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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 […]

Review of Finding Langston

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome Intermediate, Middle School     Holiday     107 pp. 8/18     978-0-8234-3960-7     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-8234-4110-5     $16.99 When Langston’s mother dies, his father relocates the two of them from rural Alabama to the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, where they live in a cramped apartment, barely communicate with each other, and […]

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 […]

Finding home

Four novels for middle-grade readers feature memorable and likable protagonists who face economic hardship, homelessness, and prejudice in addition to the usual challenges of growing up. For an author’s perspective on narratives of children finding — or making — home, read E. Lockhart’s Horn Book Magazine Writer’s Page article “On Home, Empathy, and Voice.” In […]

Five questions for Kate DiCamillo

Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale will remember Louisiana Elefante as the perceptive friend (and orphaned daughter of trapeze artists) who reassures the others: “We’ll rescue each other.” In companion book Louisiana’s Way Home (both Candlewick, 8–11 years), it seems that Louisiana may need rescuing — from the “care” of her grandmother who takes her […]

Review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty Intermediate    Levine/Scholastic    380 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-338-25584-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-25585-0    $10.99 In this highly entertaining and brilliantly plotted fantasy, orphaned ten-year-old Bronte must embark alone on a multi-kingdom visit to her many aunts, a trip minutely scripted by the terms of her parents’ will. […]

Review of Between the Lines audiobook

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes; read by Cherise Boothe, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Ruffin Prentiss, and James Shippy Middle School, High School    Recorded Books Rev. 3/18    4 CDs    4 hrs.    978-1-5019-6261-5    $13.99 Nine high school students take turns giving readers their impressions of a poetry class they’re all taking, […]

Review of The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    298 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-5247-1595-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1596-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1597-7    $10.99 It’s summertime, and the living is easy. At least it was before narrator Caleb and his older brother Bobby Gene make a bad deal with their nemesis, Cory, leading […]