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Five questions for Caroline Cala

If you were a young reader in the nineties (or even if you weren’t), there’s a good chance you remember Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. Author Caroline Cala definitely does, and her hilarious series-starter Best Babysitters Ever (Houghton, 10–12 years) brings Kristy’s great idea of yore to modern readers — whether or not they’re […]

Review of Best Babysitters Ever

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     246 pp.     g 2/19     978-1-328-85089-8     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52788-2     $9.99 In this series opener, Malia stumbles across an old copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, the first of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books, and appropriates the central business model. But unlike Kristy and […]

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99 “When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone […]

Happy (C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h) 2018!

We all could use some light. And maybe some mindless dreidel spinning. And definitely some chocolate gelt, some sufganiyot, and some latkes. (Hot take: applesauce and sour cream are both the best.) Luckily, Hanukah/Chanukah/Hannukkah/the Festival of Lights begins this Sunday night! And luckily for me, unlike Gertie in this year’s beautiful, cozy All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah, […]

RIP William Goldman

There’s a history in this office of Feelings about The Princess Bride. Some Horn Bookers find it irritating how often people quote it. (I can’t imagine why.) And others believe that this story within a story is a dweam wiffin a dweam. That “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Fate. Revenge…” is only the beginning. […]

Historical heroes and heroines

These novels for intermediate and middle-school readers show landmark moments in history through the eyes of perceptive preteens. Young Zora Neale Hurston and her friend Carrie are pulled into another mystery involving their tight-knit African American community in Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground. The main narrative, set in 1903, alternates with that of a […]

Jason Reynolds at Temple Kehillath Israel

Hearing Jason Reynolds speak is a bit like listening to spoken-word poetry, as Cindy and I discovered at last Wednesday’s event at Temple Kehillath Israel*, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith. The hugely prolific, award-winning middle-grade and YA author said he would tell us the story of how he got where he is today, and did so […]

Meet our fall 2018 interns!

Every semester, we ask our interns to tell us a little about themselves. (Our ulterior motive: we want to chat with them about their favorite books!) Meet our editorial interns Jeannie and Rachel, both of whom are a huge help to us — especially last week as we prepared for the 2018 BGHB Awards ceremony! […]

Poetry with pictures

These illustrated poetry collections touch on a variety of topics — from the everyday to the prehistoric to the supernatural — but all provide inviting ways to introduce primary readers to poetry. In Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School, thirty-five poems follow the months of the school year, from “Bus Stop” to […]

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: Brought to you by Inflatable Bats, a Giant Bumblebee, and Hank Green

Hank Green, the half of vlogbrothers who’s thus far done a million things that aren’t writing books, wrote a book. It’s technically an adult book, and it’s called An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (Dutton). Since Hank is a Green, that called for a night of silliness at the Wilbur Theatre, hosted by Brookline Booksmith. Booksmith events […]