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Reviews

Review of Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone Middle School, High School   Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    266 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-338-23945-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-23948-5    $17.99 In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. Setting the stage […]

Review of Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground

Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T. R. Simon Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    261 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-7636-4301-0    $16.99 This second novel featuring a young Zora Neale Hurston and her friend Carrie Brown is once again set in the girls’ hometown of Eatonville, Florida, in 1903, less than forty years after the end of […]

Review of Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/18    978-1-5344-0894-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1    $10.99 Young Lena is totally prepared, and excited to start kindergarten. She’s not nervous…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “friends with everybody” and “a good listener”) […]

Review of Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    361 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-7636-9049-6    $16.99 Working-class Cuban American girl Mercedes “Merci” Suárez’s life in South Florida consists of spending time with her extended family and attending elite Seaward Pines Academy, where the sixth grader does community service to pay for her tuition. Now […]

Review of As You Wish audiobook

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti; read by Brian Hutchison High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 1/18 8 CDs    9.75 hrs.    978-1-5019-7224-9    $24.49 In a Nevada desert town where everyone gets a wish on his or her eighteenth birthday (and it comes true), seventeen-year-old Eldon doesn’t know what to choose. What’s more, he’s convinced that most […]

The Miseducation of Cameron Post movie review

Emily M. Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a novel about a teen girl sent to a gay conversion program in the early ‘90s, was not an easy read. Oh, it was good. It just wasn’t easy. But when the film (Filmrise, August 2018; NR) was released, I wanted to support it. And of course, […]

Review of The Sinking of the Vasa

The Sinking of the Vasa by Russell Freedman; illus. by William Low Primary, Intermediate    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-62779-866-2    $18.99 Freedman (posthumously) tells the story of the Swedish warship Vasa, from its tragic sinking to its eventual recovery and restoration as a museum piece. Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolf commissioned the Vasa, intended to […]

Review of Sunny

Sunny [Track] by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    163 pp. 4/18    978-1-4814-5021-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5023-2    $10.99 As in Reynolds’s two previous novels in the Track series (Ghost, rev. 11/16; Patina, rev. 11/17), sports aren’t really the point here — certainly not for Sunny, the team’s best miler, who decides, just as he’s about […]

Review of The Princess and the Pit Stop

The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Dan Santat Preschool, Primary    Abrams    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4197-2848-8    $16.99 With one lap to go in this fast-paced mashup of fairy tale and auto race, the Princess finds herself in last place after a pit stop. Undaunted, she once again takes off around the […]

Review of Waylon!: Even More Awesome audiobook

Waylon!: Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker; read by Christopher Gebauer Intermediate    Recorded Books    Rev. 11/17 3 CDs    2.5 hrs.    978-1-5019-8150-0    $10.45 Fourth grader Waylon and his classmate Baxter (“the closest thing to a juvenile delinquent [Waylon] had ever encountered”) are dog lovers with a problem: if they don’t find a permanent home for Dumpster […]