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Review of Just Shy of Ordinary

Just Shy of Ordinary by A. J. SassMiddle School    Little, Brown    384 pp.1/24    9780316506175    $16.99e-book ed.  9780316506373    $9.99Thirteen-year-old Shai Stern is looking for their “new normal.” In addition to an edgy new haircut and a change of pronouns, the former homeschooler is planning to attend public school for the first...

Review of Gaga Mistake Day

Gaga Mistake Day by Emma Straub and Susan Straub; illus. by Jessica LovePrimary    Rocky Pond/Penguin    32 pp.4/24    9780593529461    $18.99e-book ed.  9780593529478    $10.99In this picture book by adult novelist Emma Straub and her mother, Saturday is Gaga day. Each week, our young narrator’s parents head off to do errands, leaving grandmother...

Review of The Three Little Mittens

The Three Little Mittens by Linda Bailey; illus. by Natalia ShaloshviliPrimary    Tundra    32 pp.10/23    9781774880111    $17.99e-book ed.  9781774880128    $10.99Dotty and Other Dotty are a perfect match. The pair of yellow-spotted, pink, woolly mittens flaunt their partnership in front of lonesome single mitten Stripes. Drab and gray in both affect and...

Review of The Beautiful Something Else

The Beautiful Something Else by Ash Van OtterlooMiddle School    Scholastic    288 pp.5/23    9781338843224    $17.99Twelve-year-old Sparrow’s life revolves around keeping their mother happy; a difficult task given her struggles with mental health and addiction. Sparrow believes that by being the perfect child they can keep Mom’s “shadows” at bay and deflect...

Review of You Can’t Be a Pterodactyl!

You Can’t Be a Pterodactyl! by James Breakwell; illus. by Sophie CorriganPreschool, Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.7/23    9780593110652    $18.99e-book ed.  9780593110669    $10.99Tommy aspires to be a pterodactyl when he grows up. Easy, right? When he announces his dream to the class, however, he is met with laughter from his classmates and...

Review of Dear Mothman

Dear Mothman by Robin Gow Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    320 pp.3/23    9781419764400    $18.99e-book ed.  9781647008208    $15.54This verse novel follows sixth grader Noah as he processes his grief over the death of his best friend, Lewis, in a car accident. The two were connected by things the world didn’t necessarily understand:...

Review of The Loud Librarian

The Loud Librarian by Jenna Beatrice; illus. by Erika Lynne JonesPrimary    Atheneum    40 pp.4/23    9781665910545    $18.99e-book ed.  9781665910552    $10.99Finally, the secret’s out: librarians can be loud! Penelope is thrilled when she is selected to be her school’s ­student-­librarian of the week. She’s been preparing for this moment all year by...

Review of The Worst Teddy Ever

The Worst Teddy Ever by Marcelo Verdad; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.10/22    9780316330459    $17.99Spanish ed.  9780316446815    $17.99Stuffed bear Teddy has one job to do, according to Noa. Every morning, Noa wakes up bright-eyed and ready to play. Teddy, on the other hand, can barely keep his...

Off the Wall

[Many Calling Caldecott posts this season will begin with the Horn Book Magazine review of the featured book, followed by the post's author's critique.]   Off the Wall by Theodore Taylor III ; illus. by the author Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp.       g 10/22     978-1-62672-294-1     $19.99 Part...

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