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Reviews

Review of Best Babysitters Ever

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     246 pp.     g 2/19     978-1-328-85089-8     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52788-2     $9.99 In this series opener, Malia stumbles across an old copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, the first of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books, and appropriates the central business model. But unlike Kristy and […]

Review of The Bell Rang

The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate     Dlouhy/Atheneum     40 pp. 1/19     978-1-4424-2113-4     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-7671-3     $10.99 “The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” Ransome paints a heartbreaking picture of an enslaved family existing within the […]

Review of Me and My Fear

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna; illus. by the author Primary    Nobrow/Flying Eye    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-911171-53-9    $17.95 This follow-up to The Journey (rev. 3/17), about a refugee family fleeing a war-torn homeland, focuses on the young daughter’s apprehension as she adjusts to life in a new country and a new school. In the […]

Review of The Little Barbarian

The Little Barbarian by Renato Moriconi; illus. by the author Preschool    Eerdmans    48 pp. 8/18    978-0-8028-5509-1    $17.00 The little barbarian strides in, page left. Armed with sword and shield, he mounts his handsome black steed and proceeds through a malevolent world. Spread after spread, he gallops over and under hazards and monsters — a deep […]

Review of Silent Night

Silent Night illus. by Lara Hawthorne Primary    Frances Lincoln    32 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-78603-066-5    $15.99  With gouache paintings rendered into collagelike illustrations via Photoshop, Hawthorne’s version of the classic Christmas carol notably features Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a brown-skinned family. The text includes all three verses of John Freeman Young’s English translation and is […]

Review of Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin audiobook

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson; read by Kim Staunton Middle School, High School    Scholastic Audio 5 CDs    5.67 hrs.    978-1-338-22724-6    $29.99 With intensity and clarity, Swanson documents the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Earl Ray — King’s assassin — and the […]

Review of Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-62779-512-8    $18.99 When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin; illus. by Jose Ramirez Primary    Atheneum    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-5344-0413-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0414-4    $10.99 Carlos Santana’s 1971 […]

Review of I Lost My Tooth!

I Lost My Tooth! [Unlimited Squirrels] by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Primary    Hyperion    86 pp. 10/18    978-1-368-02457-0    $12.99 Willems hands the reins of this new early reader series to fifteen cartoony squirrels, a yellow bird (a.k.a. Flappy Squirrel), and a couple of joke-telling acorns. The series is a step up in complexity from […]

Review of Kitten and the Night Watchman

Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan; illus. by Taeeun Yoo Preschool     Wiseman/Simon     32 pp. 9/18     978-1-4814-6191-7     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-6192-4     $10.99 A night watchman spies a stray kitten one night, and they befriend each other. As the man makes his rounds of the construction site, the kitten accompanies him […]

Holiday High Notes 2018

Deck the halls! It’s time for our annual selection of fa-la-la-lots of new (and one reissued) holiday books, with reviews written by the Horn Book staff. Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey High School    Swoon/Feiwel    284 pp.    g 10/18    Paper ed.  978-1-250-17487-1    $10.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-17486-4    $7.80 In 1817 England, eighteen-year-old Kate Darby, lady’s maid […]