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Review of Fangsgiving

Fangsgiving by Ethan Long; illus. by the author Primary    Bloomsbury    32 pp. 9/18    978-1-68119-825-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-826-2    $11.89 The Fright Club (rev. 9/15) monsters are cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, from sweet potato casserole to turkey. But what to do when vampire Vladimir’s family shows up unexpectedly? Invite them in — the more […]

The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics: Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Stories

This is the third column in a series examining statistics gathered by the newly expanded database of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education). Previous columns (interviews with CCBC Director Kathleen T. Horning) can be found in the July/August 2017 and March/April 2018 issues. In 2017, […]

Review of Piecing Me Together audiobook

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson; read by the author Middle School, High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 7/17 5 CDs    5.5 hrs    978-1-5019-9779-2    $51.75 Watson (winner of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award and a 2018 Newbery Honor for this novel) movingly conveys the emotions of her thoughtful, bright, artistic, African American protagonist Jade. […]

From The Guide: We Need Middle-Grade LGBTQ+ Books

Publishers take note. According to Madeline Tyner’s article “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics: Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Stories”: “We received very little LGBTQ+ fiction for middle-grade readers [in 2017]…The lack of this literature is unfortunate, as children in upper elementary and middle school are often beginning to question their sexual orientations or gender identities.” The following books, […]

Review of What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-4814-6561-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6562-5    $10.99 This large book, with its lush, vivid, mixed-media illustrations, makes an artistic statement as bold as groundbreaking African American […]

Review of Saving Winslow

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech Intermediate    Cotler/HarperCollins    165 pp. 9/18    978-0-06-257070-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-257072-7    $17.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-257073-4    $9.99 Creech interweaves the stories of three fragile babies. Two strands are backstories, and one is front, center, present, and loud. Louie had been a premature baby. Now he’s eleven, but the family story of his […]

Review of Dreamers

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-8234-4055-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4125-9    $18.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-8234-4258-4    $18.99 Two pairs of eyes shine from the cover of Morales’s book — the infant’s eyes brilliant with curiosity, his mother’s gaze pensive. These two “migrantes” arrive on “the other side, / thirsty, in […]

Review of If You Come Softly audiobook

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson; read by Jorjeana Marie, Guy Lockard, and Jacqueline Woodson High School    Listening Library 3 CDs    3.72 hrs    978-0-525-63790-5    $45.00 The twentieth anniversary audiobook of Woodson’s novel opens with her heartfelt introduction about the persistent relevance of this tragic story about an interracial teen couple, Jeremiah (Miah) and Ellie. […]

Review of We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; illus. by various artists Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    88 pp. 9/18    978-0-525-58042-3    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-58043-0    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-58044-7    $10.99 The Hudsons (founders of Just Us Books) created this timely and powerful anthology to help young people face […]

Review of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier Intermediate    Amulet/Abrams    358 pp. 9/18    978-1-4197-3140-2    $18.99 As a “climbing girl” in Victorian London, forced up into dangerous, narrow chimneys to sweep out the soot for her abusive master, Wilkie Crudd, Nan Sparrow leads a miserable life. But she has precious memories of […]