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About Dean Schneider

Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hawk Rising

If the flight of a hawk is poetry in motion, then this book is, too. Author Maria Gianferrari provides the poetry, and illustrator Brian Floca provides the hawk in motion. Parallel stories are at work here: Father Hawk hunts, while Mother Hawk stays with their chicks; a human girl, binoculars in hand, observes the hawk, […]

The View from Robin’s Rocking Chair

Robin Smith, my wife, co-founded Calling Caldecott, and when she died last year, I knew that each fall would have me wondering which current picture books Robin would love most. The way I decide is to think of Robin’s rocking chair, painted in vivid reds and yellows and greens by Alabama outsider artist Chris Clark […]

Review of Give Me Some Truth

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the author High School    Levine/Scholastic    432 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-338-14354-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-14355-3    $11.99 Seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick has lived his whole life on the reservation, while fifteen-year-old Maggi (short for Magpie) Bokoni had been living in the city since she was eight and has only […]

Review of March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine

March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals; 

illus. by Frank Morrison Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    214 pp. 1/18    978-1-328-88212-7    $16.99 Beals, author of the adult memoir 
Warriors Don’t Cry, received the 
Congressional Gold Medal for her bravery in helping to integrate Central High School in 1957 as one […]

Review of This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father

This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father by Khizr Khan with Anne Quirk Intermediate, Middle School    Knopf    216 pp. 10/17    978-1-5247-7091-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7092-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7093-8    $10.99 This clearly written, straightforward study of the U.S. Constitution, written by Pakistan-born Khan (who spoke passionately at the 2016 Democratic National […]

Review of Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes Middle School, High School    Paulsen/Penguin    213 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-24688-3    $17.99 “Just step up, step up to the mike / and let your truth fly, loud, / proud, raw.” That’s what students are preparing to do in Mr. Ward’s high school class in the Bronx. Through poetry, they are […]

Review of Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 
and Raymond Obstfeld Middle School, High School    Little, Brown    291 pp. 11/17    978-0-316-55538-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-55533-3    $9.99 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the NBA record for most points scored (38,387), and his college basketball career at UCLA under Coach John Wooden is legendary, his […]

Review of The Journey of Little Charlie

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    245 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-545-15666-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-16400-8    $10.99 This latest addition to Curtis’s Buxton Chronicles (Elijah of Buxton, rev. 11/07; The Madman of Piney Woods, rev. 9/14) takes place in 1858, when the Fugitive Slave Act was in force. When […]

Review of The United States v. Jackie Robinson

The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 1/18    978-0-06-228784-7    $17.99 “Long before anyone had heard of Rosa Parks, a guy named Jack refused to move to the back of the bus.” So begins the story of baseball star Jackie Robinson…before he was […]

Review of Dear Martin

Dear Martin by Nic Stone High School    Crown    211 pp.    g 10/17    978-1-101-93949-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-11-101-93950-5    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93951-2    $10.99 “I know your kind: punks like you wander the streets of nice neighborhoods searching for prey. Just couldn’t resist the pretty white girl who’d locked her keys in her car, could ya?” So […]