool    Atheneum    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-4814-7243-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7244-9    $10.99 Fogliano and Long present a big, handsome picture book with a poetic text and lush full-bleed acrylic illustrations, highlighting the natural world and relationships within it. The...

Review of Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience

Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience edited by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond Middle School, High School    Triangle Square/Seven Stories    183 pp. 3/19    Paper ed.  978-1-60980-907-2    $15.95    ebook ed. 978-1-60980-908-9    $13.99   Poems as piercing and reflective as the shards of a shattered mirror offer stunning...

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 Pie in the Sky

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai; illus. by the author Intermediate    Holt    380 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-31409-3    $21.99    Paper ed.  978-1-250-31410-9    $12.99 It’s been almost two years since Jingwen lost his father in a tragic accident; he now finds himself starting over in a new country. The novel begins with...

Review of One Dark Bird

One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Frann Preston-Gannon Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-0443-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0444-1    $10.99 A small paragraph on the title page defines a murmuration (“a single-seeming mass [of birds] that performs coordinated acrobatic dances in the sky”) before using a counting-book...

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 Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    342 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-274780-8    $16.99    e-book ed.  978-0-06-274782-2    $8.99 Warga’s (My Heart and Other Black Holes, rev. 1/15) latest book is a middle-grade and middle-school novel written in free verse and narrated by a Syrian girl named...

Review of When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff; illus. by Kaylani Juanita Preschool, Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-62014-837-2    $18.95 This story about anticipating the arrival of a new baby is, at its heart, about the unconditional love all children deserve. The fact that big-brother-to-be Aidan is...

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 To Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl from Dogfishby Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg WolitzerIntermediate, Middle School    Dial/Dutton    311 pp.    g2/19    978-0-5255-5323-6    $17.99At the start of this epistolary (via email) novel, twelve-year-olds Bett Devlin, an adventure-loving California girl of African American and Brazilian descent, and Avery Bloom, a tightly wound New Yorker whose single...

Review of Hello

Helloby Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the authorPreschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.5/19    978-0-06-264456-6    $17.99In Look (rev. 7/18), Woodcock strung together a series of words with double os, more or less one per page, to tell a story of a brother and sister visiting the zoo. In this companion, double ls get the...

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...

Review of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Meby Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’ConnellHigh School    First Second/Roaring Brook    298 pp.5/19    978-1-250-31284-6    $24.99Paper ed.  978-1-62672-259-0    $17.99This relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel opens with seventeen-year-old Frederica (“Freddy”) Riley’s email to advice columnist Anna Vice. “For almost the past year I’ve been...

Review of Ogilvy

Ogilvyby Deborah Underwood; illus. by T. L. McBethPreschool, Primary    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.5/19    978-1-250-15176-6    $17.99Ogilvy, a wide-eyed, line-drawn bunny, is excited to make friends in a new town. But upon arrival, the rabbit’s sartorial choices are challenged; Ogilvy, clad in a knit article of clothing, is asked: “Is it a sweater...

Lift Every Voice: Dreams Never Realized

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My mom and dad truly laid the foundation for my writing life by reading to me and my siblings every night — giving me a heart for stories. And there were many moments that followed that inspired my literary journey. Here is one.In February of 1991, my father showed me...

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 The Runaways

The Runawaysby Ulf Stark; illus. by Kitty Crowther; trans. from the Swedish by Julia MarshallPrimary, Intermediate    Gecko    134 pp.4/19    978-1-77652-33-5    $17.99Paper ed.  978-1-776572-34-2    $11.88The portrait of old age and infirmity in this Swedish import is considerably more unvarnished than we’re used to in books for children. Grandpa is no lovable...

Review of The Fisherman & the Whale

The Fisherman & the Whaleby Jessica Lanan; illus. by the authorPrimary    Simon    48 pp.5/19    978-1-5344-1574-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1575-1    $10.99In this dramatic wordless tale, a commercial fisherman and what appears to be his son collect fish in the large net thrown from their boat. They sail on — that is, until...

