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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 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 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 Amari and the Night Brothers

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    416 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-297516-4    $17.99 Quinton Peters has been missing for six months — no matter what anybody says, his sister Amari knows he’s still alive — and his top-secret job is the reason...

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 Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas High School    Swoon/Feiwel    352 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-250-25046-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-25051-3    $9.99 Unlike the rest of his family, Yadriel is kept from having a quinces, the traditional coming-of-age ceremony to become a brujo. Yadriel is trans and gay, i.e., “Head Black Sheep among the...

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 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 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...

Review of Daughters of Jubilation

Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron High School    Simon Pulse    352 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4814-5950-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5952-5    $10.99 In the summer of 1962 in an alternate-universe Jim Crow South, Black teenager Evalene Deschamps learns that the women in her family are blessed with magical abilities (including telekinesis,...

Review of How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories [Folk of the Air] by Holly Black; illus. by Rovina Cai Middle School, High School    Little, Brown    192 pp.    g 11/20    978-0-316-54088-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-54082-7    $9.99 Black returns to the world of her acclaimed Folk of the Air trilogy (beginning...

Review of Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust High School    Flatiron    323 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-250-19614-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-19615-6    $9.99 “Stories always begin the same way. There was and there was not.” Soraya, sister of the Kingdom’s future shah, lives a privileged life in Golvahar Palace and loves to hear her...

Review of Return of the Thief

Return of the Thief [Queen’s Thief] by Megan Whalen Turner Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    480 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06287-447-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06287-448-1    $12.99 Pheris, the heretofore-unknown heir of the traitorous Baron Erondites, is sent to be raised in the Attolian court. Possessing a keen intellect, Pheris has nevertheless...

Review of Pity Party

Pity Party by Kathleen Lane Middle School    Little, Brown    208 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-316-41736-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-41735-8    $9.99 Katya is a nervous middle schooler whose fertile imagination defaults to disaster. The voice in her head warns of poisoned Halloween candy, looming social ostracism, imminent acne, and rabid raccoons. In...

Review of Class Act

Class Act by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    HarperAlley/Quill Tree/HarperCollins    256 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-288551-7    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-288550-0    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-288552-4    $10.99 Puberty is on the horizon for thirteen-year-old Jordan Banks, who returns in this hilarious and heartfelt companion to New Kid (rev. 1/19),...

Review of Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay

Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Patterson/Little, Brown/Houghton    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-316-49816-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-49818-0    $9.99 Patterson and Alexander, two heavyweights in the world of books (and their respective publishing...

Review of They Threw Us Away

They Threw Us Away [The Teddies Saga] by Daniel Kraus; illus. by Rovina Cai Intermediate    Holt    256 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-250-22440-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-22441-5    $9.99 Buddy the teddy bear wakes up in a garbage dump: the toy store that’s been his home has thrown him away. Together with a...

Review of Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone High School    Crown    288 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-9848-2966-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-2967-2    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-2968-9    $10.99 In this sequel to Dear Martin (rev. 11/17), we are reintroduced to Quan, best friend of that book’s protagonist. Dear Justyce opens with a flashback to Quan and...

Review of Traitor

Traitor by Amanda McCrina High School    Farrar    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-374-31352-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31354-8    $9.99 In 1939, instigating World War II, Germany and subsequently the Soviet Union invaded Poland and divided it between themselves along the Curzon Line. But Germany later swept past the Line, attacked Soviet forces,...

Review of A Thousand Questions

A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-294320-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-294322-4    $8.99 Issues of home and belonging form the cornerstones of Faruqi’s (author of the Yasmin early chapter books) first solo middle-grade novel. Mimi and her mother (her father left the family when...

Review of Flamer

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Flamer by Mike Curato; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Godwin/Holt    368 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-62779-641-5    $25.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-75614-5    $17.99 Aiden is not looking forward to starting public high school in the fall; his Catholic schooling heretofore has had its challenges — “jerks” — but at least...

Review of The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party

The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party by Allan Wolf Middle School, High School    Candlewick    416 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-7636-6324-7    $21.99 As in his previous works of historical fiction, including The Watch That Ends the Night (rev. 9/11), Wolf here deploys a cast of characters (a...

