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Review of Harbor Me

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate     Paulsen/Penguin     179 pp.     g 8/18     978-0-399-25252-5     $17.99 One day, Ms. Laverne gathers her small class of fifth and sixth graders and walks them over to the old art room, where she invites them to talk to one another — without her. Every Friday at two o’clock, narrator […]

Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool     Dial     48 pp. 10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99 Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it is […]

Review of Rebound audiobook

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; read by Ron Butler Intermediate, Middle School    Recorded Books    Rev. 7/18 3 CDs    3.5 hrs.    978-1-5019-4909-8    $30.75 In this prequel to Alexander’s The Crossover (rev. 5/14), twelve-year-old Charlie Bell (future father of the first book’s twin protagonists) is sent to stay with his grandparents for the summer after his own father’s […]

Review of Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-60060-969-5    $17.95 William “Bill” Lewis (1810?–1896) was born into slavery in Tennessee on a plantation owned by Colonel Lewis. As a boy toiling alongside his mother, aunt, and siblings in the fields, […]

Review of On a Sunbeam

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden; illus. by the author High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    537 pp. 10/18    978-1-250-17814-5    $32.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-17813-8    $21.99 This serial webcomic turned epic graphic novel tells Mia and Grace’s story in two alternating, far-future timelines, each initially distinguished by a different limited palette. In the first timeline, depicted in […]

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99 “When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone […]

Review of Refugee audiobook

Refugee by Alan Gratz; read by Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, and Assaf Cohen Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic Audio    Rev. 11/17 7 CDs    7.62 hrs.    978-1-338-19107-3    $34.99 The difficult plight of refugees is here represented by the stories of three children from different locations and time periods. Josef, a Jewish boy living in Nazi Germany, departs […]

Review of Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife [Scientists in the Field] by Amy Cherrix Middle School    Houghton    73 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-328-85868-9    $18.99 The human population of western North Carolina is encroaching on the natural habitat of the region’s black bears. In this encouraging case study of efforts to manage black […]

Review of Love to Everyone

Love to Everyone by Hilary McKay Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    330 pp. 9/18    978-1-5344-2710-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2712-9    $10.99 In Binny in Secret (rev. 7/15), McKay introduced us to Clarry, her brother Peter, and their beloved cousin Rupert in a subplot set during World War I in London. Here, McKay gives us the full story […]

Review of The Patchwork Bike

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99 A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and playing atop an abandoned […]