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 The Music of What Happens

The Music of What Happensby Bill KonigsbergHigh School    Levine/Scholastic    346 pp.1/19    978-1-338-21550-2    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-338-21552-6    $10.99In order to help his unstable mother make delinquent mortgage payments, Jordan tries his hand at the food truck business, using his late father’s old truck, Coq Au Vinny. Things don’t go too well until...

Review of Bear Came Along

Bear Came Alongby Richard T. Morris; illus. by LeUyen PhamPreschool    Little, Brown    40 pp.6/19    978-0-316-46447-5    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-46445-1    $9.99This boisterous adventure is a story about discovery, the twists and turns a day can take, and the ways in which friendships can be forged when least expected — all in the...

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...

Review of Charlie & Mouse Even Better

Charlie & Mouse Even Betterby Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily HughesPrimary    Chronicle    48 pp.5/19    978-1-4521-7065-7    $14.99This third Charlie & Mouse picture book/easy reader hybrid (Charlie & Mouse, rev. 7/17; Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy, rev. 11/17) shines the spotlight on Mom’s approaching birthday. The first chapter sets the scene, with...

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycleby Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke PeñaPrimary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi...

Review of I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Godsby Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate    Holiday    72 pp.    g4/19    978-0-8234-3942-3    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4203-4    $11.99Following I Am Pan! (rev. 5/16), here comes Pan’s father, Hermes, the messenger god, eager to tell his own story. This Hermes is handsome, insouciant, impulsive, and...

Review of Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Isby Jo KnowlesIntermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    294 pp.    g4/19    978-1-5362-0003-4    $16.99On Rachel’s thirteenth birthday, new neighbors move in, affluent dilettante “farmers” who engage her, at minimum wage, to look after their animals while they’re away during the week. She comes to love the menagerie, even Lucy, the...

Review of You Are New

You Are Newby Lucy Knisley; illus. by the authorPreschool    Chronicle    48 pp.3/19    978-1-4521-6156-3    $17.99Knisley chronicled her wedding in her 2016 adult graphic-novel memoir Something New; her latest, Kid Gloves (2019), is about pregnancy; and concurrently she has authored her first picture book — about a newborn baby. In lilting, lighthearted...

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 Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!]by Dan Santat; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo WillemsPrimary    Hyperion    64 pp.    g5/19    978-1-368-02716-8    $9.99Santat takes the already-meta Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series to new heights of self-awareness in this easy reader starring Harold and...

Review of B Is for Baby

B Is for Babyby Atinuke; illus. by Angela BrooksbankPreschool    Candlewick    40 pp.3/19    978-1-5362-0166-6    $16.99Atinuke and Brooksbank (Baby Goes to Market) reunite for another tenderly funny slice-of-life story set in an unspecified African village and starring a winsome baby girl, who is dearly loved. This alphabet book sticks with the letter...

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 With the Fire on High

With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth AcevedoHigh School    HarperTeen    392 pp.5/19    978-0-06-266283-5    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-266285-9    $9.99High school senior Emoni Santiago, whose “Puerto Rican side is as Black as [her] Black American side,” is many things — an aspiring chef, a proud North Philly native, a reserved student who keeps to...

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guysby Vera Brosgol; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example,...

2019 Summer Reading List

For a handy take-along list of titles, download our printable PDF.Picture BooksSuggested grade level for all entries: PS–2The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol (Roaring Brook)The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale (Porter/Roaring Brook)Thank...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

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 The Vanishing Stair

The Vanishing Stair [Truly Devious]by Maureen JohnsonHigh School    Tegen/HarperCollins    373 pp.1/19    978-0-06-233808-2    $17.99In this absorbing continuation of Truly Devious (rev. 1/18), amateur gumshoe and anxiety sufferer Stevie Bell is still trying — from afar, her parents having removed her from Ellingham Academy at the end of the first book —...