Review of Twins

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

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

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

Review of Three Keys: A Front Desk-Novel

Three Keys: A Front Desk Novel by Kelly Yang Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    288 pp.    g  9/20    978-1-338-59138-5    $17.99  Library ed.  978-1-4328-8326-3    $20.99  e-book ed.  978-1-338-64816-4    $10.99  In this sequel to Front Desk (rev. 7/18), eleven-year-old Chinese American Mia Tang continues helping to run her now family-and-worker-owned motel in ­California. ­Business is going well, but...

Review of No Vacancy

No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen Intermediate, Middle School    Groundwood    144 pp.    g  9/20    978-1-77306-410-9    $16.95  e-book ed.  978-1-77306-411-6    $14.95  Eleven-year-old Miriam’s family buys a motel in a tiny upstate New York town and moves there from Manhattan. When it becomes clear that the motel isn’t as lucrative as her parents had...

Review of Trowbridge Road

Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley Middle School    Candlewick    310 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-5362-0750-7    $17.99 Narrator June Bug Jordan watches “beanpole” Ziggy Karlo, with his “unruly mop of red hair,” arrive at his grandmother’s house on idyllic Trowbridge Road in the summer of 1983. The two loners quickly become friends, finding...

Review of Wishbone

Wishbone by Anna Garcia Schaper High School    Piñata    317 pp.    g 5/20    Paper ed.  978-1-55885-894-7    $12.95 In dual timelines, Schaper presents a story of culture, love, and feminism that crosses generations. Pili is a Mexican American teen in 1970s Laredo, Texas. Pilar is her namesake and her sister’s granddaughter, living...

Review of Zora and Me: The Summoner

Zora and Me: The Summoner by Victoria Bond Middle School    Candlewick    256 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-7636-4299-0    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-5362-1667-7    $7.99 This final entry in the Zora and Me trilogy (most recently, The Cursed Ground, rev. 9/18) is the darkest, with “an epistolary prologue” noting the year in which the...

Review of Ana on the Edge

Ana on the Edge by A. J. Sass Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    240 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-316-45861-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-45863-4    $9.99 After winning the title of U.S. Juvenile Girls Champion in figure skating, twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin is ready to start a new season on the ice, competing at...

Review of Lupe Wong Won't Dance

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera Intermediate, Middle School    Levine Querido    272 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-64614-003-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-004-6    $17.99 The only thing standing between Lupe Wong and her chance to meet fellow Chinacan (or is it Mexinese?) Fu Li Hernandez, “the first Asian/Latino pitcher in the...

Review of Show Me a Sign

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    288 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-338-25581-2    $18.00 e-book ed.  978-1-338-25583-6    $11.99 In 1805 Chilmark, on Martha’s Vineyard, eleven-year-old Mary Lambert’s family is grieving the death of her brother George in a horse-cart accident. In the larger picture, English-settler residents...

Review of This Is My America

This Is My America by Kim Johnson High School    Random    416 pp.    g 7/20    978-0-593-11876-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-11877-1    $20.00 e-book ed.  978-0-593-11878-8    $10.99 Tracy is running out of time. It’s been seven years since her father was wrongly convicted of a double murder. Every week, Tracy writes to Innocence...

Review of Fighting Words

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Intermediate, Middle School    Dial    269 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-9848-1568-2    $17.99 Ten-year-old Delicious Nevaeh Roberts, a.k.a. Della, doesn’t take “snow” from anyone (“Suki says whenever I want to use a bad word, I can say snow”). She’s learned to be tough from her fiercely protective...

Review of The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    225 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-5344-6276-2    $17.99 Everything changes for eleven-year-old North Londoner Abigail when her widower father marries Polly, mother of Max and Louis, and her beloved Granny Grace returns to Jamaica. Feeling both isolated and crowded at...

Review of The Way Back

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit Middle School, High School    Knopf    368 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-98489-462-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-9463-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9464-9    $10.99 In this dark fantasy set in a nineteenth-century shtetl in Eastern Europe, grieving teens Bluma (who’s lost her grandmother) and Yehuda Leib (who found and...

Review of Tigers, Not Daughters

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry High School    Algonquin    280 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-61620-896-7    $17.95 The Torres family, always considered misfits in their San Antonio community, suffered tragedy a year ago when eldest sister Ana fell to her death from her bedroom window. That Ana was sneaking out to see...

