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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 […]

Review of Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box

Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus Middle School, High School    Candlewick    176 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-5938-7    $24.99 A foreword by David Small and Marcus’s brief outline of the history of comics introduce the book. Marcus (The Wand in the Word: Conversations with […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

Review of The Magic Word

The Magic Word by Mac Barnett; illus. by Elise Parsley Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-235484-6    $17.99 Here, the magic word isn’t please, it’s Alakazoomba, and it’s what amped-up Paxton C. Heymeyer says to summon the cookie that his babysitter won’t let him have — without first saying “the magic word.” With his […]

Review of Ashes

Ashes [Seeds of America] by Laurie Halse Anderson Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    296 pp. 10/16    978-1-4169-6146-8    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4508-6    $6.99 It’s been five long years since Isabel’s younger sister, Ruth, was stolen away by hated slave owner Madam Lockton (Chains, rev. 11/08), but as Isabel continues her fraught journey south in June 1781 […]

Review of We Found a Hat

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    56 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-5600-3    $17.99    g This third picture book by Klassen about a hat (I Want My Hat Back, rev. 11/11; This Is Not My Hat, rev. 9/12), itself written in three parts, is a bit longer than its predecessors, […]

Review of March: Book Three

March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: the […]

Review of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller Middle School   Schwartz & Wade/Random   284 pp. 1/16   978-0-553-49808-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-49809-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-553-49810-3   $10.99 Lizzie Borden took an axe, / Gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, / She gave […]

Review of American Ace

American Ace by Marilyn Nelson Intermediate   Dial   122 pp. 1/16   978-0-8037-3305-3   $17.99   g Nelson’s talent for undergirding her poetry with historical empathy (Fortune’s Bones, rev. 1/05; A Wreath for Emmett Till, rev. 5/05) is once again present in this verse novel. In forty-five poems, Nelson tells the story of Connor Bianchini, who finds out that […]

Reviews of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games] by Suzanne Collins Middle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp. 10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99 Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky […]