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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 […]

What Makes a Good Horse Book?

Black Beauty. The Black Stallion. My Friend Flicka. National Velvet. Add in basically anything written by Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague), and you’ll see that horses hold a beloved place in 
classical children’s literature. But what qualities make a contemporary horse book stand out? For children who long to own a horse but can’t have […]

Review of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger Selves

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon, with 
contributing editor James Lecesne Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    
282 pp. 5/12    978-0-545-39932-6    $17.99 Inspired by mentors in her own childhood, editor Sarah Moon asked sixty-four gay, lesbian, and bisexual writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals to write letters to themselves […]

Review of Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 422 pp. 2/12 978-0-06-206002-0 $16.99 g In the town of Goodborough, home to the Goodco cereal company, new kid Scott Doe is seeing things. Specifically, a rabbit-headed man, a unicat, and a leprechaun named Mick. His only friends, brainy twins […]

Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

With millions of fans worldwide passionate in their devotion to the boy wizard, Harry Potter is practically in a publishing category by itself — J. K. Rowling can do no wrong. So when directors undertake to film a movie version of a Harry Potter book, the scrutiny is intense. Moviegoers demand a movie that is […]