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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 Third Mushroom

The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm; illus. by Tad Carpenter Intermediate    Random    230 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-5247-1980-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1981-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1982-1    $10.99 Grandpa Melvin returns in this sequel to The Fourteenth Goldfish, still stuck in the body of a teenager (thanks to his earlier anti-aging experiment) and ready to help […]

Review of A Gift from Abuela

A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-7636-9267-4    $15.99 Ruiz elevates a standard tale about the loving bond between a grandmother and granddaughter with historically significant and culturally relevant detail (the book is set in 1980s Mexico City). The beauty of Abuela and Niña’s quotidian […]

Review of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Carolrhoda    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5124-2661-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-2468-2    $17.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) gives his quirky, funny verse and art a spooky twist here with seventeen poems celebrating ghosts, witches, demons, and even […]

Review of Hey, Kiddo

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Graphix/Scholastic    320 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-545-90247-2    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-90248-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-90249-6    $9.99 Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; […]

Review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty Intermediate    Levine/Scholastic    380 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-338-25584-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-25585-0    $10.99 In this highly entertaining and brilliantly plotted fantasy, orphaned ten-year-old Bronte must embark alone on a multi-kingdom visit to her many aunts, a trip minutely scripted by the terms of her parents’ will. […]

Review of A House That Once Was

A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Lane Smith Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 5/18    978-1-62672-314-6    $18.99 “Deep in the woods / is a house / just a house / that once was / but now isn’t / a home.” So begins Fogliano’s rhythmic, read-aloud-perfect tale of two children who discover a mysterious abandoned house. As they […]

Review of Between the Lines audiobook

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes; read by Cherise Boothe, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Ruffin Prentiss, and James Shippy Middle School, High School    Recorded Books Rev. 3/18    4 CDs    4 hrs.    978-1-5019-6261-5    $13.99 Nine high school students take turns giving readers their impressions of a poetry class they’re all taking, […]

Review of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein and She Made a Monster

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey; illus. by Júlia Sardà Primary    Tundra    56 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-77049-559-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-77049-561-6    $10.99 She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton; illus. by Felicita Sala Primary    Knopf    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-525-57960-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-57961-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-57962-5    $10.99 […]

Review of The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    298 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-5247-1595-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1596-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1597-7    $10.99 It’s summertime, and the living is easy. At least it was before narrator Caleb and his older brother Bobby Gene make a bad deal with their nemesis, Cory, leading […]

Review of Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween

Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween by Rubin Pingk; illus. by the author Primary    Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4814-3059-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3060-9    $10.99 In his second holiday-themed adventure (Samurai Santa, rev. 11/15), young ninja Yukio faces a familiar Halloween-night dilemma: how to handle a tagalong sibling. Doting little sis Kashi emulates all of Yukio’s […]