Lara K. Aase

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Review of Why We Dance: A Story of Hope and Healing

Why We Dance: A Story of Hope and Healing by Deidre Havrelock; illus. by Aly McKnightPrimary    Abrams    40 pp.2/24    9781419756672    $18.99e-book ed.  9781647004002    $17.09A young girl and her family eagerly prepare for and take part in the Jingle Dress dance, an Anishinaabe tradition established during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. Havrelock’s...

Review of Maggie Lou, Firefox

Maggie Lou, Firefox by Arnolda Dufour Bowes; illus. by Karlene HarveyIntermediate    Groundwood    220 pp.10/23    Paper ed.  9781773068817    $14.99e-book ed.  9781773068824    $12.99Maggie Lou, full of “pee and vinegar” according to her grandfather, always gets into scrapes (some of which require stitches). The book comprises three episodic stories, broken up into chapters,...

Review of Eagle Drums

Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson; illus. by the authorIntermediate    Roaring Brook    256 pp.9/23    9781250750655    $18.99e-book ed.  9781250750662    $10.99Hopson’s (Iñupiat) debut novel is the story of the origin of the Messenger Feast, an Iñupiat festival of song and dance. Piŋa follows in the footsteps of his two older brothers, both...

Review of Barely Floating

Barely Floating by Lilliam RiveraIntermediate, Middle School    Kokila/Penguin    240 pp.8/23    9780593323120    $17.99e-book ed.  9780593323144    $10.99Twelve-year-old first-person narrator Nat (short for Natalia de la Cruz Rivera y ­Santiago) is all about body positivity­ and female strength. She feels conflicted, however­, when her mother’s values around feminism clash with her own love...

Review of Funeral Songs for Dying Girls

Funeral Songs for Dying Girls by Cherie Dimaline High School    Tundra    280 pp. 4/23    9780735265639    $17.99 e-book ed.  9780735265646    $10.99 First-person narrator Winifred, a Canadian teen of Métis and European descent, lives in present-day Toronto with her father, who is a crematory operator, on the grounds of the cemetery, between...

Review of The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto

The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto by Adrianna CuevasIntermediate, Middle School    Farrar    304 pp.    4/23    9780374390433    $17.99Cuevas (The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez; Cuba in My Pocket, rev. 11/21) presents another humorous, sensitive, and compelling story, with hints of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Rafael, a twelve-year-old Cuban American from Miami,...

Review of My Good Man

My Good Man by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the authorHigh School    Levine Querido    414 pp.11/22    9781646141838    $21.99Border-crossing is a major theme of Gansworth’s (­Onondaga Nation) complex novel, set on the Tuscarora Reservation. The novel itself also traverses a border: not between the U.S. and Canada but between YA and adult...

Review of Weird Rules to Follow

Weird Rules to Follow by Kim SpencerIntermediate    Orca    192 pp.10/22    Paper ed.  9781459835580    $12.95e-book ed.  9781459835603    $9.99Mia, a Tsimshian tween, is growing up in the 1980s in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. She describes not only making giggly prank calls and getting ill-advised perms but also microaggressions and racism. When her...

Review of Man Made Monsters

Man Made Monsters by Andrea L. Rogers; illus. by Jeff Edwards High School    Levine Querido    336 pp.    g 10/22    978-1-64614-179-1    $19.99 In her debut YA novel, Cherokee writer Rogers distills two centuries of realistic intergenerational trauma into eighteen short horror stories linked by family connections. From the first story, set...

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