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Five questions for Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You (Philomel, 12 years and up) by Ruta Sepetys takes place in 1989 Romania under the repressive rule of Ceauşescu and on the cusp of revolution. Sepetys (most recently The Fountains of Silence) once again proves her mastery of immersive, propulsive, historical-fiction thrillers. 1. What draws you...

Books mentioned in the May 2022 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Ruta Sepetys I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys; Philomel. The costs of conflicts Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy; Algonquin. Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn; Putnam. World in Between: Based on a True Refugee Story by Kenan Trebinčević and Susan Shapiro; Clarion. The...

From the Editor - May 2022

We are still reacting in horror to the racist murders in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend. Because we strongly believe that more, not less, learning and contemplation helps overcome hate, we hope that the Guide/Reviews Database booklist “Unlearning Hate,” with books for all ages, proves useful. And with May...

Under the sea

Anglerfish, bowhead whales, sharks, krill…and rubber duckies?! These five nonfiction picture books with an ocean setting should appeal swimmingly to young readers. For more picture books about the beach, tide pools, the ocean, fish, and even surfing, see our 2022 Summer Reading recommendations. Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep by...

Asian/Pacific American contemporary realism

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrating people in the United States with ancestral ties to the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Here are six works of realistic fiction for middle-graders and middle-schoolers that grapple with identity in engaging, often entertaining, and relatable ways....

Jewish experiences

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, and the following five middle-grade and middle-school titles provide glimpses into diverse Jewish experiences. Find more recommendations on and in the Guide/Reviews Database; and see also the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Book Award winners. Hidden Powers: Lise Meitner’s Call to Science...

The costs of conflicts

The tolls of war, conflict, and instability are innumerable, especially to young people. The following books, three YA novels and one memoir for a slightly younger audience, aim to capture these difficult-to-fathom experiences and their aftermaths. See also Five Questions for Ruta Sepetys about I Must Betray You. Enduring Freedom...

2022 Summer Reading List

  Picture Books Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2   Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling; illus. by Kaylani Juanita (Chronicle) I’m Not Small by Nina Crews (Greenwillow) A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle; illus. by Sara Palacios (Atheneum) The Tide Pool Waits by Candace Fleming; illus. by...

2022 Summer Reading: High School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Each of our lists — for all age ranges and including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — includes thirteen selections (a baker's dozen!), all published 2021–2022 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the...
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