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About Russell Perry

Russell Perry is editorial assistant of The Horn Book Guide.

Review of The Sinking of the Vasa

The Sinking of the Vasa by Russell Freedman; illus. by William Low Primary, Intermediate    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-62779-866-2    $18.99 Freedman (posthumously) tells the story of the Swedish warship Vasa, from its tragic sinking to its eventual recovery and restoration as a museum piece. Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolf commissioned the Vasa, intended to […]

A Wrinkle in Time: A beautiful but flawed adaptation

The adaptation of a children’s book to the screen always causes its reader-audience some trepidation, and even more so when that book is a beloved classic. That trepidation is borne out with director Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Medal–winning novel A Wrinkle in Time (Walt Disney Pictures, March 2018; PG), which opened in theaters […]

Review of Refugee

Refugee by Alan Gratz Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    343 pp. 7/17    978-0-545-88083-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-88087-9    $10.99 Gratz’s stirring novel humanizes the plight of refugees worldwide. Told in alternating chapters, the book follows fictional child refugees from three different eras whose stories ultimately, and surprisingly, converge. In 1939 Josef and his family, who are Jewish, […]

Review of The Children of the King

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    266 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6735-1    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7042-9    $16.99 Continuing her string of novels exploring the effects of war on innocents (The Silver Donkey, rev. 9/06; The Midnight Zoo, rev. 9/11), Hartnett’s latest book tackles the home front. In the early days […]

Follow the Golden rules

Now that 2014 is here, many people are thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Some are turning to self-help books (or parodies of them) for advice. For the children’s book lover, Diane Muldrow’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book (Golden Books, September 2013) stands out. Muldrow, editorial director of […]

Ender’s Game, abridged

On November 1st, the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi novel Ender’s Game (Summit and OddLot, November 2013; PG-13) opened to mostly positive critical response and a $28 million domestic box office take. For the most part, the film succeeds as a condensed adaptation, even though it lacks some of the philosophical punch of […]

Smugglers, secrets, and the Sasanach

Combine the words “historical,” “fiction,” and “smugglers” in the same sentence, and most people immediately think of buccaneers and tropical seas. But as Morgan Llywelyn shows in Cave of Secrets (O’Brien Press/Dufour Editions, June 2013), smuggling was also a way of life for ordinary people living under British rule in seventeenth-century Ireland. Set in the […]

Beat the heat with a wintry read

There’s something to be said for reading seasonal books as the year goes on, but it’s also fun to mix and match with abandon. Take, for instance, John Smelcer’s novel Lone Wolves (Leapfrog Press, September 2013), which proved an entertaining escape from the summer heat to a frozen Alaskan winter. Sixteen-year-old Deneena “Denny” Yazzie feels […]