Review of There Are No Bears in This Bakery

There Are No Bears in This Bakeryby Julia Sarcone-Roach; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp.1/19    978-0-399-55665-4    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-399-55666-1    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-399-55667-8    $10.99Sarcone-Roach’s previous bear-centric picture book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich (rev. 1/15), featured an unreliable offstage narrator, a cover-up, and — spoiler alert — no bears....

Review of Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasonsby Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Mercè LópezPrimary    Millbrook    32 pp.4/19    978-1-5124-9809-7    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4383-6    $19.99Salas presents a volume of “riddle-ku” poems, a form that is a cross between riddles, haiku, and “mask poems” (poems narrated by “something nonhuman”). The book is divided...

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 Dealing in Dreams

Dealing in Dreamsby Lilliam RiveraHigh School    Simon    328 pp.    g3/19    978-1-4814-7214-2    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7216-6    $10.99Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez) presents an action-filled dystopian novel about loyalty, power, and losing and finding oneself. Nalah, a.k.a. Chief Rocka, is the leader of the all-girl gang Las Mal Criadas, which owns the...

Review of Poetree

Poetreeby Shauna LaVoy Reynolds; illus. by Shahrzad MaydaniPrimary    Dial    32 pp.    g3/19    978-0-399-53912-1    $17.99To celebrate the end of winter, young poetry lover Sylvia writes a poem about spring and ties it to a birch tree in the park. The next day her poem is gone; in its place is another...

Review of The Undefeated

The Undefeatedby Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir NelsonPrimary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem begins: “This is for the unforgettable. /...

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 The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. Jamesby Ashley Herring BlakeIntermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    373 pp.    g3/19    978-0-316-51553-5    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-51550-4    $9.99After receiving a heart transplant, twelve-year-old Sunny decides it’s time for a “New Life” with specific components — including finding a boy to kiss and finding a new best...

Review of Carl and the Meaning of Life

Carl and the Meaning of Lifeby Deborah Freedman; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Viking    48 pp.    g4/19    978-0-451-47498-8    $17.99Carl is an earthworm, always moving under the ground, digesting leaves and “turning hard dirt into fluffy soil.” When a field mouse asks him why he does...

April 2019 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: National Poetry Month

• Five Questions for Margarita Engle• "How I Discovered YA Poetry" by Marilyn Nelson• What Makes Good Poetry? e-newsletter• Roger Talks with Andrea Davis Pinkney (video) and with Nikki Giovanni and Ashley Bryan• Be "the Hero and the Author" of Your Story: Elizabeth Acevedo at Simmons University• Recommended Poetry Titles...

Review of Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

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Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arcby David ElliottHigh School    Houghton    191 pp.    g3/19    978-1-328-98759-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-358-04915-9    $9.99In this verse novel, “voices” refers to Joan of Arc’s messages from the saints; to the various people who testified for and against her; to Joan herself; and to the objects...

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 Lovely War

Lovely Warby Julie BerryHigh School    Viking    471 pp.3/19    978-0-451-46993-9    $18.99When the Greek god of fire, Hephaestus, catches his wife Aphrodite, goddess of love, in 1942 Manhattan in a passionate affair with his brother Ares, god of war, Aphrodite defends her actions by showing the two gods what real love looks...

Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

April is National Poetry Month. These illustrated collections for primary and intermediate readers show the variety of forms poetry can take (hello, riddle-ku!) and topics it can cover — from melting snowmen to creativity-unlocking pencils and more. For more on poetry from The Horn Book, see the tags National Poetry...

Review of Home Is a Window

Home Is a Windowby Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; illus. by Chris SasakiPreschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.4/19    978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99Ledyard offers a meditation of sorts on the sense of comfort and belonging that home should evoke, whether it’s a place we know well or a new home to which we’ve...

