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Review of Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by Dawn Quigley; illus. by Tara Audibert Primary    Heartdrum/HarperCollins    80 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-301537-1    $15.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-301538-8    $4.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-301539-5    $4.99 This series opener introduces Jo Jo Makoons Azure, a rambunctious first grader with “strong lungs” (according to her mom) and...

Review of Take Back the Block

Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles Intermediate, Middle School    Random    240 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-593-17517-0    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-17518-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-17519-4    $9.99 The most important things on Wes Henderson’s mind this summer are hanging out with his friends, having the newest, freshest sneakers, and preparing for...

Review of The Legend of Auntie Po

The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor; illus. by the author Middle School    Kokila/Penguin    304 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-525-55488-2    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-525-55489-9    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-55490-5    $8.99 In this graphic novel, thirteen-year-old Mei Hao shares her homemade pies and homespun tales about the eponymous Auntie Po (a...

Review of Alice's Farm: A Rabbit's Tale

Alice’s Farm: A Rabbit’s Tale by Maryrose Wood; illus. by Christopher Denise  Intermediate    Feiwel    368 pp.    g  9/20    978-1-250-22455-2    $17.99  e-book ed.  978-1-250-22456-9    $9.99  A folksy omniscient narrator tells the tale of two families, rabbit and human, that share a territory. Young cottontail Alice and her brother Thistle are enjoying their...

Review of Little Bird

Little Bird by Cynthia Voigt; illus. by Lynne Rae Perkins  Intermediate    Greenwillow    336 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-299689-3    $16.99  e-book ed.  978-0-06-299691-6    $8.99  In her latest animal fantasy, Voigt returns to the Old Davis Farm, a territory she has explored in three previous books (most recently Toaff’s Way, rev. 9/18). Little Bird is a curious...

Review of The Last Rabbit

The Last Rabbit  by Shelley Moore Thomas; illus. by Julie Mellan  Intermediate    Lamb/Random    288 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-593-17353-4    $16.99  Library ed.  978-0-593-17354-1    $19.99  e-book ed.  978-0-593-17355-8    $9.99  An introductory poem explains that Hybrasil, the mythical island west of Ireland once charted on actual nautical maps, was said to be occupied, during its...

Review of A Whale of the Wild

A Whale of the Wild  by Rosanne Parry; illus. by Lindsay Moore  Intermediate    Greenwillow    336 pp.    g  9/20    978-0-06-299592-6    $17.99  The whale of the title could apply to either of two narrators. Vega, a late-adolescent orca whale, is just coming into her own as a wayfinder. The alternating voice is that of her...

Review of A Cat Story

A Cat Story by Ursula Murray Husted; illus. by the author  Primary, Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    192 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-293205-1    $22.99  Paper ed.  978-0-06-293204-4    $12.99  e-book ed.  978-0-06-293206-8    $10.99  This graphic novel, set on the island of Malta, is the story of stray cats who spend their days wandering the wet...

Review of The Hungry Place

The Hungry Place by Jessie Haas  Intermediate, Middle School    Boyds Mills/Boyds Mills & Kane    190 pp.    g  10/20    978-1-68437-794-7    $17.99  Princess, born a champion Connemara pony at Highover Farm, has all the best care from her doting, elderly owner Roland. In a separate but linked narrative, Rae, a scrappy eight-year-old with the love...

Review of Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good

Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good  by Nancy Werlin High School    Candlewick    352 pp.    g  4/21    978-1-5362-1473-4    $17.99  Zoe Rosenthal is a rule follower and a planner, attached to her bullet journal (whose pages are interspersed). She’s a devoted girlfriend, hoping to attend the same college as her boyfriend. And she’s a fan...

Review of Between Perfect and Real

Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve  High School    Amulet/Abrams    304 pp.    g  4/21    978-1-4197-4601-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68335-951-7    $15.54  Until senior year, seventeen-year-old Dean had identified as a “tomboy lesbian” but now increasingly identifies as a guy. When a forward-looking theater teacher casts him as Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet, Dean, who...

Review of Pumpkin

Pumpkin  by Julie Murphy  High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    336 pp.    g  5/21    978-0-06-288045-1    $17.99  e-book ed.  978-0-06-288047-5    $11.99  Waylon Brewer does not fit in at Clover City High School. He’s fat; he’s gay; and he loves drag, particularly a drag-competition TV show called Fiercest of Them All. But no one, not...

