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About Monica Edinger

Monica Edinger, a fourth-grade teacher at the Dalton School in New York City, blogs at Educating Alice and the Huffington Post. She is the author of Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad (Candlewick), illustrated by Robert Byrd.

Review of The Penderwicks at Last

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall Intermediate    Knopf    294 pp. 5/18    978-0-385-75566-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75567-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75568-9    $10.99 The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to […]

Review of Goldfish on Vacation

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Leo Espinosa Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-385-38611-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38612-8    $20.99 Three city-dwelling siblings, goldfish owners, feel sad for the derelict, once-magnificent fountain at the end of their street. Then a sign appears on the fountain: “COMING IN TWO WEEKS! CALLING ALL […]

Review of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge Middle School, High School    Viking    212 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-670-78506-3    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-425-29178-8    $11.99 The Vietnam War was a time of virulent political divisiveness, profound cultural upheaval, and horrific events. It can be challenging to understand, especially for young people born decades afterward, […]

Review of Victoria: Portrait of a Queen

Victoria: Portrait of a Queen by Catherine Reef Middle School    Clarion    246 pp. 11/17    978-0-544-71614-8    $18.99 Fans’ obsession with Victorian England seems never-ending, yet how much do young Victorianaphiles know about the real woman who gave the period its name? Coming to the rescue is veteran biographer Reef (Ernest Hemingway, rev. 9/09; Florence Nightingale, rev. […]

Review of A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White by Barbara Herkert; illus. by Lauren Castillo Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 10/17    978-1-62779-245-5    $18.99 The writer E. B. White is introduced here in spare text and warm images, with a focus on White’s love of nature and animals as well as the […]

Review of Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erskine; illus. by Charly Palmer Primary, Intermediate    Farrar    48 pp. 10/17    978-0-374-30301-3    $18.99 The effects of colonialism on the continent of Africa are pernicious and vile; in every country the consequences continue to be real and raw, among them those from apartheid, the […]

Review of The Emperor’s Ostrich

The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry Intermediate, Middle School    Roaring Brook    276 pp. 7/17    978-1-59643-958-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-959-7    $9.99 A beloved farm animal, a perpetually messy young man, a missing boy emperor, and a sturdy heroine are at the center of Berry’s lively literary fairy tale, a loving homage to Lloyd Alexander and his […]

Review of Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan; illus. by Dana Wulfekotte Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    250 pp. 3/17    978-1-61672-551-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-62672-552-2    $9.99 The only child of a white mother and Chinese American father, eight-and-a-half-year-old Cilla is not thrilled by their announcement that she is going to have […]

Review of Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary     Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins     32 pp. 2/13    978-0-06-180442-7    $17.9 The plight of early-twentieth-century female garment workers is brought to life in this biography of labor leader Clara Lemlich. To escape persecution in their native Ukraine, the Jewish Lemlichs […]

Review of Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman High School    Holt    451 pp. 4/17    978-0-8050-9339-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0969-9    $9.99 Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09) again examines the impact of a family member on her main subject, this time unpacking the friendship between artist Vincent […]