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Review of The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    282 pp. 2/18    978-1-250-15985-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-363-4    $16.99 With a setting and palette reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella and a setup involving a royal ball, this graphic novel has all the trappings of a rags-to-riches romance. […]

Spring 2018 Publishers’ Previews: Five Questions for Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Mass and Stead’s middle-grade 
collaboration Bob, Livy (a human […]

Spring 2018 Publishers’ Previews: Five Questions for J. S. Puller

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Captain Superlative, the arrival of the eponymous “superhero” at […]

Spring 2018 Publishers’ Previews: Five Questions for Randy Ribay

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Bunny and Nasir, narrators of After the Shot Drops, were […]

Review of Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes Middle School, High School    Paulsen/Penguin    213 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-24688-3    $17.99 “Just step up, step up to the mike / and let your truth fly, loud, / proud, raw.” That’s what students are preparing to do in Mr. Ward’s high school class in the Bronx. Through poetry, they are […]

Review of The Parker Inheritance

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    344 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-545-94617-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-95279-8    $10.99 In 2007 Abigail Caldwell, the first female and African American city manager for 
the town of Lambert, South Carolina, was forced to resign after covertly digging 
up the municipal tennis courts, looking for buried treasure. […]

Review of The Boggart Fights Back

The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper Intermediate    McElderry    209 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-5344-0629-2    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0631-5    $10.99 It’s been over twenty years since the publication of The Boggart (rev. 5/93) and The Boggart and the Monster (rev. 5/97), but this new adventure stands on its own and will surely send readers looking for […]

Review of The Poet X

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    361 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-06-266280-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8    $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life. The self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem furiously confronts catcalling boys, chafes under her Catholic […]

“Disturbed girls” save themselves (and one another)

The protagonists of these feminist YA novels do not let their “imperfections” stand in the way of taking action as they work to save themselves and, oftentimes, other young women. Lita Judge’s verse novel Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein provides insight into the complex author of the gothic horror classic. […]

Wacky “weading”

In these middle-grade fantasy novels, anything is possible — and most of everything is silly. In Lissa Evans’s laugh-out-loud-funny Wed Wabbit, ten-year-old Fidge is sucked into Wimbley Land: the embodiment of her injured little sister Minnie’s imaginative life, based on Minnie’s (dreadful) favorite children’s book and peopled with stuffed toys. Sensible, energetic Fidge embraces the […]