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Review of The Creativity Project

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp Intermediate    Little, Brown    278 pp. 3/18    978-0-316-50781-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-50778-3    $9.99 It’s a good premise. Forty-four contemporary children’s book people each contribute a writing prompt. Then each one responds to someone else’s prompt. The result is a combination anthology and inspiring craft manual. It’s diverse all ’round, […]

Review of Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author; 

color by Alec Longstreth Intermediate    First Second/Roaring Brook    256 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-444-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-445-7    $12.99 “This book is a true story. And also made up.” Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11; Leave Me Alone, rev. 9/16) fictionalized graphic memoir captures the ups and downs (let’s […]

Review of Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-7636-9355-8    $15.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-7636-9358-9    $15.99 Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela feels self-conscious about her long name until her father tells her about the family members she is named after. Use of the […]

Review of Champion: The Comeback of the 

American Chestnut Tree

Champion: The Comeback of the 

American Chestnut Tree by Sally M. Walker Intermediate, Middle School    Holt    136 pp. 3/18    978-1-250-12523-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-12524-8    $9.99 The American chestnut tree once dotted the landscape in the eastern United States, but a mysterious blight began to wipe the trees out in the early twentieth century due to […]

Review of Pass the Ball, Mo!

Pass the Ball, Mo! by David A. Adler; illus. by Sam Ricks Primary    Penguin    32 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-425-28978-5    $14.99 In this third Mo Jackson easy reader (Geisel Award–winner Don’t Throw It to Mo!; Get a Hit, Mo!), Mo has found a new sports obsession. The ever-enthusiastic boy has basketball on the brain both at […]

Review of Bigger! Bigger!

Bigger! Bigger! by Leslie Patricelli; illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-7930-9    $15.99 In her previous picture books (Higher! Higher!, rev. 3/09; Faster! Faster!, rev. 3/12), this pigtailed adventurer has taken readers on wild and imaginative rides — swinging high into space; moving as fast as a cheetah. Here the girl […]

Review of Mapping the Bones

Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen Middle School, High School    Philomel    417 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-399-25778-0    $17.99 Yolen (The Devil’s Arithmetic; Briar Rose) returns to the horrors of the Holocaust in this “Hansel and Gretel”–inspired story of cruelty, survival, and love. It begins in the Łodz ghetto, to which Jewish fourteen-year-old twins Chaim and Gittel […]

Review of Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School

Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School by Kay Winters; illus by Patrice Barton Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-53898-8    $16.99 Thirty-five poems cover the school year from “Bus Stop” to “Sing a Song of Summer,” with a fire drill, a snow day, April Fool’s Day, and Earth Day in between. There’s […]

Review of All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy; 

illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 2/18    978-1-4814-7752-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7753-6    $10.99 McCarthy sets her historical scene 
with three iconic 1980s images: a “speedy white car,” “boxy-looking computers,” and “big hair,” all depicted in […]

Review of The Belles

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Middle School, High School    Freeform/Disney    440 pp. 2/18    978-1-4847-2849-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4847-3249-6    $10.99 In the fantastical courtly society of Orléans, everyone is born ugly — “skin pallid, gray, and shriveled, eyes cherry red, hair like straw — as if all the color was leeched out of them.” Everyone, that […]