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Review of The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase [Lockwood & Co.] by Jonathan Stroud Intermediate, Middle School     Disney-Hyperion     374 pp. 9/13     978-1-4231-6491-3     $16.99     g With a morbidly cheery tone and sure-footed establishment of characters and setting, Stroud (the Bartimaeus trilogy; Heroes of the Valley, rev. 1/09) kicks off a new series that is part procedural and part ghost story, with […]

Review of Boxers & Saints

Boxers & Saints Boxed set 978-1-59643-924-5     $34.99 Boxers by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     328 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-359-5     $18.99 Saints by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     172 pp. 10/13     […]

Review of When Lions Roar

When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris; illus. by Chris Raschka Preschool     Orchard/Scholastic     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-545-11283-3     $16.99     g A young child (of indeterminate gender) is frightened by loud noises on a trip to the zoo — from screeching monkeys and booming thunder to yelling parents and blaring sirens, each one simply described using the […]

Review of The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School     Levine/Scholastic     240 pp. 9/13     978-0-545-43099-9     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-545-56239-3     $16.99 Dismissing Hannah Arendt via footnote, Bascomb concisely establishes Adolf Eichmann as an enthusiastic and painstaking enforcer of Hitler’s Final […]

Review of Journey

Journey by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary     Candlewick     40 pp. 8/13     978-0-7636-6053-6     $15.99 In the tradition of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (rev. 10/55), this wordless story shows a bored young girl  living in a monochromatic world who is able to draw herself into other worlds with […]

Review of The Lord of Opium

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer High School     Jackson/Atheneum     412 pp. 9/13     978-1-4424-8254-8     $17.99 g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8256-2     $12.99 With the death of El Patrón at the end of The House of the Scorpion (rev. 11/02), Matt, the drug lord’s fourteen-year-old clone, has not only been reclassified as a human but has […]

Review of Mr. Wuffles!

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Clarion     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-618-75661-2     $17.99     g Is anything so fraught with potential energy as a stalking cat, or as relaxed as a bored one? Mr. Wuffles disdains all the playthings he’s offered — until, amongst scorned balls […]

Review of Locomotive

Locomotive by Brian Floca; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Jackson/Atheneum   64 pp. 9/13     978-1-4169-9415-2   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8522-8   $12.99 Talk about a youth librarian’s dream come true: a big new book about those ever-popular trains from a bona fide picture-book-nonfiction all-star. Striking cinematic endpapers lay the groundwork, describing the creation of the Transcontinental […]

Review of Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins Middle School, High School     Candlewick     127 pp. 9/13     978-0-7636-5866-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-7636-6719-1     $15.99 In her preface to this nicely compact collection, Perkins suggests that humor can help smooth the way in discussions about  race — […]