Sarah Ellis

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Review of K Is in Trouble

K Is in Trouble by Gary Clement; illus. by the authorIntermediate    LB Ink/Little, Brown    224 pp.1/24    9780316468527    $24.99Paper ed.  9780316468602    $13.99e-book ed.  9780316468633    $9.99K is a bourgeois school boy in what appears to be late-nineteenth-century Bohemia. He is frail, anxious, and lonely, isolated at home, withdrawn at school. In each...

Review of The Teeny-Weeny Unicorn

The Teeny-Weeny Unicorn by Shawn Harris; illus. by the authorPrimary    Knopf    48 pp.2/24    9780593571880    $18.99Library ed.  9780593571897    $21.99e-book ed.  9780593571903    $10.99The title page of this adventure features both a unicorn and a rainbow, but things quickly shift from cutesy to a more absurd and sidelong tone. The unnamed teeny-weeny unicorn...

Review of The Little Match Girl Strikes Back

The Little Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll; illus. by Lauren ChildIntermediate    Candlewick    208 pp.9/23    9781536233353    $19.99In July 1888, women and girls working at a match factory in East London went on strike to protest dangerous working conditions and poor pay. Carroll takes the story of this significant event...

Review of The Concrete Garden

The Concrete Garden by Bob Graham; illus. by the authorPrimary    Candlewick    32 pp.11/23    9781536233803    $18.99“After a cold, hard winter” (and “written in the time of Covid,” per the dedication page), Graham tells and shows a story of children making a world with art. The setting initially appears unpromising: a brutalist,...

Review of Where the Water Takes Us

Where the Water Takes Us by Alan BarillaroIntermediate    Candlewick    208 pp.7/23    9781536224542    $18.99Because her mother is in the late stages of a high-risk pregnancy, Ava has been sent to stay with her grandparents at their cabin on a lake. In her state of worry, Ava persuades herself that the fates...

Review of The Puppets of Spelhorst

The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo; illus. by Julie MorstadIntermediate    Candlewick    160 pp.10/23    9781536216752    $17.99An aged sea captain dies, leaving a chest containing five puppets. After some trials and adventures, the puppets—boy, girl, king, owl, and wolf—end up in the grand home of a pair of sisters and fulfill...

Review of Gustav Is Missing!: A Tale of Friendship and Bravery

Gustav Is Missing!: A Tale of Friendship and Bravery by Andrea Zuill; illus. by the authorPrimary  Random House Studio/Random    40 pp.4/23    9780593487471    $18.99Library ed.  9780593487488    $21.99e-book ed.  9780593487495    $10.99Little Cap is a small, bespectacled, mushroom-like creature who lives with his best friend, Gustav, a rather perky-looking slug. Their house is...

Review of Gossamer Summer

Gossamer Summer by H. M. Bouwman Intermediate    Atheneum    192 pp. 5/23    9781665912532    $17.99 e-book ed.  9781665912556    $10.99 It’s summer, and ten-year-old Jojo and her three sisters have to entertain themselves because their romance-novel writer mom has a book due (“Mom on deadline was not nearly as fun as Mom not...

Review of The Grace of Wild Things

The Grace of Wild Things by Heather FawcettIntermediate    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    368 pp.2/23    9780063142626    $17.99e-book ed. 9780063142640    $10.99The setting is Prince Edward Island, sometime close to the turn of the twentieth century. “The dirt road was reddish, like all the earth on the island, as if it were flushed with...

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