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Review of Best Babysitters Ever

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     246 pp.     g 2/19     978-1-328-85089-8     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52788-2     $9.99 In this series opener, Malia stumbles across an old copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, the first of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books, and appropriates the central business model. But unlike Kristy and […]

Review of The Bell Rang

The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate     Dlouhy/Atheneum     40 pp. 1/19     978-1-4424-2113-4     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-7671-3     $10.99 “The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” Ransome paints a heartbreaking picture of an enslaved family existing within the […]

Review of The Penderwicks at Last audiobook

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall; read by Susan Denaker Intermediate     Listening Library     Rev. 7/18 7 CDs     8.37 hrs.     978-0-525-59559-5     $55.00 This closing volume in the beloved Penderwick series, featuring two sisters’ marriages and one’s heartbreak, is told from the point of view of eleven-year-old Lydia, the youngest Penderwick half-sister. Denaker voices […]

Review of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo Intermediate, Middle School     Clarion     311 pp. 9/18     978-1-328-80956-8     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52690-8     $9.99 Spanish ed. 978-1-328-53481-1     $18.99 Acevedo defied expectations as a girl growing up in a working-class Mexican American family in 1960s and 1970s Las […]

Review of Harbor Me

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate     Paulsen/Penguin     179 pp.     g 8/18     978-0-399-25252-5     $17.99One 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 Haley […]

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 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 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 What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-4814-6561-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6562-5    $10.99 This large book, with its lush, vivid, mixed-media illustrations, makes an artistic statement as bold as groundbreaking African American […]

Historical heroes and heroines

These novels for intermediate and middle-school readers show landmark moments in history through the eyes of perceptive preteens. Young Zora Neale Hurston and her friend Carrie are pulled into another mystery involving their tight-knit African American community in Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground. The main narrative, set in 1903, alternates with that of a […]