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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 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 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 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 […]

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 […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle 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 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, […]

Review of Hurricane Child

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender Middle School    Scholastic    213 pp.    g 3/18    978-1-338-12930-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-12932-8    $10.99 Twelve-year-old Caroline Murphy, who lives on tiny Water Island near St. Thomas, is certain that she is cursed, and she may be right. Born inauspiciously during a hurricane — a portent of bad luck — Caroline was […]

Review of This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father

This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father by Khizr Khan with Anne Quirk Intermediate, Middle School    Knopf    216 pp. 10/17    978-1-5247-7091-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7092-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7093-8    $10.99 This clearly written, straightforward study of the U.S. Constitution, written by Pakistan-born Khan (who spoke passionately at the 2016 Democratic National […]

Review of The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    282 pp. 2/18    978-1-250-15985-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-363-4    $16.99 With a setting and palette reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella and a setup involving a royal ball, this graphic novel has all the trappings of a rags-to-riches romance. […]