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Review of Checked audiobook

Checked by Cynthia Kadohata; read by John Kroft Intermediate, Middle School     Recorded Books    Rev. 5/18 7 CDs     7.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-8278-1 $20.99 Conor MacRae’s life is consumed with elite hockey. Nothing can overtake his obsession — not his growing concerns about his elderly neighbor Mr. Reynolds, not the strained relationship […]

Review of The Wicked King

The Wicked King [Folk of the Air] by Holly Black High School     Little, Brown     325 pp.     g 1/19     978-0-316-31035-2     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-316-31033-8     $9.99 A mortal raised in the realms of Faerie by the devious General Madoc, Jude Duarte has learned to play games of politics and intrigue quite well. By manipulating her […]

Review of The Night Diary audiobook

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani; read by Priya Ayyar Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 5 CDs    5.92 hrs.    978-0-525-53044-2    $45.00 Twelve-year-old Nisha, whose mother was Muslim and father is Hindu, begins writing a diary in the form of letters to her mother, who died when Nisha and her twin Amil were born. […]

Schemers, sleuths, and spies

The familiar characters and structures of these early-chapter-book series entries will help emerging readers build confidence; plots featuring mysteries and madcap plans will keep them turning pages. The Infamous Ratsos return in Project Fluffy. BMOC Chuck Wood seeks Louie Ratso’s advice in winning over his crush, Fluffy Rabbitski. Thrilled by Chuck’s attention, Louie outlines a […]

Five questions for Caroline Cala

If you were a young reader in the nineties (or even if you weren’t), there’s a good chance you remember Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. Author Caroline Cala definitely does, and her hilarious series-starter Best Babysitters Ever (Houghton, 10–12 years) brings Kristy’s great idea of yore to modern readers — whether or not they’re […]

Review of Best Babysitters Ever

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     246 pp.     g 2/19     978-1-328-85089-8     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52788-2     $9.99 In this series opener, Malia stumbles across an old copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, the first of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books, and appropriates the central business model. But unlike Kristy and […]

Review of I Lost My Tooth!

I Lost My Tooth! [Unlimited Squirrels] by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Primary    Hyperion    86 pp. 10/18    978-1-368-02457-0    $12.99 Willems hands the reins of this new early reader series to fifteen cartoony squirrels, a yellow bird (a.k.a. Flappy Squirrel), and a couple of joke-telling acorns. The series is a step up in complexity from […]

Review of The Penderwicks at Last audiobook

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall; read by Susan Denaker Intermediate     Listening Library     Rev. 7/18 7 CDs     8.37 hrs.     978-0-525-59559-5     $55.00 This closing volume in the beloved Penderwick series, featuring two sisters’ marriages and one’s heartbreak, is told from the point of view of eleven-year-old Lydia, the youngest Penderwick half-sister. Denaker voices […]

Review of Harbor Me

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate     Paulsen/Penguin     179 pp.     g 8/18     978-0-399-25252-5     $17.99One day, Ms. Laverne gathers her small class of fifth and sixth graders and walks them over to the old art room, where she invites them to talk to one another — without her. Every Friday at two o’clock, narrator Haley […]

Small print

Some of your favorite novels have just been miniaturized…and flipped sideways. “Penguin Minis” present unabridged texts in a horizontal format with a trim size of roughly 5” x 3”. First introduced in the Netherlands as “Flipbacks” (primarily itty-bitty editions of popular adult books), the line launches in the United States with four titles from the […]