Deirdre F. Baker

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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...
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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...
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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 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...
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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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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 Ironhead, or, Once a Young Lady

Ironhead, or, Once a Young Lady by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem; trans. from Dutch by Kristen Gehrman Middle School, High School    Em Querido/Levine Querido    368 pp.    g 2/22    978-1-61614-048-0    $18.99 In this smoothly translated historical-fiction romp set in 1808, lively, propulsive storytelling whirls us through the countryside of what is now...

Review of Across the Rainbow Bridge: Stories of Norse Gods and Humans

Across the Rainbow Bridge: Stories of Norse Gods and Humans by Kevin Crossley-Holland; illus. by Jeffrey Alan Love Intermediate, Middle School, High School   Candlewick Studio    88 pp.    g 10/21    978-1-5362-1771-1    $18.99 In five stories, Norse gods cross the rainbow bridge from Asgard and visit us below, in the world of...
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