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Review of A Sky Full of Stars

A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson Middle School    Houghton    307 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-544-80065-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-82907-8    $16.99 In this sequel to Midnight Without a Moon (rev. 1/17), thirteen-year-old Rosa Lee Carter, part of a struggling sharecropper family in segregated mid-1950s Mississippi, continues her search for self. In the first book, […]

Review of A Skinful of Shadows

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    415 pp. 10/17    978-1-4197-2572-2    $19.99 Hardinge’s (The Lie Tree, rev. 5/16) latest tour de force is set during the reign of King Charles I against the backdrop of the 1600s English Civil War and is, as unlikely as it sounds, something of a […]

Review of La Belle Sauvage

La Belle Sauvage [The Book of Dust] by Philip Pullman Intermediate, Middle School    Knopf    451 pp. 10/17    978-0-375-81530-0    $22.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-51072-0    $25.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-51073-7    $11.99 Baby daemons are just as adorable as you’d think, and when it’s baby Lyra’s baby daemon we’re talking about — well, you could write a book. Set a […]

Review of Nothing

Nothing by Annie Barrows High School    Greenwillow    212 pp. 9/17    978-0-06-266823-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266825-7    $9.99 High school BFFs Charlotte and Frankie are convinced they’d be terrible YA novel protagonists because nothing ever happens to them: their parents are still alive, they’re not suicidal, they don’t have wild sex with either boys or other girls. […]

Review of The Librarian of Auschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe; trans. from the Spanish by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites High School    Godwin/Holt    424 pp. 10/17    978-1-62779-618-7    $19.99 January 1944: “In this life-destroying factory that is Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the ovens burn corpses day and night, Block 31 is atypical, an anomaly.” It’s where the children in camp BIIb, or the […]

Fantastic(al) heroines of color

These new entries in YA speculative fiction series starring kickass young women of color explore perspectives on cultural and ethnic identity — while providing glimpses of (often frightening) potential futures and alternate realities grounded in our present. Ambelin Kwaymullina concludes The Tribe, her fantasy trilogy of what she terms “Indigenous futurism,” with The Foretelling of […]

New books for new readers

From limited word banks to graphic-novel elements, these books have plenty of tools to support emerging readers — and entertaining stories that are worth the effort. For more on easy readers, see the upcoming March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine article “An Easy Reader Renaissance.” Witty wordplay, snappy dialogue, and rich watercolor and collage illustrations combine […]

Review of It’s Shoe Time!

It’s Shoe Time! [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by Bryan Collier; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    64 pp. 11/17    978-1-4847-2647-1    $9.99 Witty wordplay, snappy dialogue, and rich watercolor and collage illustrations combine in Collier’s (Knock Knock, rev. 11/13; Trombone Shorty, rev. 5/15; et al.) first early reader. The […]

Review of Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green High School    Dutton    290 pp. 10/17    978-0-525-55536-0    $19.99 Five years after The Fault in Our Stars (rev. 3/12), Green returns to chart a different kind of debilitating illness. When we meet sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes in the cafeteria, her thoughts are laser-focused on her body’s microbiome: “Admittedly, I […]

Review of Warcross

Warcross by Marie Lu High School    Putnam    357 pp. 9/17    978-0-399-54796-6    $18.99 One minute Emika Chen is a hacker and bounty hunter in a futuristic New York City, struggling to make ends meet, and the next minute — after she’s hacked into Warcross, the phenomenally popular virtual reality game — she’s on a private jet […]