Nicholl Denice Montgomery

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Black Gold and Standing in the Need of Prayer

[Many Calling Caldecott posts this season will begin with the Horn Book Magazine review of the featured book (or books), followed by the post's author's critique.]    Black Gold by Laura Obuobi; illus. by London Ladd Primary    Harper/HarperCollins   40 pp. 10/22    9780063015760    $18.99 Reminiscent of creation myths collected in Virginia Hamilton’s In...

Review of Black Gold

Black Gold by Laura Obuobi; illus. by London Ladd Primary    Harper/HarperCollins   40 pp. 10/22    9780063015760    $18.99 Reminiscent of creation myths collected in Virginia Hamilton’s In the ­Beginning (1988), Obuobi’s tale tells how the universe created a Black child. “When the Universe decided to create you, / she drew you from...

Review of The Star That Always Stays

The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson Intermediate, Middle School     Holiday    224 pp.         g7/22     978-0-8234-5040-4     $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5289-7    $10.99 In her debut novel, Johnson (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) combines family history with an homage to such classics as Anne of...

Review of I Rise

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. I Rise by Marie Arnold Middle School, High School     Versify/HarperCollins    320 pp.  g8/22     978-0-358-44904-1     $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-358-44895-2    $9.99 Everyone in Harlem is asking: how much? How much longer do they have to wait for change? How much...

Review of Magnolia Flower

Magnolia Flower by Zora Neale Hurston; adapted by Ibram X. Kendi; illus. by Loveis Wise Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 9/22    978-0-06-309831-2    $19.99 Kendi’s (Stamped, rev. 5/20) adaptation of a short story by Hurston softens (or leaves out) the original’s violence, adds elements that are explained in a historical...

Review of If You Read This

If You Read This by Kereen Getten Intermediate     Delacorte    176 pp.         g8/22     978-0-593-17400-5     $16.99e-book ed.  978-0-593-17401-2    $9.99 Before her death three years earlier, Brie’s mother had planned a surprise twelfth-birthday adventure for Brie and her father at Brim’s Island, Brie’s grandfather’s house “built into the...

Review of Indigo Dreaming

Indigo Dreaming by Dinah Johnson ; illus. by Anna Cunha Preschool, Primary     Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.     g10/22     978-0-06-308020-1     $18.99 Johnson’s “love song to the Sea Islands [and] my African friends” opens with a young Black girl running along the beach at “day-clean,” the Gullah/Geechee phrase for dawn....

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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