Review of Another

Anotherby Christian Robinson; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Atheneum    56 pp.3/19    978-1-5344-2167-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2168-4    $10.99For his solo picture book debut, Robinson (illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, rev. 3/15; School’s First Day of School, rev. 3/16; When’s My Birthday?, rev. 9/17; and more) offers a smart, sly, and...

Review of Snowman − Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations

Snowman − Cold = Puddle: Spring Equationsby Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Micha ArcherPrimary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.2/19    978-1-58089-798-3    $16.99e-book ed.  978-1-63289-643-8    $9.99This whimsical celebration of spring-time features a playful equation poem on every page. Take the titular “snowman – cold = puddle.” It’s a subtraction sentence — minus the usual...

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 Good Kind of Trouble

A Good Kind of Troubleby Lisa Moore RaméeMiddle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    368 pp.    g3/19    978-0-06-283668-7    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-283670-0    $9.99Shayla’s goals for her first year of junior high are simple. Attract the attention of the cute guy. Avoid the class bully. Don’t make waves. Stay close to her two best...

Review of The Great Indoors

The Great Indoorsby Julie Falatko; illus. by Ruth ChanPrimary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp.    g4/19    978-1-368-00083-3    $17.99The tables are turned in this mischievous comedy about the highs and lows of camping. As a camper van full of humans drives away from a house, two bears in the front yard come out 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...

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....

Review of Dig.

Dig.by A.S. KingHigh School    Dutton    394 pp.    g3/19    978-1-101-99491-7    $17.99David has never met his father and is tired of constantly moving around with his mom. Malcolm has already lost his mother and is about to lose his beloved father to cancer. Katie deals drugs out of a fast-food drive-thru window...

Review of Hey, Water!

Hey, Water!by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.    g3/19    978-0-8234-4155-6    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4201-0    $17.99A girl named Zoe explores water in this playful and informative book. Speaking directly to water (“Hey, water! I know you! You’re all around”), Zoe considers the role of water inside a home...

Review of The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poems

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poemsselected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Richard JonesPrimary    Candlewick    48 pp.    g3/19    978-0-7636-8168-5    $17.99The thirty-three poems in this “how-to” collection range from the whimsical, such as Monica Shannon’s “How to Tell Goblins from Elves,” to the very practical, such...

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 Internment

Internmentby Samira AhmedHigh School    Little, Brown    304 pp.    g3/19    978-0-316-52269-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-52266-3    $9.99Xenophobic fear-mongering, book burnings, terrified families rounded up in the middle of the night to be thrown into internment camps — all painfully familiar elements of America’s past and present — descend upon Layla Amin’s near-future dystopian...

Review of Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebbleby Wendy Meddour; illus. by Daniel EgnéusPrimary    Dial    32 pp.    g3/19    978-0-525-55416-5    $17.99Wide-eyed Lubna befriends a pebble when she and her father arrive by boat at an unspecified refugee settlement she calls “a World of Tents.” She personalizes the small stone by drawing a happy face on it,...

Review of No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worseby Rhett Miller; illus. by Dan SantatPrimary, Intermediate    Tingley/Little, Brown    48 pp.3/19    978-0-316-41652-8    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-41649-8    $9.99Miller, lead singer/songwriter of the alt-country band Old 97’s, knows how to grab an audience’s attention. This collection of twenty-three kid-pleasing poems opens with...

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...

Brave girls in audiobooks

These audiobooks starring brave and resilient female protagonists will appeal to middle-grade fans of historical fiction featuring strong and lively young women. March is Women’s History Month. See also our Five Questions interview with Laurie Halse Anderson and the "Strong women making an impact 2019" section in this issue of...

Review of On the Come Up

On the Come Upby Angie ThomasHigh School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp.    g2/19    978-0-06-249856-4    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-249857-1    $12.99If reading The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) was like listening to 2Pac, intent on capturing the emotional impact of injustice, On the Come Up is more like Biggie, focusing on the experience...

