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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 on Thursdays.

Review of All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy; 

illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 2/18    978-1-4814-7752-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7753-6    $10.99 McCarthy sets her historical scene 
with three iconic 1980s images: a “speedy white car,” “boxy-looking computers,” and “big hair,” all depicted in […]

Review of The Belles

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Middle School, High School    Freeform/Disney    440 pp. 2/18    978-1-4847-2849-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4847-3249-6    $10.99 In the fantastical courtly society of Orléans, everyone is born ugly — “skin pallid, gray, and shriveled, eyes cherry red, hair like straw — as if all the color was leeched out of them.” Everyone, that […]

Review of Night Out

Night Out by Daniel Miyares; illus. by the author Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5247-6572-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6573-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6574-3    $10.99 Boarding school (or perhaps it’s some kind of residential institution) is lonely for the solitary boy in this magical after-dark adventure. We see only one instance of his […]

Review of A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman; 

illus. by Sergio Ruzzier Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-399-54778-2    $16.99 Sixteen poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise not one but two sets of baby robins in this factual and funny volume. The story begins with “Defender Dad” telling three annoyed-looking birds on […]

Review of March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine

March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals; 

illus. by Frank Morrison Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    214 pp. 1/18    978-1-328-88212-7    $16.99 Beals, author of the adult memoir 
Warriors Don’t Cry, received the 
Congressional Gold Medal for her bravery in helping to integrate Central High School in 1957 as one […]

Review of Speak: The Graphic Novel

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illus. by Emily Carroll High School    Farrar    376 pp. 2/18    978-0-374-30028-9    $19.99 In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99) — a powerful narrative of a high school freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault — artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s […]

Review of A Stone for Sascha

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-6596-8    $17.99 Heartbreak turns into healing in this wordless tale about loss, the ways in which we ritualize grief, and the cyclical patterns of life on Earth, no less. A girl and her family bury their beloved dog […]

Review of Jabberwalking

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera Middle School, High School    Candlewick    138 pp. 3/18    978-1-5362-0140-6    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9264-3    $14.99 In a loose and jazzy style (and with a nod to Lewis Carroll), the former U.S. Poet Laureate offers instructions for “Jabberwalking,” or writing poetry while in motion: “You have to move fast! / Move, move, […]

Review of Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez; illus. by Felicita Sala Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/18    978-0-399-55725-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55726-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55727-9    $10.99 Joan Procter (1897–1931) was fascinated by reptiles and engaged with them as a herpetologist, researcher, and zoo-exhibit designer — but also on a personal […]

Review of Hurricane Child

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender Middle School    Scholastic    213 pp.    g 3/18    978-1-338-12930-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-12932-8    $10.99 Twelve-year-old Caroline Murphy, who lives on tiny Water Island near St. Thomas, is certain that she is cursed, and she may be right. Born inauspiciously during a hurricane — a portent of bad luck — Caroline was […]