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About Betty Carter

Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Review of What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-4814-6561-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6562-5    $10.99 This large book, with its lush, vivid, mixed-media illustrations, makes an artistic statement as bold as groundbreaking African American […]

Review of Louisiana’s Way Home

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo Intermediate    Candlewick    230 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-7636-9463-0    $16.99 Readers first met Louisiana Elefante in Raymie Nightingale (rev. 3/16) as the orphaned daughter of famous trapeze artists and as one of the Three Rancheros, a steadfast trio of young friends who vowed to always have one another’s backs. In this […]

Review of Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh; illus. by Edwin Fotheringham Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    80 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-4847-8144-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-02251-4    $10.99 Corset maker. Sailor. Tax collector. Husband. Thomas Paine fails at all these pursuits. But what he can do is write and persuade, and when in 1774 he immigrates […]

Review of All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy; 

illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 2/18    978-1-4814-7752-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7753-6    $10.99 McCarthy sets her historical scene 
with three iconic 1980s images: a “speedy white car,” “boxy-looking computers,” and “big hair,” all depicted in […]

Review of Bird Builds a Nest

Bird Builds a Nest [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-7636-9346-6    $16.99 Striking mixed-media illustrations, collage-like and muted with earth tones, depict a burnt-orange sun rising in the east and a bird perched on a tree branch, perfectly representing the opening sentence of […]

Review of The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead

The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead by Deborah Noyes Middle School    Viking    152 pp. 8/17    978-0-8037-4018-1    $18.99 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Spiritualist movement swept the nation. Noyes (Ten Days a Madwoman, rev. 1/16) uses Harry Houdini’s attempts to discredit the […]

Review of Robinson

Robinson by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary    Scholastic    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-545-73166-9    $17.99 Building on a childhood memory, Sís writes of a school costume party where he and his friends decide to go as pirates. Intervening, his mother reminds him of his love for adventure. Why not go as Robinson Crusoe, from […]

Review of Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code

Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code [Scientists in the Field] by Amy Cherrix Middle School    Houghton    73 pp. 4/17    978-0-544-41165-4    $18.99 When thirteen-year-old Angela Dresch walks out on the Staten Island Beach on the afternoon of October 29, 2012, neither she nor readers know that in a […]

Review of The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch; illus. by Marjorie Priceman Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4814-4484-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4485-9    $10.99 Readers take a journey to Italy during the closing years of the Renaissance to meet a man whose invention is better known than his […]

Review of 5 Little Ducks

5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/16    978-1-4814-2422-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2423-3    $10.99 Listeners familiar with the traditional nursery rhyme and song know the general plotline: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars — highlighted in glorious […]