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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 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 Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife [Scientists in the Field] by Amy Cherrix Middle School    Houghton    73 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-328-85868-9    $18.99 The human population of western North Carolina is encroaching on the natural habitat of the region’s black bears. In this encouraging case study of efforts to manage black […]

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 Piecing Me Together audiobook

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson; read by the author Middle School, High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 7/17 5 CDs    5.5 hrs    978-1-5019-9779-2    $51.75 Watson (winner of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award and a 2018 Newbery Honor for this novel) movingly conveys the emotions of her thoughtful, bright, artistic, African American protagonist Jade. […]

Foreseeable futures

Speculative fiction can provide an effective vehicle for authors to comment on and critique the state of our own world. The following new YA novels examine timely social issues in new settings, whether far-flung galaxies or uncomfortably close-to-home dystopian societies. (And by the way, did you know The Hunger Games just celebrated its tenth publication […]

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 […]

Review of We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; illus. by various artists Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    88 pp. 9/18    978-0-525-58042-3    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-58043-0    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-58044-7    $10.99 The Hudsons (founders of Just Us Books) created this timely and powerful anthology to help young people face […]

Review of Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America

Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow Intermediate, Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    142 pp. 8/18    978-1-62979-776-2    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-68437-143-3    $9.99 In 1938, on the night before Halloween, an American radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells’s […]