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Review of A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-62672-536-2    $17.99 Just what is the definition of a perfect day? Well…it depends on your perspective. All the animals in Bert’s backyard are having the best day. Cat enjoys being in the flowerbed in the sunshine. “It was […]

Review of Well, That Was Awkward

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail Middle School    Viking    314 pp. 2/17    978-0-670-01308-1    $16.99    g As eighth grade comes to a close and her fourteenth birthday approaches, Gracie Grant discovers she has a problem. Out of the blue, Gracie realizes she like-likes longtime and suddenly very attractive classmate AJ Rojanasopondist. But that’s not the […]

Review of North, South, East, West

North, South, East, West by Margaret Wise Brown; illus. by Greg Pizzoli Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/17     978-0-06-026278-5     $17.99 Pizzoli’s digital illustrations for this never-before-published text by Margaret Wise Brown follow a little red bird whose mother sings to her about taking flight. She sets out exploring […]

Review of Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 2/17    978-1-59643-950-4    $19.99    g Vacationing in Grand Canyon provides a father and daughter — and readers — numerous opportunities to explore this National Park’s geology and ecology. Travel guide–like narration (“After climbing out of the Inner Gorge, you’ll find yourself […]

Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Review of Life on Mars

Life on Mars by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 2/17    978-0-399-53852-0    $17.99    g It’s Only Stanley (rev. 5/15) was a star-crossed (canine) love story that ended on the moon. Now Agee brings readers to the Red Planet. What would you bring along on a trip to search for life […]

Review of Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal; 
illus. by Laura Freeman Primary    Little Bee    40 pp. 1/17    978-1-4998-0239-9    $17.99    g While the fashion world continues to recognize her work, many do not know the name Ann Cole Lowe. Blumenthal and Freeman have teamed up to place the spotlight […]

Review of The Silver Gate

The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey Intermediate, Middle School    Tegen/HarperCollins    313 pp. 1/17    978-0-06-239857-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-239859-8    $9.99 In Elric’s superstitious feudal village, people think children born with disabilities are changelings; even worse, that they bring down a curse on the community. That’s why Elric’s mother and younger sister, Wynn, with her strange […]

Review of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught 
the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman; 
illus. by Daniel Minter Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 9/16    978-1-62014-148-9    $19.95    g William “Doc” Key was a self-taught veterinarian, businessman, and patent medicine salesman who was born into slavery in 1833 and became a free […]

Review of Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell; illus. by Shadra Strickland Middle School, High School    Chronicle    260 pp. 2/17    978-1-4521-2590-9    $21.99 Organized chronologically, the alternating first-person narratives, written in free verse, begin in 1952 as Mildred Jeter enters sixth grade at the “colored” school; six years […]