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Review of House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery

House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg; illus. by Julie Morstad Middle School, High School    Candlewick    339 pp.    g 6/18    978-0-7636-6057-4    $17.99 The author best known for Anne of Green Gables left behind extensive letters and journals; Rosenberg has gathered information from these and other sources to create a detailed […]

Truth and duty

Reading about difficult circumstances can be cathartic — and may enhance readers’ feelings of empathy. The following YA novels tackle complex subject matter in authentic, thought-provoking ways. In Eric Gansworth’s Give Me Some Truth, set in 1980 on the Tuscarora Indian Nation (the “Rez”), the alternating first-person narratives of two teens — seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick […]

Review of Give Me Some Truth

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the author High School    Levine/Scholastic    432 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-338-14354-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-14355-3    $11.99 Seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick has lived his whole life on the reservation, while fifteen-year-old Maggi (short for Magpie) Bokoni had been living in the city since she was eight and has only […]

Review of I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    258 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-425-29077-4    $18.99 A chance meeting leads to intimate connections for three struggling nineteen-year-olds in Forman’s (If I Stay, rev. 7/09; I Was Here, rev. 1/15) latest novel. Freya is an up-and-coming singer who has lost her voice, to her controlling […]

Review of Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Middle School, High School    Atheneum    179 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5344-0943-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0945-3    $10.99 In 1942 Los Angeles, after working all day at the canneries, teen sisters Lorena and Marisela can’t wait to put on their sharpest swing […]

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 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 […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Review of Speak: The Graphic Novel

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illus. by Emily Carroll High School    Farrar    376 pp. 2/18    978-0-374-30028-9    $19.99 In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99) — a powerful narrative of a high school freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault — artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s […]

Review of Jabberwalking

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera Middle School, High School    Candlewick    138 pp. 3/18    978-1-5362-0140-6    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9264-3    $14.99 In a loose and jazzy style (and with a nod to Lewis Carroll), the former U.S. Poet Laureate offers instructions for “Jabberwalking,” or writing poetry while in motion: “You have to move fast! / Move, move, […]