Luann Toth

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Review of The Blood Years

The Blood Years by Elana K. ArnoldHigh School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    400 pp.10/23    9780062990853    $19.99e-book ed.  9780062990877    $10.99In this historical novel set in Czernowitz, Romania, thirteen-year-old Rieke and her beautiful, headstrong older sister, Astra, live with their depressive mother and religiously observant grandfather, Opa, a jeweler and business owner. As...

Review of Not Quite a Ghost

Not Quite a Ghost by Anne UrsuIntermediate, Middle School    Walden Pond/HarperCollins    288 pp.1/24    9780062275158    $19.99e-book ed.  9780062275172    $10.99The transition to middle school is often a time of tumult, with the upheaval of old elementary school routines and friendships. But for eleven-year-old Violet Hart, the changes are even more far-reaching. Her...

Review of I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People

I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People by Anne Broyles; illus. by Victoria Tentler-KrylovPrimary, Intermediate  Holiday    48 pp.10/23    9780823450060    $18.99e-book ed.  9780823457380    $11.99In this engaging and child-friendly overview of Fasanella’s (1914–1997) life and evolution as a self-taught, working-class artist, Broyles highlights the man’s “rambunctious,” resilient, and independent nature,...

Review of Remember Us

Remember Us by Jacqueline WoodsonMiddle School    Paulsen/Penguin    192 pp.10/23    9780399545467    $18.99e-book ed.  9780399545481    $10.99Sage Durham, a basketball-obsessed Black twelve-year-old, is looking forward to a summer of pick-up games with the boys (she’s always the only girl on the court) in her close-knit 1970s Brooklyn neighborhood. Instead, it proves to be...
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Review of Roll, Roll, Little Pea

Roll, Roll, Little Pea by Cécile Bergame; illus. by Magali Attiogbé; trans. from French by Angus Yuen-KillickPreschool    Red Comet    24 pp.6/23    9781636550442    $17.99This sweet and tender tale opens with a brown-skinned child shelling peas into a bowl. Alas, one of the peas escapes and gets the story rolling. Without anthropomorphizing...
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Review of Dear Medusa

Dear Medusa by Olivia A. ColeHigh School    Labyrinth Road/Random    384 pp.3/23    9780593485736    $18.99e-book ed.  9780593485750    $10.99For troubled sixteen-year-old Alicia, the past year has been one of betrayal (she was cut out of her best friend’s life “like a tumor”), parental divorce and dysfunction, and social isolation and slut-shaming. Sexual assault...
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Review of Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear

Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear by Nadine Brun-Cosme; illus. by Olivier TallecPrimary    Random House Studio/Random    40 pp.2/23    9780593486986    $18.99Library ed.  9780593486993    $21.99e-book ed.  9780593487006    $10.99Three besties—Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear—are always together, frolicking and having fun in their forest home throughout the seasons. While they are keen to explore, as...
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Review of The Train Home

The Train Home by Dan-ah Kim; illus. by the authorPrimary    Greenwillow    40 pp.4/23    9780063076914    $19.99An enchanting look at a child’s quest for belonging. Nari is a quiet, dreamy sort of girl, and at times her bustling, multigenerational Asian American household is a bit too raucous for her liking. As she...

Review of World Made of Glass

World Made of Glass by Ami PolonskyIntermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    288 pp.1/23    9780316462044    $16.99e-book ed.  9780316462259    $9.99It’s 1987, and twelve-year-old Iris Cohen is feeling extremely fragile. In the past year, her father, an NYU professor, has moved to an upstairs unit in their Greenwich Village apartment building and begun...
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