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Review of They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles Middle School    Cinco Puntos    109 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-947627-06-2    $18.95 Paper ed.  978-1-947627-07-9    $12.95 The dynamic complexity of the Rio Grande borderlands pulses in the poetry of twelve-year-old Güero — a nickname commonly given to light-skinned, freckled Mexican and Chicano boys. Inspired by the […]

Review of Moxie audiobook

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu; read by Suzy Jackson High School     Recorded Books     Rev. 11/17 8 CDs     8.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-6805-1     $87.75 Vivian Carter, frustrated with the systemic sexism of her small-town Texas high school, secretly distributes a zine proclaiming, “Moxie girls fight back!” Though she’s shy in real life, Viv draws inspiration […]

Review of Max & the Midknights

Max & the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce; illus. by the author Intermediate    Crown    280 pp.    g 1/19    978-1-101-93108-0    $13.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93109-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93110-3    $8.99 It’s the Middle Ages, and redheaded Max is Uncle Budrick’s troubadour apprentice. Max longs to become a knight, but there’s just one problem: Max is a girl, a […]

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 […]