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From The Guide: We Need Middle-Grade LGBTQ+ Books

Publishers take note. According to Madeline Tyner’s article “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics: Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Stories”: “We received very little LGBTQ+ fiction for middle-grade readers [in 2017]…The lack of this literature is unfortunate, as children in upper elementary and middle school are often beginning to question their sexual orientations or gender identities.” The following books, […]

Historical heroes and heroines

These novels for intermediate and middle-school readers show landmark moments in history through the eyes of perceptive preteens. Young Zora Neale Hurston and her friend Carrie are pulled into another mystery involving their tight-knit African American community in Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground. The main narrative, set in 1903, alternates with that of a […]

The Hate U Give movie review

Two weeks ago we saw The Hate U Give (Fox, October 2018; PG-13), the new film adaptation of Angie Thomas’s bestselling young adult novel. The story follows African American teenager Starr Carter, who witnesses a police officer’s shooting of her unarmed friend and must decide whether to speak out in the aftermath. It was an […]

Review of Saving Winslow

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech Intermediate    Cotler/HarperCollins    165 pp. 9/18    978-0-06-257070-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-257072-7    $17.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-257073-4    $9.99 Creech interweaves the stories of three fragile babies. Two strands are backstories, and one is front, center, present, and loud. Louie had been a premature baby. Now he’s eleven, but the family story of his […]

Review of If You Come Softly audiobook

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson; read by Jorjeana Marie, Guy Lockard, and Jacqueline Woodson High School    Listening Library 3 CDs    3.72 hrs    978-0-525-63790-5    $45.00 The twentieth anniversary audiobook of Woodson’s novel opens with her heartfelt introduction about the persistent relevance of this tragic story about an interracial teen couple, Jeremiah (Miah) and Ellie. […]

Review of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier Intermediate    Amulet/Abrams    358 pp. 9/18    978-1-4197-3140-2    $18.99 As a “climbing girl” in Victorian London, forced up into dangerous, narrow chimneys to sweep out the soot for her abusive master, Wilkie Crudd, Nan Sparrow leads a miserable life. But she has precious memories of […]

Review of Give the Dark My Love

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis Middle School, High School    Razorbill/Penguin    451 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-595-14717-2    $17.99 When Nedra leaves home for Yûgen Academy to study medical alchemy, she’s most focused on curing the Wasting Death, a plague that begins with blackened necrotic extremities, only sometimes responding to the amputation of the affected […]

Review of My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun; illus. by the author; trans. from the Chinese by Edward Gauvin Primary, Intermediate    Graphic Universe/Lerner    128 pp. 9/18    978-1-5124-4590-9    $30.65 Paper ed.  978-1-5415-2642-6    $9.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-9859-2    $30.65 In the first of four stories in this graphic novel for young readers, Yu’er, who walks with […]

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 […]

Girls, ghosts, and ghouls

In four new shiver-inducing middle-school and YA novels perfect for the Halloween season, young women come face-to-face with the restless dead, who are variously mindless and hungry or self-aware and in need of assistance — and not so different from their living counterparts. For more, see this recommended YA reading list, and don’t miss these […]