Review of Elatsoe

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger; illus. by Rovina Cai Middle School, High School    Levine Querido    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-64614-005-3    $18.99 This absorbing and haunting speculative fiction debut challenges expectations at every turn. Ellie (short for Elatsoe) is seventeen years old, Lipan Apache, and an aspiring paranormal investigator. She has...

Review of Watch over Me

Watch over Me by Nina LaCour High School    Dutton    240 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-593-10897-0    $17.99 After four years in foster care, recent high school graduate Mila begins an internship (“I would spend my weekdays teaching in the schoolhouse and my Sundays waking up at five a.m. to run the booth...

Review of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 6/20    978-0-06-289149-5    $18.99 This tale, first in a West African–inspired duology, is narrated in the third person, from two points of view. The first protagonist, Malik, is an Eshran refugee fleeing his...

Review of Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni Intermediate, Middle School    Holiday    240 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-8234-4697-1    $17.99 In an alternate-universe 1898 New York City, cousins Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt unite to solve the mystery of the ghost who has recently “erupted” in their aunt Bye’s house. Here...

Review of The Inkberg Enigma

The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Gecko    129 pp.    g 9/20    Paper ed.  978-1-776572-66-3    $17.61 In this graphic novel set in and around the fictional contemporary New Zealand fishing town of Aurora, youngsters Miro and Zia witness something they weren’t supposed to: a...

Review of The Last Mirror on the Left

The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles; illus. by Dapo Adeola Intermediate, Middle School    Versify/Houghton    272 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-358-12941-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-13043-7    $9.99 After their supernatural successes in The Last Last-Day-of-Summer (rev. 3/19), Sheed and Otto must now live up to their status as the Legendary...

Review of Witches of Brooklyn

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    RH Graphic/Random    240 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-593-12528-1    $20.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-11928-0    $23.99 Paper ed.  978-0-593-11927-3    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-11929-7    $8.99 In this lighthearted, sweet, and entertaining fantastical graphic novel, eleven-year-old Effie is (unexpectedly for all parties involved)...

Review of The Weird in the Wilds

The Weird in the Wilds [Tales of Triumph and Disaster!] by Deb Caletti; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Putnam    272 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-9848-1308-4    $13.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1309-1    $8.99 In our introduction to Henry Early in A Flicker of Courage (rev. 1/20), the big reveal was that this...

Review of Before the Ever After

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 perspective of ZJ, son...

Review of Darius the Great Deserves Better

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram High School    Dial    352 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-59310-823-9    $17.99 Since we last saw “Fractional Persian” Darius in 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book honor book Darius the Great Is Not Okay (rev. 9/18), he’s come out as gay, and has a boyfriend. Now back...

Review of Displacement

Displacement by Kiku Hughes; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    288 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-250-19354-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-19353-7    $17.99 This graphic novel blends historical fact and science fiction into an enthralling time-travel tale. An imagined version of debut author Hughes’s teenage self is suddenly...

Review of Punching the Air

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam; illus. by Omar T. Pasha High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    400 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-299648-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-299650-3    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Amal Dawud Shahid (who is African American) knows he didn’t throw the punch that left Jeremy Mathis (who is white)...

Review of Willa the Wisp

Willa the Wisp [The Fabled Stables] by Jonathan Auxier; illus. by Olga Demidova Primary    Amulet/Abrams    96 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4197-4269-9    $12.99 “At the top of the world sat an island. And at the heart of that island lived a boy named Auggie.” So begins this early chapter book full of...

Review of See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle; illus. by Mike Wohnoutka Primary    Candlewick    64 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-53620-427-8    $8.99 In three brief stories, this beginning reader inventively supports both traditional and visual literacies. The first chapter, “The Cat,” opens with the sentence “See the cat” on...

Review of Pepper & Boo: A Cat Surprise!

Pepper & Boo: A Cat Surprise! by Charise Mericle Harper; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    64 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-368-04904-7    $9.99 The book opens with a tidy four-panel spread, the first showing a comfy-looking house made from simple shapes (“Twelve paws are in this house,” says the text);...

Review of Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island

Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island by David Goodner; illus. by Andrea Tsurumi Primary    Little, Brown    80 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-368-02577-5    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-04605-3    $9.99 Kondo, a large yellow creature, and Kezumi, a small orange creature, live on an island full of “berry bushes and flitter-birds and fluffle-bunnies.” One...

