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Books for World Refugee Day

Help children honor World Refugee Day with these Guide/Reviews Database-recommended picture books, middle-grade, and young adult books.  For more discussion on the topic, visit the Horn Book website....

Review of Beyond: Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space

Beyond: Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space by Miranda Paul; illus. by Sija Hong Primary, Intermediate    Millbrook    32 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5415-7756-5    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1898-8    $30.65 Paul’s (Nine Months, rev. 5/19) resonant verse examines phenomena in the far reaches of the universe: “Stretching the limits / of what...

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 America My Love, America My Heart

America My Love, America My Heart by Daria Peoples-Riley; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-06-299329-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-308934-1    $12.99 In an immediate, evocative text, a child of color asks America — her country, which she loves — if America loves her back. Against black,...

Review of The Night Walk

The Night Walk by Marie Dorléans; illus. by the author; trans. from French by Polly Lawson Primary    Floris    32 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-78250-639-3    $17.95 Awakened by their mother’s voice and a sliver of light through their bedroom door, two children sleepily dress so they can “get there on time.” Where...

Review of What Are Little Girls Made Of?

What Are Little Girls Made Of? by Jeanne Willis; illus. by Isabelle Follath Primary    Nosy Crow/Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5362-1733-9    $14.99 What are little girls made of? More than “sugar and spice and everything nice” in Willis’s narrative-flipping revision of the classic rhyme. Her update? “Sun and rain and...

Review of Walk Toward the Rising Sun: From Child Soldier to Ambassador of Peace

Walk Toward the Rising Sun: From Child Soldier to Ambassador of Peace by Ger Duany with Garen Thomas High School    Make Me a World/Random    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-5247-1940-1    $18.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1941-8    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1942-5    $11.99 In this vivid memoir, Duany recounts his experience as a Lost Boy....

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 Hello, Jimmy!

Hello, Jimmy! by Anna Walker; illus. by the author Primary    Clarion    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-358-19358-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-36090-2    $12.99 Jack doesn’t live with his dad full time, and lately when he stays with him, the house seems especially quiet. Although the text never uses the word depressed, this...

Review of Carpenter's Helper

Carpenter’s Helper by Sybil Rosen; illus. by Camille Garoche Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-593-12320-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-12321-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-12322-5    $10.99 It is spring, and Renata is helping Papi renovate the bathroom. They cut a hole in the wall where the new window will...

Review of Seeking an Aurora

Seeking an Aurora by Elizabeth Pulford; illus. by Anne Bannock Primary    Blue Dot Kids    32 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-7331212-7-9    $17.95 A story from New Zealand about a rare natural wonder. A father awakens his child late at night to “find an Aurora.” The child asks, “What’s an Aurora?” but Dad...

Review of Night Walk

Night Walk by Sara O’Leary; illus. by Ellie Arscott Preschool, Primary    Groundwood    32 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-55498-796-2    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-797-9    $16.95 “Can’t sleep?” asks the narrator’s dad. “Come on, we’ll go for a walk” — and the two set off into the night. This small adventure, described in the...

Review of The Great Whipplethorp Bug Collection

The Great Whipplethorp Bug Collection by Ben Brashares; illus. by Elizabeth Bergeland Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-316-53825-1    $18.99 When Chuck decides he’s “bored enough” to accept his dad’s suggestion to start unpacking boxes in their new home, he discovers he’s descended from a long line of explorers...

Review of Just Being Dalí: The Story of Artist Salvador Dalí

Just Being Dalí: The Story of Artist Salvador Dalí by Amy Guglielmo; illus. by Brett Helquist Primary, Intermediate    Putnam    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-9848-1658-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1659-7    $10.99 This picture-book biography paints the Spanish surrealist artist as an imaginative, quirky person right from the start. As a child, he...

Review of Strollercoaster

 Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler; illus. by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay Preschool    Little, Brown    32 pp.    g 6/21    978-0-316-49322-2    $17.99 Preschooler Sam needs a nap. “The inside feels too small” for her, and she throws a tantrum. There’s only one solution: her father swings her up into the air...

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 We All Play

We All Play by Julie Flett; illus. by the author Preschool    Greystone Kids    40 pp.    g 5/21    978-1-77164-607-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77164-608-6    $17.99 In Flett’s lively and beautifully illustrated story, animals engage in all sorts of playful behaviors, on land and in the water. Each spread depicts one or two...

