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Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish four brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Wednesdays, and poetry and audiobooks on Thursdays.

Review of The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poems

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Richard Jones Primary    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-8168-5    $17.99 The thirty-three poems in this “how-to” collection range from the whimsical, such as Monica Shannon’s “How to Tell Goblins from Elves,” to the very practical, such as […]

Review of Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough Middle School, High School    Feiwel    416 pp. 11/18    978-1-250-30803-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-30804-7    $9.99 Brockenbrough opens her critical biography of Donald Trump with a sampling of events leading up to the surprising (to most) results of the 2016 presidential election. She then takes readers back to […]

Review of Internment

Internment by Samira Ahmed High School    Little, Brown    304 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-316-52269-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-52266-3    $9.99 Xenophobic fear-mongering, book burnings, terrified families rounded up in the middle of the night to be thrown into internment camps — all painfully familiar elements of America’s past and present — descend upon Layla Amin’s near-future dystopian […]

Review of Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour; illus. by Daniel Egnéus Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-525-55416-5    $17.99 Wide-eyed Lubna befriends a pebble when she and her father arrive by boat at an unspecified refugee settlement she calls “a World of Tents.” She personalizes the small stone by drawing a happy face on it, telling […]

Review of No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse by Rhett Miller; illus. by Dan Santat Primary, Intermediate    Tingley/Little, Brown    48 pp. 3/19    978-0-316-41652-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-41649-8    $9.99 Miller, lead singer/songwriter of the alt-country band Old 97’s, knows how to grab an audience’s attention. This collection of twenty-three kid-pleasing poems opens with […]

Review of SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir

SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson High School    Viking    290 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-670-01210-7    $17.99 “This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.” So opens Anderson’s three-part autobiographical collection of dynamic, mostly free-verse poems that serves as a potent poetic endnote for her landmark […]

Review of On the Come Up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-249856-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-249857-1    $12.99 If reading The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) was like listening to 2Pac, intent on capturing the emotional impact of injustice, On the Come Up is more like Biggie, focusing on the experience […]

Review of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis; illus. by Giselle Potter Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 3/19    978-0-06-257310-0    $17.99 Pekoe is a large yellow puppy with energy and enthusiasm to spare; Olive is a small older dog with a much more subdued (one might even say jaded) outlook on life. Despite their […]

Review of Fresh Ink audiobook

Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles; read by various artists Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 9/18 4 CDs    5.08 hrs.    978-0-525-59565-6    $38.00 Giles opens this anthology of twelve short works with a foreword containing this message: “I hope you find [a hero] who looks like you, or thinks like you, or feels like you. If […]

Review of Soaring Earth

Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle Middle School, High School    Atheneum    160 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5344-2953-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2955-0    $10.99 In this companion verse memoir to Enchanted Air (rev. 7/15), Engle provides a glimpse into her high school years in Los Angeles and early adulthood as a Cuban American person coming to an understanding of […]