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Review of Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Middle School, High School    Getty    96 pp. 3/18    978-1-947440-00-5    $19.95 This 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning biography introduces readers to “an icon. Orgullo mexicano. Maestra.” Photographer Graciela Iturbide’s (b. 1942) story is told in comic-panel format, with striking black-and-white illustrations, high-quality […]

Learning curves

A new school year means emotional challenges in addition to academic ones. The teen protagonists of these nuanced YA dramas navigate the complex intersections of their school, familial, and social identities. See also our recommendations for middle-school and high-school readers in the 2018 Back-to-School Herald. Sophomore Darius Kellner doesn’t fit in at his Oregon high […]

Review of Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone Middle School, High School   Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    266 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-338-23945-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-23948-5    $17.99 In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. Setting the stage […]

Review of As You Wish audiobook

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti; read by Brian Hutchison High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 1/18 8 CDs    9.75 hrs.    978-1-5019-7224-9    $24.49 In a Nevada desert town where everyone gets a wish on his or her eighteenth birthday (and it comes true), seventeen-year-old Eldon doesn’t know what to choose. What’s more, he’s convinced that most […]

Review of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings: 15 Retellings of Asian Myths and Legends

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings: 15 Retellings of Asian Myths and Legends edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    328 pp.    g 6/18    978-0-06-267115-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-267117-2    $8.99 Fifteen authors of East and South Asian descent present original short stories inspired by culture-specific tales from their own childhoods; immediately […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: High School

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo HarperTeen     361 pp 3/18     978-0-06-266280-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8     $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, a self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem, finds peace in writing poetry. The slow-burning suspense of what will transpire when devoutly Catholic Mami discovers Xiomara’s clandestine relationship with a classmate is eclipsed only […]

Review of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter audiobook

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez; read by Kyla Garcia High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 8 CDs    9.7 hrs.    978-1-5247-8224-5    $60.00 When her older sister, Olga, dies, Julia discovers Olga was not the “perfect Mexican daughter” everybody thought she was. Julia, who longs to be a writer and leave […]

The art of deception

The protagonists of the following new YA fantasies all face complex societal structures which force them to hide, lie, or deceive others in some fashion. Along the way, this leads each character to re-examine her or his own identity and prior beliefs…and also makes for compelling reading. Rachel Hartman returns to her fantastical medievalesque world […]

Review of Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot audiobook

Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling; read by Christina Moore Middle School, High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 3/18 6 CDs    7.25 hrs.    978-1-5019-7193-8    $20.99 Narrator Moore has a deep, resonant alto with a no-nonsense quality that perfectly embodies the resolve of America’s first feminists. When quoting Susan […]

Review of We’ll Fly Away

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss High School    Greenwillow    408 pp. 5/18    978-0-06-249427-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-249429-0    $8.99 When best friends Luke and Toby were kids, they tried to fix up a crop duster they found abandoned in the woods outside their rural North Carolina town, fantasizing it could one day fly them out of […]