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Review of The Penderwicks at Last

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall Intermediate    Knopf    294 pp. 5/18    978-0-385-75566-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75567-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75568-9    $10.99 The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to […]

Review of Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]

Review of Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh; illus. by Edwin Fotheringham Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    80 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-4847-8144-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-02251-4    $10.99 Corset maker. Sailor. Tax collector. Husband. Thomas Paine fails at all these pursuits. But what he can do is write and persuade, and when in 1774 he immigrates […]

Review of Water Land: Land and Water Forms 
Around the World

Water Land: Land and Water Forms 
Around the World by Christy Hale; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 5/18    978-1-250-15244-2    $17.99 Die-cuts serve both useful and playful purpose in this introduction to Earth’s various meetings of water and landforms. A boy idyllically fishes on a small pond while a girl plays […]

Summer adventures

These four entertaining, summertime-set novels (including one graphic novel) will have readers channeling their inner sleuths to find buried treasure, getting an insider’s look at an (un)orthodox summer camp, revisiting a beloved family one last time, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the little things that can make a family trip so memorable. Author Jeanne […]

Review of Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author Intermediate   Greenwillow    227 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-06-249966-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-249968-4    $9.99 Midway through this episodic tale of a family beach vacation, main character Alix and her mother visit a craft store. They are both charmed by the model train scenery, […]

Review of The Creativity Project

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp Intermediate    Little, Brown    278 pp. 3/18    978-0-316-50781-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-50778-3    $9.99 It’s a good premise. Forty-four contemporary children’s book people each contribute a writing prompt. Then each one responds to someone else’s prompt. The result is a combination anthology and inspiring craft manual. It’s diverse all ’round, […]

Review of Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author; 

color by Alec Longstreth Intermediate    First Second/Roaring Brook    256 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-444-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-445-7    $12.99 “This book is a true story. And also made up.” Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11; Leave Me Alone, rev. 9/16) fictionalized graphic memoir captures the ups and downs (let’s […]

Review of Champion: The Comeback of the 

American Chestnut Tree

Champion: The Comeback of the 

American Chestnut Tree by Sally M. Walker Intermediate, Middle School    Holt    136 pp. 3/18    978-1-250-12523-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-12524-8    $9.99 The American chestnut tree once dotted the landscape in the eastern United States, but a mysterious blight began to wipe the trees out in the early twentieth century due to […]

Review of March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine

March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals; 

illus. by Frank Morrison Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    214 pp. 1/18    978-1-328-88212-7    $16.99 Beals, author of the adult memoir 
Warriors Don’t Cry, received the 
Congressional Gold Medal for her bravery in helping to integrate Central High School in 1957 as one […]