Deirdre F. Baker

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Review of Phalaina

Phalaina by Alice Brière-Haquet ; trans. from French by Emma Ramadan Middle School, High School     Levine Querido    320 pp.         g9/22     978-1-64614-182-1     $18.99 Horror, mystery, sci-fi, historical fiction of sorts—this story partakes of all four. Manon is a tiny child when she’s left in the woods...

Review of The Queen in the Cave

The Queen in the Cave by Júlia Sardà ; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate     Candlewick Studio    64 pp.     g5/22     978-1-5362-2054-4     $19.99 Franca and her younger sisters, Carmela and Tomasina, do everything together, so when one day Franca gets a “funny feeling,” Carmela and Tomasina decide...

Review of Healer and Witch

Healer and Witch by Nancy WerlinMiddle School    Candlewick    304 pp.    g3/22    978-1-5362-1956-2    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-5362-2457-3    $19.99Werlin’s new novel is cause for celebration—for its sleek, sharp prose; intelligent ideas; and precise characterization, to name but a few of its attributes. Set in 1531 France, this is the tale of Sylvie, an...

Review of Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II

Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II by Lia Levi; illus. by Jess Mason; trans. from Italian by Sylvia NotiniPrimary, Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins  144 pp.    g3/22    978-0-06-306508-6    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-306510-9    $9.99In a direct, first-person account (adapted from her adult book Una bambina e basta), Levi relates what happened...

Review of Unseen Magic

Unseen Magic by Emily Lloyd-JonesIntermediate    Greenwillow    352 pp.    g2/22    978-0-06-305798-2    $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-305800-2    $9.99In the tiny town of Aldermere in the midst of California’s redwood forest, magic is a given. It makes life unpredictable—an unlabeled door may lead anywhere, for one thing—but for Finley, it offers a way to forget...

Review of In the Serpent’s Wake

In the Serpent’s Wake by Rachel HartmanHigh School    Random    512 pp.    g2/22    978-1-101-93132-5    $18.99Library ed.  978-1-101-93133-2    $21.99e-book ed.  978-1-101-93134-9    $10.99In this sequel to Tess of the Road (rev. 3/18), Tess must get her beloved quigutl friend, Pathka, to the Polar Serpent for healing. She’s also on a spying mission for...

Review of I Must Betray You

I Must Betray You by Ruta SepetysMiddle School, High School    Philomel    340 pp.  g 2/22    978-1-9848-3603-8    $18.99Cristian has grown up under the dictatorship of Ceauşescu in Communist Romania. Now it’s October 1989, and he’s conditioned to life in his family’s cramped apartment; to queuing for meagre, awful food; and to...

Review of The Ghost of Midnight Lake

The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy StrangeIntermediate  Chicken House/Scholastic    336 pp.    g9/21    978-1-338-68643-2    $17.99This quickly paced gothic tale takes us to England’s Lake District, 1899. Twelve-year-old Lady Agatha Asquith’s elderly father has just died, and the new Earl of Gosswater, her sleazy cousin Clarence, summarily boots Aggie from her...

Review of The Last Mapmaker

The Last Mapmaker by Christina SoontornvatIntermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    368 pp.    g4/22    978-1-5362-0495-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5362-2466-5    $17.99Following Newbery honoree A Wish in the Dark (rev. 5/20), this is another middle-grade fantasy from acclaimed author Soontornvat. Sai comes from the humblest of humble beginnings but manages to fake it as assistant...

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