Elisa Gall

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Review of Wires Crossed

Wires Crossed by Beth Fantaskey; illus. by ONeillJonesMiddle School    Clarion/HarperCollins    240 pp.4/24    9780358395447    $24.99Paper ed.  9780358396215    $15.99e-book ed.  9780063323711    $11.99An enjoyable graphic novel about friendship, growing up, and all-things-engineering. Thirteen-year-old Mia is excited when her science-camp buddy, Tariq, transfers to her middle school. This turns quickly to anxiety when she...

Review of Plain Jane and the Mermaid

Plain Jane and the Mermaid by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the authorMiddle School, High School    First Second    368 pp.5/24    9781250314864    $22.99Paper ed.  9781250314857    $14.99A funny and fast-paced feminist adventure masterfully told through the comics medium. This alternate-Victorian-era fantasy opens after Jane’s parents’ death. Since women can’t own property, the family...

Review of Table Titans Club

Table Titans Club by Scott Kurtz; illus. by the author; color by Steve HamakerMiddle School    Holiday    224 pp.3/24    9780823453160    $22.99Paper ed.  9780823456819    $13.99e-book ed.  9780823457571    $10.99Valeria has struggled with fitting in and fighting in the past, but she is moving to a new middle school—again—and hoping for a fresh start....

Review of Tiny Troubles: Nelli’s Purpose

Tiny Troubles: Nelli’s Purpose by Sophie Diao; illus. by the authorPrimary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.4/24    9780063214460    $19.99Two succulent-looking sentient plants search for meaning in this philosophical picture book. Easygoing Worthi seems content with life, but Nelli is restless and wonders about finding one’s purpose: “I heard it gives you strength when...

Review of A Little Bit Super: With Small Powers Come Big Problems

A Little Bit Super: With Small Powers Come Big Problems edited by Leah Henderson and Gary D. Schmidt; illus. by Jarrett J. KrosoczkaIntermediate, Middle School    Clarion/HarperCollins    288 pp.4/24    9780358683421    $18.99e-book ed.  9780358659532    $10.99This imaginative collection presents thirteen stories from an all-star team of authors, including Nikki Grimes, Pam Muñoz Ryan,...

Review of Two Together

Two Together by Brendan Wenzel; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Chronicle    40 pp.4/24    9781797202778    $18.99This companion to They All Saw a Cat (rev. 11/16) and Inside Cat (rev. 11/21) follows a cat and dog as they each confront and perceive the surprises that await them. At first, the dog is...

Review of Pepper & Me

Pepper & Me by Beatrice Alemagna; illus. by the authorPrimary    Hippo Park/Astra    48 pp.1/24    9781662640506    $18.99e-book ed.  9781662640513    $11.99A young protagonist with a deep internal life shares a personal memory in this intimate and indelible picture book. The unnamed redhead recounts tripping face-down on the cobblestone ground. As a scab...

Review of Duel

Duel by Jessixa Bagley; illus. by Aaron BagleyMiddle School    Simon    320 pp.11/23    9781534496552    $24.99Paper ed.  9781534496545    $14.99e-book ed.  9781534496569    $10.99Fantasy-loving Lucy and her perfectionist older sister, Gigi, have been fighting ever since their dad’s passing. When Gigi, a popular eighth grader, trips Lucy in the lunchroom on her first day...

Review of Ink Girls

Ink Girls by Marieke Nijkamp; illus. by Sylvia BiIntermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    288 pp.11/23    9780063027114    $24.99Paper ed.  9780063027107    $15.99e-book ed.  9780063027121    $10.99This energetic and optimistic graphic novel overflows with collectivism and an activist spirit. In the fictional world of Siannerra (inspired by Italian city-states of the late Middle Ages and...

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