Review of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walksby Jacky Davis; illus. by Giselle PotterPreschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.3/19    978-0-06-257310-0    $17.99Pekoe is a large yellow puppy with energy and enthusiasm to spare; Olive is a small older dog with a much more subdued (one might even say jaded) outlook on life. Despite...

Review of Fresh Ink audiobook

Fresh Inkedited by Lamar Giles; read by various artistsMiddle School    Listening Library    Rev. 9/184 CDs    5.08 hrs.    978-0-525-59565-6    $38.00Giles opens this anthology of twelve short works with a foreword containing this message: “I hope you find [a hero] who looks like you, or thinks like you, or feels like you....

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 Sweeping Up the Heart

Sweeping Up the Heartby Kevin HenkesIntermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    184 pp.    g3/19    978-0-06-285254-0    $16.99Library ed.  978-0-06-285255-7    $17.89e-book ed.  978-0-06-285257-1    $9.99The elegiac spirit of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Bustle in a House” (from which this book’s title is taken) reverberates throughout Henkes’s story of people struggling to cope with love, loss,...

For Paul Janeczko

Naomi Shihab Nye, helped out by Lynne Rae Perkins, remembers the recently departed Paul B. Janeczko. He will be missed.  For Paul Janeczko, who Changed the WorldWe were set up to do a reading together in Portland, Maine once — HIS TOWN —and the only attendee was a dog.As we waited...

Review of The Home Builders

The Home Buildersby Varsha Bajaj; illus. by Simona MulazzaniPreschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g2/19    978-0-399-16685-3    $17.99This picture book invites children to observe nature for themselves as a variety of creatures busily create their homes: “Do you see the home builders?” The builders work “under the earth, /...

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 The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home by Padma VenkatramanIntermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    194 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5247-3811-2    $16.99 In a drunken rage, the father of eleven-year-old narrator Viji breaks her mother’s arm. Viji decides, “If I wanted a better future, I needed to change the life we had. Now.” The next morning, she and her sister...

Review of Meet Miss Fancy

Meet Miss Fancyby Irene Latham; illus. by John HolyfieldPrimary    Putnam    32 pp.    g1/19    978-0-399-54668-6    $17.99 Frank (an African American boy who looks to be about ten years old) already loves elephants, with “their flip-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails,” so when he hears that a circus elephant named...

Review of Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion

Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Championby Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by Gordon C. JamesPrimary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5124-9808-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5145-4180-1    $18.99Nelson (Bad News for Outlaws, rev. 11/09) returns to the Old West for this engrossing picture-book biography of African American cowboy and bronc buster George...

Review of Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose

Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose [Step into Reading]by Tad Hills; illus. by the authorPrimary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp.1/19    978-0-525-64490-3    $4.99    Library ed.  978-0-525-64491-0    $12.99    e-book ed.  978-0-525-64492-7    $4.99 For certain kids, the box can be the best part of a gift — especially when it’s as enticing as the one Duck...

Review of Undocumented: A Worker's Fight

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fightby Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the authorMiddle School, High School    Abrams ComicArts    24 pp. 8/18    978-1-4197-2854-9   $19.99 “You don’t know our names but you’ve seen us.” The accompanying illustration is of Juan, an undocumented immigrant, with one hand raised in a fist and the other holding a megaphone from which...

Review of The Mad Wolf's Daughter audiobook

The Mad Wolf’s Daughterby Diane Magras; read by Joshua ManningIntermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/186 CDs    6.62 hrs.    978-0-525-53134-0    $50.00Drest is determined to free her captured older brothers and father from Faintree Castle, where they soon will be hanged, and she means to use the young knight she rescued...

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...

Review of New Kid

New Kidby Jerry Craft; illus. by the authorIntermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99    Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99    e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99 Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School (RAD). Jordan has...

Review of Hands Up!

Hands Up!by Breanna J. McDaniel; illus. by Shane W. EvansPreschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g1/19    978-0-525-55231-4    $17.99 In this affirmation of self-love for children of color, an exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo as a very young child, then, as she gets...

