. Dean Schneider

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Review of One Day This Tree Will Fall

One Day This Tree Will Fall by Leslie Barnard Booth; illus. by Stephanie Fizer ColemanPreschool, Primary    McElderry    40 pp.3/24    9781534496965    $18.99e-book ed.  9781534496972    $10.99“LOOK AT IT. Wounded, worn, twisted, torn. / One day this tree will fall / and this story will end. / Won’t it?” So begins this Pacific...
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Review of Warrior on the Mound

Warrior on the Mound by Sandra W. HeadenIntermediate, Middle School    Holiday    272 pp.3/24    9780823453788    $18.99e-book ed.  9780823457526    $10.99Twelve-year-old Cato Jones and his friends, who are Black, skip school and cross the county line to see Poplar Field, the white boys’ new baseball field. Cato wants his father, who died four...
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Review of Keep It like a Secret

Keep It like a Secret by John David AndersonMiddle School    Walden Pond/HarperCollins    320 pp.5/24    9780063279315    $19.99e-book ed.  9780063279339    $9.99Twelve-year-old narrator Morgan Turner and his older sister, Claire, used to be inseparable, even with their six-year age difference. They were a team: “She was my shoelace-knotter and jacket-zipper. She taught me...

Review of With Dad

With Dad by Richard Jackson; illus. by Brian FlocaPrimary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.5/24    9780823444953    $18.99e-book ed.  9780823455362    $11.99“In Michigan country on a two-rut road along a stream called the upper South Branch of the Au Sable River,” a young boy sits on his father’s lap in a red Jeep, two sets...
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Review of And Then, Boom!

And Then, Boom! by Lisa FippsIntermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    260 pp.5/24    9780593406328    $17.99e-book ed.  9780593406335    $10.99Sixth grader Joseph Oaks claims he isn’t a superhero (even if he did fly like Superman once): “I don’t have any special powers—unless / you count my ability to be invisible, / and to survive.”...

A Report from the Rabbit Hole

I went down a rabbit hole recently, and this is what I saw: a larger-than-life girl dressed in yellow striding down a railing toward me; an old Italian lady reaching for a book; a bear wearing a red, pointy hat; a man sitting under a tree with a stack of...
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Review of Slugfest

Slugfest by Gordon KormanMiddle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    304 pp.1/24    9780063238091    $19.99e-book ed.  9780063238114    $11.99Eighth grader Arnie Yashenko hits a lot of home runs playing for the high school’s JV baseball team. Problem is, he’s been missing middle-school gym classes to practice at the high school, and now the state...

The 2024 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

It’s hard to believe that this is the seventh annual Robin Smith Picture Book Prize. It seems as if it’s been only a few months since my wife Robin died of cancer at age fifty-seven. I am so appreciative of The Horn Book Magazine and its Calling Caldecott blog, which...
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Review of A Royal Conundrum

A Royal Conundrum [Misfits]by Lisa Yee; illus. by Dan SantatIntermediate, Middle School    Random    288 pp.1/24    9781984830296    $14.99Library ed.  9781984830302    $17.99e-book ed.  9781984830326    $8.99In this series opener, twelve-year-old Olive Cobin Zang is a lonely homebody who feels invisible and uncool. She doesn’t play sports and is only good at things she...
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