Review of Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile

Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada; illus. by María Elena Valdez; trans. from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel Intermediate, Middle School    Eerdmans    80 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-8028-5567-1    $18.99 During General Pinochet’s dictatorship, thousands of Chilean citizens were “disappeared,” including thirty-four children. Ferrada’s (Mexique: A Refugee...

Review of A Shot in the Arm!

A Shot in the Arm! [Big Ideas That Changed the World] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams   144 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-4197-5001-4    $13.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64700-090-5    $12.59 In this third installment of his Big Ideas That Changed the World comic-format series, Brown lays out the...

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 Someone Builds the Dream

Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler; illus. by Loren Long Primary    Dial    48 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-9848-1433-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1434-0    $10.99 Written in aptly propulsive verse and illustrated with aptly muscular art, this is a paean to people who work with their hands. To make a house, an...

Review of Taking Care of Mama Rabbit

Taking Care of Mama Rabbit by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool    Wiseman/Simon    24 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5344-7064-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-7063-7    $10.99 Mama Rabbit (from Lobel’s 10 Hungry Rabbits, rev. 1/12) is sick in bed, so, one at a time, the little rabbits bring small items to cheer...

Review of The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley; illus. by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien Primary, Intermediate    Millbrook    40 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5415-7915-6    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1900-8    $9.99 Young Prasit Hemmin and his friends loved soccer. But because their small island...

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 Happy Springtime!

Happy Springtime! by Kate McMullan; illus. by Sujean Rim Preschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-8234-4551-6    $18.99 Shades of icy blue suffuse the first double-page spread, with four kids all bundled up against a chilly, snowy day: “Here’s a message for school bus riders heading out on a cold,...

Review of The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-593-11265-6    $17.99 In Agee’s 1988 picture book, a Horn Book Fanfare title, everyone at the Grand Contest of Art hates the title character’s painting — a simply drawn duck in a...

Review of Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Norton    64 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-324-01574-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-01575-8    $17.48 At the end of 1938, when the Germans invaded the border region of Czechoslovakia, a young...

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 There Is a Rainbow

There Is a Rainbow by Theresa Trinder; illus. by Grant Snider Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-7972-1166-4    $15.99 A reassuring text and upbeat illustrations get to the heart of our shared COVID-19 experience — gently acknowledging loss and uncertainty while offering a message of hope and resilience. Trinder’s...

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 In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race

In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race by Amy Cherrix Middle School, High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    336 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-06-288875-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-288877-8    $9.99 Starting with an intriguing preface, ­Cherrix informs her audience that the space race was...

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 Saint Spotting; Or, How to Read a Church

Saint Spotting; Or, How to Read a Church by Chris Raschka; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Eerdmans    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-0-8028-5521-3    $17.99 Framing the book as an autobiographical recollection, Raschka provides a guide to “Saint Spotting,” a sort of game he and his mother would play while visiting...

2021 Summer Reading: High School

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Middle School

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Intermediate

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Picture Books

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

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 The Ramble Shamble Children

The Ramble Shamble Children by Christina Soontornvat; illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool, Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-0-399-17632-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-54582-5    $10.99 “Down the mountain, across the creek, past the last curve in the road, five children lived together in a ramble shamble house.” From this first welcoming...

Review of El Deafo: Superpowered Edition!

El Deafo: Superpowered Edition! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author; color by David Lasky Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    288 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4197-4831-8    $19.99 Bell’s 2014 graphic memoir is here re-issued with a wealth of “superpowered extras.” Childhood photos with friendly hand-lettered captions, often showing key items referenced in...

Cinco de Mayo 2021

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate (virtually!) with three updated booklists from the Guide/Reviews Database starring the holiday itself, Mexican and Mexican American protagonists, and the Spanish language. We've got recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for primary, intermediate, and older readers. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real...

Review of From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo High School    Norton    384 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-324-00287-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-00288-8    $17.48 Who was Vincent Chin? The brutal 1982 killing of the young Chinese American...

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 Yes & No

Yes & No by Elisha Cooper; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-250-25733-8    $18.99 Cooper brings readers the sweet tale of a cat and a dog, different as can be, illustrated in the same unfussy, ­minimalistic style as his Caldecott Honor–­winning Big Cat, Little...

