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About Anita L. Burkam

Horn Book reviewer Anita L. Burkam is former associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of As You Wish audiobook

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti; read by Brian Hutchison High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 1/18 8 CDs    9.75 hrs.    978-1-5019-7224-9    $24.49 In a Nevada desert town where everyone gets a wish on his or her eighteenth birthday (and it comes true), seventeen-year-old Eldon doesn’t know what to choose. What’s more, he’s convinced that most […]

Review of Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot audiobook

Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling; read by Christina Moore Middle School, High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 3/18 6 CDs    7.25 hrs.    978-1-5019-7193-8    $20.99 Narrator Moore has a deep, resonant alto with a no-nonsense quality that perfectly embodies the resolve of America’s first feminists. When quoting Susan […]

Review of Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    533 pp. 3/18    978-1-250-17097-2    $18.99 When magic suddenly disappears from the kingdom of Orïsha, King Saran seizes the chance to murder all the maji (rare and powerful magic-wielders), leaving alive only the divîners (children born to be maji but too young to have yet […]

Review of The House of Months and Years

The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne Intermediate, Middle School    Simon    274 pp. 2/17    978-1-4814-6255-6    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6257-0    $10.99 After the tragic deaths of her aunt and uncle, Amelia and her parents move out of their own home and in with Amelia’s orphaned cousins. Nudiustertian House (nudiustertian meaning “relating to the […]

Review of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman; 
illus. by Daniel Minter Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 9/16    978-1-62014-148-9    $19.95    g William “Doc” Key was a self-taught veterinarian, businessman, and patent medicine salesman who was born into slavery in 1833 and became a free […]

Review of A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter

A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder; 
illus. by Mary GrandPré Intermediate    Crown    296 pp. 3/16    978-0-385-39232-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39233-4    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-39234-1    $10.99 Newly admitted to Spriggs Academy, Winnie Burton has more to contend with than the usual new-girl jitters. Winnie’s dragon-caretaker, Miss Drake, […]

Review of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne Intermediate, Middle School     Simon    247 pp. 7/15     978-1-4424-9882-2     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9886-0     $10.99 While out grave-robbing with his father one night, Thomas Marsden digs up a corpse that looks exactly like him, down to the birthmark on his cheek. In his […]

Review of Shadow Scale

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman Middle School, High School   Random   600 pp. 3/15   978-0-375-86657-9   $18.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96657-6   $21.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89659-0   $10.99 With the dragon civil war closing in on Goredd, Seraphina (Seraphina, rev. 7/12) begins an uncertain mission: she and Abdo, a fellow half-dragon, embark on a journey to recruit other ityasaari […]

Review of The Red Pencil

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by Shane W. Evans Middle School    Little, Brown    324 pp. 9/14    978-0-316-24780-1    $17.00 e-book ed.  978-0-316-24781-8    $9.99 The first part of this vivid novel, set from September 2003 to March 2004, celebrates twelve-year-old Amira’s life on her family farm in Darfur, Sudan. Her first-person prose poems and […]

Review of The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, 
and Emma Trevayne; illus. by Alexander Jansson Middle School    Greenwillow    488 pp. 6/14    978-0-06-233105-2    $16.99 Four “curators” — Bachmann, Catmull, Legrand, and Trevayne — travel to lands peregrine and outré to fill their Cabinet of Curiosities museum, sending back […]