Review of Mazie

Mazie  by Melanie Crowder  High School    Philomel    352 pp.    g  2/21    978-0-525-51674-3    $17.99  In 1959, seventeen-year-old Mazie suddenly finds herself with the funds to leave Nebraska and spend six weeks in New York City pursuing her Broadway dreams. At first she’s overwhelmed and lonely, living in the big city at a boardinghouse for...

Review of Muted

Muted  by Tami Charles  High School    Scholastic    400 pp.    g  2/21    978-1-338-67352-4    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-1-338-67353-1    $11.99  This timely and lyrical verse novel offers a heart-wrenching, unflinching look at the underbelly of the music industry and its exploitation of those who dream of making it big. Three best friends, all talented...

Review of Pawcasso

Pawcasso by Remy Lai; illus. by the author Intermediate    Holt    240 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-250-77448-4    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-77449-1    $14.99 Lai’s finger is always precisely on the pulse of kid humor (see Pie in the Sky, rev. 7/19; Fly on the Wall, rev. 9/20), and she provides laughs galore in...

Review of Wildflowers

Wildflowers by Liniers; illus. by the author Primary    TOON    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-943145-53-9    $12.95 Liniers (The Big Wet Balloon, rev. 9/13; Good Night, Planet, rev. 1/18) presents a charming celebration of nature, siblinghood, and imaginative play. As three sisters play together on a mysterious island (their backyard), they encounter...

Review of My Last Summer with Cass

My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley; illus. by the author High School    Little, Brown    256 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-7595-5546-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7595-5545-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-70547-9    $9.99 In this graphic novel, Megan and Cass’s families have always summered together at a cottage in Topinabee, Michigan, where the...

Review of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Greenwillow    160 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-297042-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-297044-2    $8.99 Kelly (Newbery medalist for Hello, Universe, rev. 3/17, and honoree for We Dream of Space, rev. 5/20) reaches out to a younger audience in an...

Review of A Sitting in St. James

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-236729-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-236732-7    $10.99 Williams-Garcia, whose YA titles include the 1995 classic Like Sisters on the Homefront and Jumped (rev. 3/09), offers an unusual angle on the subject of slavery with this...

Review of Middletown

Middletown by Sarah Moon Middle School    Levine Querido    288 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-64614-042-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-107-4    $9.99 Thirteen-year-old Eli and her big sister Anna, seventeen, are used to fending for themselves and covering up their mother’s excessive drinking; they’ve been doing it for years. However, things come to a...

Review of Too Bright to See

Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff Middle School    Dial    192 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-593-11115-4    $16.99 Bug has always believed his family’s old Vermont farmhouse is haunted — partly because of shadows and creaks, and partly because he often “catch[es] a glimpse of something in the mirror that isn’t me.”...

Review of Tag Team and Training Day

Tag Team [El Toro & Friends] by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton    56 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-358-38039-9    $9.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-39372-6    $6.99 Training Day [El Toro & Friends] by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton   ...

Review of Ophie's Ghosts

Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    336 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-291589-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-291585-6    $9.99 “When she was twelve, Ophelia Harrison saw her first ghost” — that of her father. Having been lynched for voting as a Black man in 1920s Georgia, he appears...

Review of Merci Suárez Can’t Dance

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance by Meg Medina Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    384 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-7636-9050-2    $17.99 Merci navigates the troubles of home and seventh grade — and the gap between the two — with her irresistible combination of spirit and heart in this follow-up to the Newbery-winning Merci Suárez...

Review of The One Thing You'd Save

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

Review of The Blind Colt

The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    83 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4353-6    $17.99 “You can’t hurry a Glen Rounds book,” says artist Matt Myers, who opens this eightieth anniversary edition with a new appreciation of the author-illustrator. That’s certainly true of this quiet yet...

Review of Red, White, and Whole

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca Middle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    224 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-06-304742-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-304744-0    $9.99 It’s 1983, and thirteen-year-old Reha feels she has “two lives.” In one, she’s a serious student who tries to make her Indian immigrant parents proud but is seen as...

Review of Skyhunter

Skyhunter by Marie Lu High School    Roaring Brook    384 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-250-22168-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-22169-8    $9.99 Talin is a Striker, one of an elite force defending the Mara peninsula from invasion by the Karensa Federation. When she is summoned to witness the execution of a Federation prisoner, Red,...

Review of Kate in Waiting

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    400 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-06-264383-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-264385-8    $10.99 Kate and her best guy friend Anderson are obsessed with musical theater — and also, frequently, with the same boys. At summer theater camp, they both crush on gorgeous...

Review of Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith Intermediate, Middle School    Heartdrum/HarperCollins    320 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-06-286994-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-286996-8    $9.99 Through this linked anthology by seventeen contributors, readers experience “What Is a Powwow?” (the title of Kim Rogers’s opening poem), as characters converge in Ann...