Review of The Shrinking of Treehorn: 50th Anniversary Edition

The Shrinking of Treehorn: 50th Anniversary Edition by Florence Parry Heide; illus. by Edward Gorey Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    80 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-8234-4703-9    $16.99 “Something very strange was happening to Treehorn.” And with that, we’re off, to follow young Treehorn’s tribulations as he wakes up one day to discover that...

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

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

Review of 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 The Midnight Fair

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The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer; illus. by Mariachiara Di Giorgio Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-5362-1115-3    $16.99 Forest creatures emerge from the shadows to have their own nighttime fun at the county fairgrounds in this wordless and wondrous picture book. Once the humans head home for the evening,...

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 Crossings and Cougar Crossing

Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals by Katy S. Duffield; illus. by Mike Orodán Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-5344-6579-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6580-0    $10.99 Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood’s Celebrity Cougar Helped Build a Bridge for City Wildlife by Meeg Pincus; illus. by Alexander Vidal Primary    Beach Lane/Simon   ...

Review of Ice!: Poems About Polar Life

Ice!: Poems About Polar Life by Douglas Florian; illus. by the author Primary    Holiday    48 pp.    g 12/20    978-0-8234-4101-3    $17.99 Twenty-one humorous poems, each with an accompanying whimsical illustration (an emperor penguin sitting on a throne, wistfully looking at birds in flight, for example), introduce readers to Florian’s (Friends and...

Review of Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Jeff Gottesfeld; illus. by Matt Tavares Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5362-0148-2    $17.99 “In life we were our mothers’ sons. / In death we are faded photos on the mantel, / empty chairs at Thanksgiving, / prayers in...

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 Mel Fell

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor; illus. by the author Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-06-287801-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-308952-5    $12.99 This playful and innovatively designed book tells the story of a small bird who is eager to fly. When Mama leaves the tree one day, Mel...

Review of The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice by A. F. Harrold; illus. by Mini Grey Intermediate    Bloomsbury    160 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5476-0677-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0678-8    $13.99 Harrold (The Song from Somewhere Else, rev. 5/17) presents poems (a few repurposed from previous collections) full of practical and not-so-practical insights on...

Review of Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood

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

Review of Dear Treefrog

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

Review of Amber & Clay

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

Ramadan

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

Review of Keeping the City Going

Keeping the City Going by Brian Floca; illus. by the author Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-5344-9377-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-9378-0    $10.99 Caldecott winner Floca (Locomotive, rev. 9/13) presents a love letter to New York City and its essential workers during COVID-19. “We are here at home now, watching...

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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

Review of Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems

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Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems by Jack Prelutsky; illus. by Ruth Chan Intermediate    Greenwillow    144 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-06-301913-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-301915-7    $9.99 Prelutsky fans specifically, and fans of humorous poetry generally, should find just what they’re looking for here: nonsense confidently delivered in lines that...

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

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

Review of The 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 The Rock from the Sky

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

Review of The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story

The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story by Richard Jackson; illus. by Katherine Tillotson Preschool, Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-4814-1573-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1574-3    $10.99 It’s “the FULL story” of the classic tale of the three billy goats and the menacing troll, or what late author Jackson...

Review of Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World's First Female Rabbi

Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi by Sigal Samuel; illus. by Vali Mintzi Primary, Intermediate    Levine Querido    40 pp.    g 2/21    978-1-64614-037-4    $17.99 Osnat Barzani (1590–1670) convinced her father, a rabbi, to teach her to read Hebrew, unusual as that was for a...

Review of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

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

Review of Bear Island

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

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

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

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

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

Review of Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Primary, Intermediate    Dlouhy/Atheneum    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-5344-1913-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1914-8    $10.99 “In a town called Eatonville…lived a girl who was attracted to tales like mosquitos to...

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 The Passover Guest

The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel; illus. by Sean Rubin Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4562-2    $18.99 This reimagining of I. L. Peretz’s 1904 Yiddish story “Der Kunzen-Macher” (“The Magician”) follows Muriel, a young girl living in Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression. On the first night of Passover,...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review of Sylvie

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

Review of Girl on a Motorcycle

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

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

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

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

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

Céad míle fáilte!

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

Review of Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid

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

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

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

Review of Winterkeep

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

Review of Mary Seacole: Bound for the Battlefield

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

Review of Outside, Inside

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham; illus. by the author Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp.    g 1/21    978-1-250-79835-0    $18.99 “Something strange happened on an unremarkable day just before the season changed. Everybody who was OUTSIDE…went INSIDE.” The “something strange” is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, as safety protocols were put into...
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