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Review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    110 pp.    g 11/17    978-1-62979-586-7    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-917-9    $9.99 Brimner (We Are One; Birmingham Sunday; Black & White) revisits the civil rights movement in this book about the 1961 Freedom Ride. Opening with a litany of landmark court […]

Review of The Wrong Train

The Wrong Train by Jeremy de Quidt; illus. by Dave Shelton Middle School    Fickling/Scholastic    209 pp.    g 7/17    978-1-338-12125-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-12126-1    $11.99 This unsettling collection of eight ghost stories, framed by a ninth, will surely delight fans of the eerie and the macabre. A British boy hurriedly boards a train one night, but […]

Review of The Champions’ Game: A True Story

The Champions’ Game: A True Story by Saul Ramirez, 
as told to John Seidlitz Middle School    Canter Press    152 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-9977402-4-0    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-0-9977402-3-3    $14.99 In 2010 Saul Ramirez got a job as an art teacher at Henderson Middle School in an impoverished neighborhood in El Paso, Texas. Chess was another of […]

Review of And Then There Were Four

And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin High School    Dial    416 pp. 6/17    978-0-8037-4072-3    $18.99 After a three-book detour through the fantasy genre (Impossible, rev. 9/08, and sequels), Werlin (The Rules of Survival, rev. 9/06) returns to her mystery/thriller roots for another psychological page-turner. Five students at a private boarding school are called together […]

Review of The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation)

The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation) by Anne Quirk; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley Intermediate    Knopf    118 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-5247-0035-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-0036-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-0119-2    $10.99 “It hurts to be on the wrong side of history. Winners, like George Washington, have great cities […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Words

For fans of children’s literature, social media has enabled a community of kindred spirits to collectively speculate about what might win the year’s biggest awards at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards — which determine the cream of the crop, the most excellent books, the most distinguished contributions to literature. The excitement that starts […]

Review of Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood 
to Columbia University

Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood 
to Columbia University by Francisco Jiménez Middle School, High School    Houghton    200 pp. 4/15    978-0-547-63230-8    $16.99    g In the fourth volume of his memoir series (The Circuit, rev. 11/00; Breaking Through, rev. 11/01; Reaching Out, 2008), Jiménez delivers a moving account of his graduate school years at Columbia University during […]

Review of Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor High School    Little, Brown    533 pp. 3/17    978-0-316-34168-4    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-34164-6    $10.99 Lazlo Strange is a lowly librarian with a keen and singular interest in the mysterious city of Weep, which lost contact with the rest of the world over two […]

Review of Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    164 pp. 2/17    978-0-7636-7063-4    $19.99    g In 1936, economist John Maynard Keyes bought a set of Isaac Newton’s manuscripts at auction only to discover that many of the pages had nothing to do with science, but rather alchemy. Newton, Keyes […]

Review of Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin Middle School    Knopf    246 pp. 10/16    978-0-553-50936-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-50937-3    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-50938-0    $10.99 Marrin (FDR and the American Crisis, rev. 1/15) wanders far afield from the book’s subtitle in order to place his subject in a comprehensively broad context; readers […]