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Review of Summerlost

Summerlost by Ally Condie Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    253 pp. 3/16    978-0-339-18719-3    $17.99    g A local theater festival sets the stage for YA author Condie’s (Matched and sequels) first middle-grade novel. Twelve-year-old Cedar Lee, her little brother Miles, and their mother settle into their new summer home in Iron Creek, “a small town in a […]

Review of The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán”

The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán” by Jo Ellen Bogart; 
illus. by Sydney Smith Preschool, Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 3/16    978-1-55498-780-1    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-781-8    $16.95 Perhaps best known to us now through Barber and Auden’s song “The Monk and His Cat” (there is also a YA novel […]

Review of Hare and Tortoise

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 5/16    978-0-7636-8721-2    $16.99 With warm, lively digital art and snappy narrated text, this new rendition of Aesop’s famous race will make a funny and satisfying read-aloud for both those familiar with the fable and those coming to it for the […]

Review of Every Single Second

Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb; illus. by Diana Sudyka Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    360 pp. 6/16    978-0-06-236628-3    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-236630-6    $9.99 Nella Sabatini’s life is largely centered on her tight-knit Italian American family, including her harried mother, her cemetery-groundskeeper father, her four unruly younger brothers, and her crotchety great-grandmother, Nonna. But […]

Review of Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins; 
illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 6/16    978-0-06-237345-8    $17.99 Frank is having a terrible, horrible, no good etc. day, but then he gets Lucky — a pooch from the pound who becomes Frank’s faithful companion in the business of learning about the world. The […]

Review of You Never Heard of 
Casey Stengel?!

You Never Heard of 
Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter; illus. by Barry Blitt Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    
40 pp. 3/16    978-0-375-87013-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97013-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98748-9    $10.99 Winter’s latest baseball book (You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, rev. 3/09; You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, rev. 1/13) hits the shelves just […]

Review of Draw the Line

Draw the Line by Laurent Linn; illus. by the author High School    McElderry    520 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-5280-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5282-3    $10.99 Adrian’s junior year in high school is not going well. A self-loathing closeted teen stuck in small-town Texas, he’s surrounded by “Bubbas” whose primary values are football and beer. Although he finds […]

Review of Chicken in Space

Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt; 
illus. by Shahar Kober Preschool, Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-06-236412-8    $17.99 Launching with a dramatic and intriguing start (“Zoey wasn’t like the other chickens. She had dreams. She had a plan. She had a pig”), this farm-fresh picture book trails Zoey as she boldly marches through the pages […]

Review of We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler

We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    104 pp. 5/16    978-0-544-22379-0    $17.99 Freedman’s latest photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their […]

Field Notes: Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School

I am the librarian in an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s a city of socioeconomic extremes, but dedicated to the mission of equity in public education; every classroom in each of the twelve public elementary schools maintains a 60/40 ratio between paid and free lunch students. In addition to being the home of Harvard […]