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Review of I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    72 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-3942-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4203-4    $11.99 Following I Am Pan! (rev. 5/16), here comes Pan’s father, Hermes, the messenger god, eager to tell his own story. This Hermes is handsome, insouciant, impulsive, and […]

Lift Every Voice: My Own Origin Story

Growing up, I always loved magic. It was exciting, because I was a curious kid who devoted a good deal of brainpower to figuring out the whys of the world. This love of magic eventually manifested in a love of science — and with it science fiction — which permeated the cartoons I watched and […]

Review of Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    294 pp.    g 4/19    978-1-5362-0003-4    $16.99 On Rachel’s thirteenth birthday, new neighbors move in, affluent dilettante “farmers” who engage her, at minimum wage, to look after their animals while they’re away during the week. She comes to love the menagerie, even Lucy, the surly […]

Review of You Are New

You Are New by Lucy Knisley; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    48 pp. 3/19    978-1-4521-6156-3    $17.99 Knisley chronicled her wedding in her 2016 adult graphic-novel memoir Something New; her latest, Kid Gloves (2019), is about pregnancy; and concurrently she has authored her first picture book — about a newborn baby. In lilting, lighthearted rhyme, […]

Lift Every Voice: Words and Music

Because I was running away from anything that required being in the public eye, I am sure that any early motivation to be a writer was deeply buried in my subconscious and lay there, unrecognized, for many years. Writing this article has sent me back to pull those memories together and analyze them. So, where […]

Review of Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II by Andrea Warren Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    214 pp. 3/19    978-0-8234-4151-8    $22.99 Continuing her theme of children in peril because of governmental policies outside of their control, Warren (Surviving Hitler, rev. 3/01; Escape from Saigon, […]

Lift Every Voice: Walking My Own Path

I was used to getting red-ink marks in the margins of my school essays until I met my high school English teacher, Linda Christensen. For our final projects, Ms. Christensen would write two-page letters with praise and feedback about revisions. I had never had a teacher be so thoughtful and intentional with my writing. I […]

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Primary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99 Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi […]

Lift Every Voice: The Greatest Review I’ll Ever Get

Memory is a very inexact and unreliable process, and it’s tricky to try to point to one event in our past and say it was somehow life-changing. That said, if the question is: what set me on the road to becoming an author? I have a memory that is as clear and singular as if […]

Review of Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by Dan Santat; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    64 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-368-02716-8    $9.99 Santat takes the already-meta Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series to new heights of self-awareness in this easy reader starring Harold and Hog, […]