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Deirdre Baker

About Deirdre Baker

Deirdre F. Baker, a reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine and the Toronto Star, teaches children’s literature at the University of Toronto. The author of Becca
at Sea (Groundwood), she is currently at work on a sequel—written in the
past tense.

Review of Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott High School    Houghton    191 pp.    g 3/19    978-1-328-98759-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-04915-9    $9.99 In this verse novel, “voices” refers to Joan of Arc’s messages from the saints; to the various people who testified for and against her; to Joan herself; and to the objects […]

Review of Love to Everyone

Love to Everyone by Hilary McKay Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    330 pp. 9/18    978-1-5344-2710-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2712-9    $10.99 In Binny in Secret (rev. 7/15), McKay introduced us to Clarry, her brother Peter, and their beloved cousin Rupert in a subplot set during World War I in London. Here, McKay gives us the full story […]

Review of The Secret of Nightingale Wood

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange Intermediate, Middle School    Chicken House/Scholastic    288 pp. 10/17    978-1-338-15747-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-15749-9    $10.99 It’s 1919; the Great War is over; and twelve-year-old Hen and her family — Mama, Father, baby “Piglet,” and Nanny Jane — have just moved to an English country house where they hope […]

Review of Jane, Unlimited

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore Middle School, High School    Dawson/Penguin    451 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-8037-4149-2    $17.99 When her guardian, Aunt Magnolia, dies, Jane is left untethered and financially insecure. Then Kiran, an old acquaintance, invites Jane to Tu Reviens (“you return”), Kiran’s family’s island mansion. Aunt Magnolia had told Jane unequivocally that “if you’re invited […]

Review of Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson Middle School, High School    Candlewick    149 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8789-2    $16.99 Parable, satire, dystopic sci-fi — Anderson’s take on a near future in which alien “vuvv” have colonized America’s economy, land, and airspace has so many shiveringly close resemblances to the contemporary world that it might also […]

Review of Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green Intermediate    Pajama    239 pp. 5/17    978-1-77278-033-8    $15.95 Paper ed.  978-1-77278-017-8    $9.95 Macy is fed up with all the changes impinging upon her: she’s finishing sixth grade and will have to move on to a new school and a new sign language interpreter; her mother is getting […]

Review of The One Memory of Flora Banks

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr High School    Philomel    296 pp. 5/17    978-0-399-54701-0    $17.99 Ever since, as she’s been told, Flora had a brain tumor removed when she was eleven, she’s been unable to make new memories. She can remember things for only a few hours and must negotiate her life by […]

Review of Beyond the Bright Sea

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    293 pp. 5/17    978-1-101-99485-6    $16.99 Crow lives on a tiny island in the Elizabeth Islands off Cape Cod with her adoptive father, Osh. He and Miss Maggie, who lives on nearby Cuttyhunk, are her only companions, as other locals shun her. But Crow wasn’t […]

Review of Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves [Queen’s Thief] by Megan Whalen Turner Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    339 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-06-256824-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-256825-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-256827-4    $9.99 Turner’s eagerly awaited fifth Queen’s Thief novel (beginning with The Thief, rev. 11/96) displays in full her many fortes: ingenious […]

Review of Bull

Bull by David Elliott High School    Houghton    188 pp. 3/17    978-0-544-61060-6    $17.99    g There’s little grand or heroic in Elliott’s clever verse version of the classical story of the Minotaur: its title, Bull, is topically and colloquially apt. The story unrolls in the voices of seven characters, each with his […]