Review of Dear Beast

Dear Beast by Dori Hillestad Butler; illus. by Kevan Atteberry Primary    Holiday    77 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-8234-4492-2    $15.99 Having two pets in two separate homes can spark a bit of territorialism, so when Andy announces he has a new dog at Dad’s house, Simon, the cat who lives at Andy’s...

Review of A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough Intermediate    Atheneum    210 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-5344-3849-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3851-4    $10.99 Sutton prefers programming robots to being with people, but she’s still disappointed when she learns that her mother, off researching penguins in Antarctica, won’t return in time for her...

Review of The True Definition of Neva Beane

The True Definition of Neva Beane by Christine Kendall Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    240 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-338-32489-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-32493-8    $10.99 Twelve-year-old Neva Beane loves words and consults her dictionary to help find the right ones for any situation. But lately, with the changes that come with puberty,...

Review of Pine Island Home

Pine Island Home by Polly Horvath Intermediate    Ferguson/Holiday    229 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-8234-4785-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4883-8    $9.99 Horvath (Everything on a Waffle, rev. 5/01) returns to her sweet spot (parents lost in tragic accident; quaint British Columbia setting) for her latest novel. When after a long journey orphaned sisters...

Review of The Silver Arrow

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman Intermediate    Little, Brown    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-316-54170-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316- 53952-4    $9.99 After writing to her rich uncle to cheekily request a present for her eleventh birthday, Kate is surprised when a full-sized locomotive shows up the next day. Resolved to get...

Review of Baloney and Friends

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author Primary    Disney-Hyperion    87 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-368-05454-6    $12.99 In this energetic and amusing comics-styled easy reader, Baloney — an amiable orange pig — interacts with his friends Bizz (a bumblebee), Peanut (a blue horse), and Krabbit (an often crabby and...

Review of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Frog and Toad Are Friends [I Can Read Book] by Arnold Lobel; illus. by the author Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    72 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-298343-5    $18.99 Here is a welcome new edition of this iconic, Caldecott Honor–winning easy reader, reissued with a section at the end of seven pages of background material....

Review of Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror by Natasha Farrant; illus. by Lydia Corry Intermediate    Norton    217 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-324-01556-7    $19.95 The framing structure for this collection of princess stories is elaborate. When an enchantress is invited to be the godmother to a princess, she realizes that she doesn’t know...

Review of We Are Not Free

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee Middle School, High School    Houghton    386 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-358-13143-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33000-4    $9.99 Chee follows up her successful fantasy trilogy (The Reader and sequels) with this very different work of historical fiction, drawing on her personal family and cultural history for...

Review of One Year at Ellsmere

One Year at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    172 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-250-21909-1    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-21910-7    $14.99 Originally published as The War at Ellsmere in 2008 (by SLG Publishing) and now back in print with revamped art, this graphic...

Review of The One and Only Bob

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The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate; illus. by Patricia Castelao Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    338 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-299131-7    $18.99 Applegate revisits the beloved cast of characters from her Newbery Medal–winning The One and Only Ivan (rev. 1/12), but this time from a different viewpoint. Bob, the tenacious mutt (“some...

Review of Winter in Wartime

Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw; trans. from Dutch by Laura Watkinson Intermediate    NYRB    220 pp.    g Paper ed.  978-1-68137-426-0    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68137-427-7    $9.99 In a village in the Netherlands, in the winter of 1944–45, teen Michiel van Beusekom becomes involved in anti-Nazi resistance activities — hiding and feeding...

Review of I Am Here Now

I Am Here Now by Barbara Bottner High School    Imprint/Macmillan    347 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-250-20769-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-20770-8    $9.99 Fourteen-year-old Maisie characterizes her 1960s coming-of-age in the Bronx as “one of those fairy tales / where the witch eats the child.” And for good reason. Her perfume mogul dad...

Review of The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid

The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid by Kate Hattemer High School    Knopf    293 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-9848-4912-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-4913-7    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-4914-4    $10.99 Jemima serves with the Senior Triumvirate at her tradition-steeped prep school, and though she’s invested in her role, she’s also eager to shake up...

Review of Brown Girl Ghosted

Brown Girl Ghosted by Mintie Das High School    Houghton    289 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-358-12889-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-13130-4    $9.99 Sixteen-year-old Violet Choudhury is a cheerleader; the best friend of Meryl, a popular iconoclast; and a daughter who never knew her dead mother and barely sees her largely absent father. She’s...

