Sylvia Vardell

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Review of Force of Nature: A Novel of Rachel Carson

Force of Nature: A Novel of Rachel Carson by Ann E. Burg; illus. by Sophie BlackallIntermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    304 pp.3/24    9781338883381    $19.99e-book ed.  9781338883404    $19.99In this first-person novel in verse, Burg (Serafina’s Promise, rev. 9/13) imagines the life of the groundbreaking environmentalist from age eleven through adulthood. Rachel possesses...

Review of Song of Freedom, Song of Dreams: A Novel in Verse

Song of Freedom, Song of Dreams: A Novel in Verse by Shari GreenMiddle School, High School    Andrews    256 pp.3/24    9781524881139    $21.99Paper ed.  9781524881122    $16.99In this novel in verse set in 1989, sixteen-year-old Helena lives in Leipzig, East Germany, during a period of oppression when citizens inform on their neighbors. But...

Review of Ariel Crashes a Train

Ariel Crashes a Train by Olivia A. ColeHigh School    Labyrinth Road/Random    464 pp.3/24    9780593644669    $19.99e-book ed.  9780593644683    $10.99Seventeen-year-old Ariel Burns is struggling with constant, anxious “what-if” thoughts and dark, violent “crocodile in my mind” fantasies that have escalated to an obsessive degree. She resorts to extreme, repetitive actions such as...

Review of Climbing the Volcano: A Journey in Haiku

Climbing the Volcano: A Journey in Haiku by Curtis Manley; illus. by Jennifer K. MannPrimary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.1/24    9780823451661    $18.99e-book ed.  9780823457458    $11.99Manley offers a child’s point of view of a day-long hike up a mountain (identified in the back matter as the South Sister in Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range)....

Review of What You Need to Be Warm

What You Need to Be Warm by Neil Gaiman; illus. by various artists Primary, Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    32 pp. 10/23    9780063358089    $18.99 e-book ed.  9780063358102    $12.99 Gaiman, who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, used social media to ask people about their memories of being warm,...

Review of Time to Move South for Winter

Time to Move South for Winter by Clare Helen Welsh; illus. by Jenny LøvliePrimary    Nosy Crow    32 pp.10/23    9798887770192    $17.99Welsh presents an account about the migration habits of six different animals that can function as a comforting bedtime story or thoughtful read-aloud. With lyrical patterned text, we follow the travels...

Review of Welcome to the Wonder House

Welcome to the Wonder House by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard; illus. by Deborah FreedmanPrimary, Intermediate    Wordsong/Astra    40 pp.7/23    9781635927627    $18.99e-book ed.  9781635928631    $11.99Twenty-nine poems in a lovely mix of forms and styles populate this book, presented as a “house” with twelve double-page-spread “rooms.” Each room has a slightly...

Review of How to Write a Poem

How to Write a Poem by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    32 pp. 4/23    9780063060906    $18.99 e-book ed.  9780063309937    $10.99 Alexander and Nikaido offer a single poem as this lyrical picture book’s text, inviting young readers (and listeners) to “dive deep into the...

Review of Wings in the Wild

Wings in the Wild by Margarita EngleHigh School    Atheneum    224 pp.4/23    9781665926362    $18.99e-book ed.  9781665926386    $10.99Can a “tocororo-girl” and a “song-boy” find love in the mountains of Costa Rica? In this novel set in 2018, two teens from vastly different worlds tell their stories in free verse poems, alternating points...

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