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Review of On a Beam of Light

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne; 
illus. by Vladimir Radunsky Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 5/13    978-0-8118-7235-5    $17.99 The title of this book refers to the mental picture young Albert Einstein conjured one day while biking through the countryside; he looked at the sunbeams “speeding from the sun to […]

Review of Crankee Doodle

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; 
illus. by Cece Bell Primary    Clarion    32 pp. 6/13    978-0-547-81854-2    $16.99    g As concepts for picture books go, it’s hard to think of one cleverer than this absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song. Depicted in spindly lined cartoons, Yankee Doodle and his pony debate their plans for the afternoon. When […]

Review of Bo at Ballard Creek

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill; illus. by LeUyen Pham Primary, Intermediate    Holt    279 pp. 6/13    978-0-8050-9351-3    $15.99    g The disarmingly forthright tone is set right at the start of this chapter book when we meet Bo, a little girl who lives with her papas (yes, that’s plural) in a small, almost-worked-out gold-rush town […]

Review of Openly Straight

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg High School     Levine/Scholastic     328 pp. 6/13     978-0-545-50989-3     $17.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-545-50990-9     $17.99 Rafe is sick of being the poster child for all things gay at his uber-liberal Colorado high school: no matter how accepting everyone is, it feels like they only […]

Review of Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani; illus. by Maris Wicks Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     140 pp. 6/13     978-1-59643-865-1     $19.99 A graphic format admirably propels this lightly fictionalized group biography of “Leakey’s Angels”: Jane Goodall (chimps in Rwanda), and Biruté Galdikas (orangutans […]

Review of Bear and Bee

Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author Preschool    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 3/13    978-1-4231-5957-5    $14.99 Bear wants some honey, but he is too afraid of bees to approach a hive that’s hanging off a tree branch, just at eye level. He shares his fears with a stranger, who asks him if he’s ever […]

Review of Kelsey Green, Reading Queen

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen [Franklin School Friends] by Claudia Mills; illus. by 
Rob Shepperson Primary    Ferguson/Farrar    122 pp. 5/13    978-0-374-37485-3    $15.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-374-37488-4    $9.99 Kelsey might be the reading queen of her third-grade class, but her throne is threatened when principal Mr. Boone announces a school-wide reading challenge: two thousand books read before […]

Review of The Beatles Were Fab 
(and They Were Funny)

The Beatles Were Fab 
(and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; illus. by Stacy Innerst Primary     Harcourt     40 pp. 3/13     978-0-547-50991-4      $16.99 Since the early sixties, the Beatles have defined the musical landscape of the world, influencing generations of listeners and musicians. Beatlemania, from its beginning in Liverpool to the band’s final […]

Review of Water in the Park

Water in the Park: A Book About Water & 
the Times of the Day by Emily Jenkins; 
illus. by Stephanie Graegin Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 5/13    978-0-375-87002-6    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97002-3    $19.99 On a warm day, just before six a.m., a city park starts to stir: turtles laze on rocks by the pond, […]

Review of Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell High School    St. Martin’s Griffin    328 pp. 2/13    978-1-250-01257-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-03121-1    $9.99 It’s the start of a new school year in 1986 Omaha when sophomores Eleanor and Park meet for the first time on the bus. They are an unusual pair: she’s the new girl in town, […]