Review of We Didn't Ask for This

We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid High School    Inkyard    352 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-335-14676-2    $18.99 At a worldly and diverse K–12 private school in an unnamed country outside the U.S., the high schoolers look forward to the school’s legendary lock-in, planning all year for sanctioned events such as...

Review of Something to Say

Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée; illus. by Bre Indigo Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    373 pp.    g 7/20    978-0-06-283671-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-283673-1    $9.99 Janae is a loner and plans to keep it that way in middle school, that is, until she meets outgoing, audacious Aubrey, who...

Review of Things Seen from Above

Things Seen from Above by Shelley Pearsall; illus. by Xingye Jin Intermediate    Knopf    262 pp. 2/20    978-1-5247-1739-1    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1740-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1741-4    $9.99 April, beginning sixth grade and dealing with her own friendship issues, takes an interest in a younger student with puzzling behaviors and a surprising...

Review of Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe

Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez Intermediate, Middle School    Riordan/Disney-Hyperion    421 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-368-02283-5    $16.99 Sal and Gabi are back in the sequel to Pura Belpré Award–winning Sal & Gabi Break the Universe, only this time they have to fix the universe — and during tech...

Review of One Time

One Time by Sharon Creech Intermediate   Cotler/HarperCollins    272 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-257074-1    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-257075-8    $17.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-257077-2    $9.99 Gina Filomena, eleven, has been told that she has an overactive imagination. Few teachers or classmates have seen this as a gift until the new language arts teacher, Miss...

Review of Love, Love

Love, Love by Victoria Chang Intermediate, Middle School    Sterling    214 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-4549-3832-3    $16.95 This semiautobiographical verse novel begins with eleven-year-old Chinese American girl Frances Chin witnessing an attack on her older sister, Clara, behind their school. (Frances herself has endured taunts centered on race: “you’re SO SO ugly...

Review of Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    195 pp.    g 8/20    978-0-593-12136-8    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-12137-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-12138-2    $9.99 Isaiah Dunn is not your typical hero. Heroes usually win, but Isaiah seems to experience a lot of losses: losing his father on...

Review of Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    422 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-288276-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-288278-3    $11.99 In this sharp and compelling verse novel (a 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree), sixteen-year-old Camino Rios lives in the Dominican Republic and dreams of medical school. Sixteen-year-old Yahaira Rios...

Review of Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom [Wayside School] by Louis Sachar; illus. by Tim Heitz Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    182 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-06-296538-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-296542-4    $10.99 Yes, per the introductory author's note to this fourth book about the wacky elementary school, it's been forty years since the first...

Review of War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories by Tim Wynne-Jones Intermediate, Middle School    Groundwood    245 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-77306-047-7    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77306-048-4    $11.99 Most of the protagonists in these nine short stories are twelve years old and bumping into the realities of human nature — their own...

Review of Echo Mountain

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    359 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-525-55556-8    $17.99 Since the Great Depression forced twelve-year-old Ellie’s family to move from town up to Echo Mountain, she hasn’t known how to interact with her mother and older sister; they miss their former life and blame...

Review of Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    357 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-282025-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-282027-3    $10.99 At seventeen, Felix Love feels marginalized as a Black teen, an aspiring artist, and a trans male. His mom left the family when he was ten, and although his...

Review of Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen

Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen by Anne Nesbet Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    357 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-5362-0619-7    $18.99 “Sometimes the real danger is not what you thought it would be at all.” So begins the story of Darleen, young (fictional) star of silent movie serials. It is 1914, and...

Review of With a Star in My Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero

With a Star in My Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero by Margarita Engle Middle School, High School    Atheneum    150 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-5344-2493-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2495-1    $10.99 Written in first person, this heartfelt verse novel tells the fictionalized story of Rubén Darío (based on his autobiography), who was born...

Review of The Book of Fatal Errors

The Book of Fatal Errors by Dashka Slater Intermediate    Farrar    322 pp.    g 7/20    978-0-374-30119-4    $16.99 Slater (winner of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction honor for The 57 Bus, rev. 1/18) here presents an entertaining, fantastical summertime story. Twelve-year-old Rufus’s grandfather lives at Feylawn, an estate overtaken by nature and,...
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