Review of Before the Devil Breaks You: A Diviners Novel audiobook

Before the Devil Breaks You: A Diviners Novelby Libba Bray; read by January LaVoyHigh School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/1817 CDs    21.35 hrs.    978-0-449-80883-2    $70.00LaVoy reprises her excellent narration for this third volume in the series starring a diverse group of teens with extrasensory abilities in 1920s New York City. Here...

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 Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Pay Attention, Carter Jonesby Gary D. SchmidtMiddle School    Clarion    216 pp.    g2/19    978-0-544-79085-8    $16.99    e-book ed.  978-1-328-52691-5    $9.99 Sixth grader Carter Jones misses his soldier father, currently deployed in Germany; he misses his dead brother; he misses any semblance of normalcy in his life. When Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, a butler bequeathed to his...

Review of What Is Given from the Heart

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What Is Given from the Heartby Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by April HarrisonPrimary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-375-83615-2    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-375-93615-9    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-375-98800-4    $10.99 From the late Patricia McKissack, a story of giving — even when it seems one has nothing to spare. James Otis and his...

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...

Review of Inventing Victoria

Inventing Victoriaby Tonya BoldenMiddle School    Bloomsbury    264 pp.    g1/19    978-1-68119-807-1    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-68119-808-8    $12.59Set during the post-Reconstruction era, this novel offers an intriguing view of nineteenth-century African American upper-echelon society. Fourteen-year-old Essie longs to escape her miserable life in Savannah, Georgia, where her mother earns her living as a prostitute....

Review of Found.

Found.by Jeff Newman; illus. by Larry DayPreschool, Primary    Simon    48 pp.11/18    978-1-5344-1006-0    $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-5344-1007-7    $10.99A sense of isolation permeates the opening spreads of this wordless story as a girl gazes out at a rain-drenched city street from an apartment window. She soon spots a little lost dog, and a...

Review of They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poemsby David BowlesMiddle School    Cinco Puntos    109 pp.    g9/18    978-1-947627-06-2    $18.95Paper ed.  978-1-947627-07-9    $12.95The dynamic complexity of the Rio Grande borderlands pulses in the poetry of twelve-year-old Güero — a nickname commonly given to light-skinned, freckled Mexican and Chicano boys. Inspired by the...

Review of Moxie audiobook

Moxieby Jennifer Mathieu; read by Suzy JacksonHigh School     Recorded Books     Rev. 11/178 CDs     8.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-6805-1     $87.75Vivian Carter, frustrated with the systemic sexism of her small-town Texas high school, secretly distributes a zine proclaiming, “Moxie girls fight back!” Though she’s shy in real life, Viv draws...

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...

Review of Max & the Midknights

Max & the Midknightsby Lincoln Peirce; illus. by the authorIntermediate    Crown    280 pp.    g1/19    978-1-101-93108-0    $13.99Library ed.  978-1-101-93109-7    $16.99e-book ed.  978-1-101-93110-3    $8.99It’s the Middle Ages, and redheaded Max is Uncle Budrick’s troubadour apprentice. Max longs to become a knight, but there’s just one problem: Max is a girl, a fact...

Review of The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of Starsby Marion Dane Bauer; illus. by Ekua HolmesPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.9/18    978-0-7636-7883-8    $17.99From darkness, we experience the Big Bang, the birth of the universe, and the emergence of life on Earth. Holmes, known for her striking collage art (Voice of Freedom, rev. 9/15; Out of Wonder, rev....

Review of Checked audiobook

Checkedby Cynthia Kadohata; read by John KroftIntermediate, Middle School     Recorded Books    Rev. 5/187 CDs     7.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-8278-1 $20.99Conor MacRae’s life is consumed with elite hockey. Nothing can overtake his obsession — not his growing concerns about his elderly neighbor Mr. Reynolds, not the strained...
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