Review of Hide and Seeker

Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-338-58362-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-58364-9    $10.99 Zee had been missing for over a year. Now he’s back, but something is not right. From the moment Justin, Lyric, and Nia arrive at Zee’s house to celebrate his...

Review of Turning Point

Turning Point by Paula Chase Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    384 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-296566-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-296568-4    $7.99 The crew from the Cove (So Done, rev. 7/18; Dough Boys, rev. 7/19) is back, and best friends Rasheeda “Sheeda” Tate and Monique “Mo” Jenkins are the featured duo this go-round....

Review of Ways to Grow Love

Ways to Grow Love [Ryan Hart] by Renée Watson; illus. by Nina Mata Intermediate    Bloomsbury    192 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5476-0058-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0059-5    $11.89 Ryan Hart (Ways to Make Sunshine, rev. 3/20) is back, now a rising fifth grader and ready for summer adventures. Despite obstacles — her father...

Review of Saucy

Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata; illus. by Marianna Raskin Intermediate    Dlouhy/Atheneum    304 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4424-1278-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-1280-4    $10.99 Eleven-and-a-half-year-old Becca, one of a set of quadruplets, discovers an ailing baby pig by the side of the road and brings it home. From this point on, life in her...

Review of Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz Intermediate    Tu/Lee and Low    225 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-64379-046-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-64379-047-3    $9.99 Narrator Julieta Leal — smart, curious, and prone to causing unintentional trouble — is thrilled to be accompanying her dad, an art handler at Boston’s Museum of...

Review of The Biggest Roller Coaster and The Great Bunk Bed Battle

The Biggest Roller Coaster [Fox Tails] by Tina Kügler; illus. by the author Primary    Acorn/Scholastic    48 pp.    g 9/20    Library ed.  978-1-338-56170-8    $23.99 Paper ed.  978-1-338-56169-2    $4.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-63515-7    $2.99 The Great Bunk Bed Battle [Fox Tails] by Tina Kügler; illus. by the author Primary    Acorn/Scholastic    48 pp.    g...

Review of Starla Jean

Starla Jean by Elana K. Arnold; illus. by A. N. Kang Primary    Roaring Brook    96 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-30576-3    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-30577-0    $9.56 A routine tandem bike ride to the park with Dad ends in surprise when Starla Jean discovers a lost chicken scratching in the dirt. “‘If you...

Review of Firekeeper's Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley High School    Holt    496 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-250-76656-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-76657-1    $10.99 Recent high school graduate Daunis Firekeeper (known for much of the book by her white mother’s family name, Fontaine) decides to stay in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, and attend Lake State with...

Review of Starfish

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

Review of Billy Miller Makes a Wish

Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes Primary, Intermediate    Greenwillow    192 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-06-304279-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-304281-0    $8.99 When Billy Miller fell on his head at the beginning of The Year of Billy Miller (rev. 9/13), he worried about forgetting things and whether he was smart enough...

Review of Super Fake Love Song

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon High School    Putnam    368 pp.    g 11/20    978-1-98481-223-0    $18.99 Sunny Dae and his friends are the “nerd caste” (and also “42.85714286 percent of the entire nonwhite population”) at their suburban Los Angeles high school. They are, after all, the hosts of a web...

Review of My Heart Underwater

My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-06-297228-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-297230-9    $9.99 After seventeen-year-old Cory’s mother witnesses a kiss between her and her long-term substitute teacher, twenty-five-year-old Ms. Holden, she sends Cory to spend two months in Quezon City in the...

Review of The Lion of Mars

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm Intermediate, Middle School    Random    272 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-593-12181-8    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-12182-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-12183-2    $9.99 Eleven-year-old Bell is the youngest resident of the American settlement on Mars. Along with the older kids — like Bell, all orphans transported from...

Review of Amber & Clay

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

Review of The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas

The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas by Kimberly Willis Holt Intermediate, Middle School    Ottaviano/Holt    320 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-23410-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-23411-7    $9.99 The narrator of this sequel to National Book Award winner When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (rev. 11/99) is Rylee Wilson, daughter of the first book’s protagonist,...

Review of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

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

Review of Too Small Tola

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

Review of Winterkeep

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

Review of Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins

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

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

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

Review of Measuring Up

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

Review of The Daughters of Ys

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

Review of War and Millie McGonigle

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

Review of Letters from Cuba

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

Review of In a Flash

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

Review of Love Is a Revolution

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

Review of Concrete Rose

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

Review of 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...
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