Nicholl Denice Montgomery

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Review of Berry Song

Berry Song by Michaela Goade; illus. by the authorPrimary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g7/22    978-0-316-49417-5    $18.99In Goade’s (Caldecott Medalist for We Are Water Protectors, rev. 7/20) latest picture book, set “on an island at the edge of a wide, wild, sea,” a Tlingit grandmother teaches her granddaughter “how to live...

Review of The Summer of Bitter and Sweet

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen FergusonHigh School    Heartdrum/HarperCollins    384 pp.    g5/22    978-0-06-308616-6    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-308618-0    $12.99Lou is preparing to spend the summer scooping ice cream at her uncles’ seasonal shop, Michif Creamery, to save money for university in the fall. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. She...
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Review of Swim Team

Swim Team by Intermediate, Middle School    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    256 pp.   g5/22    978-0-06-305677-0    $21.99Paper ed.  978-0-06-305676-3    $12.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-305680-0    $11.99In Christmas’s debut graphic novel, Bree and her dad are moving to Florida from Brooklyn for his new job. Bree is excited for the first day of school until she finds out...

Black Girlhood and Newbery Winners

Virginia Hamilton (left) and Mildred D. Taylor (right). Taylor photo: Jack Ackerman, The Toledo Blade. As a Black woman, African American children’s books scholar, and educator, I am dismayed that there have only been two Black women to win the Newbery Medal in its one hundred years. Virginia Hamilton was...

Review of Ain't Burned All the Bright

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds; illus. by Jason Griffin Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    384 pp.    g 1/22    978-1-5344-3946-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3947-4    $10.99 Reynolds’s introspective narrative poem, with a young man at home during quarantine as its speaker, shares the stage with Griffin’s emotive collagelike illustrations done in...

Review of Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell; illus. by Natasha Donovan Primary, Intermediate    Millbrook    32 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-5415-7914-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-7284-1901-5    $9.99 Sorell (We Are Still Here!, rev. 5/21) opens the book with a note on four “Cherokee values” that she...

Review of Mardi Gras Almost Didn't Come This Year

Mardi Gras Almost Didn’t Come This Year by Kathy Z. Price; illus. by Carl Joe Williams Primary    Atheneum    48 pp.    g 2/22    978-1-5344-4425-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4426-3    $10.99 This moving picture book transports readers to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina lands in August 2005. “Days before the storm / there...

Review of Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life

Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor’s Life by Marilyn Nelson Middle School, High School    Ottaviano/Little, Brown    160 pp.    g 1/22    978-0-316-29802-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-29822-3    $9.99 Despite her prominence during the Harlem Renaissance, sculptor Augusta Savage (1892–1962) remains largely unknown to younger generations. Through her accomplished verse, Nelson (My...

Review of When We Say Black Lives Matter

When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 9/21    978-1-5362-2238-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5362-2564-8    $16.99 Clarke (The Patchwork Bike, rev. 11/18) pens a love letter from parent to child. The title page depicts a pregnant Black woman with...
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