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Review of Hey, Kiddo

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Graphix/Scholastic    320 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-545-90247-2    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-90248-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-90249-6    $9.99 Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; […]

Girls, ghosts, and ghouls

In four new shiver-inducing middle-school and YA novels perfect for the Halloween season, young women come face-to-face with the restless dead, who are variously mindless and hungry or self-aware and in need of assistance — and not so different from their living counterparts. For more, see this recommended YA reading list, and don’t miss these […]

Finding home

Four novels for middle-grade readers feature memorable and likable protagonists who face economic hardship, homelessness, and prejudice in addition to the usual challenges of growing up. For an author’s perspective on narratives of children finding — or making — home, read E. Lockhart’s Horn Book Magazine Writer’s Page article “On Home, Empathy, and Voice.” In […]

Review of Between the Lines audiobook

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes; read by Cherise Boothe, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Ruffin Prentiss, and James Shippy Middle School, High School    Recorded Books Rev. 3/18    4 CDs    4 hrs.    978-1-5019-6261-5    $13.99 Nine high school students take turns giving readers their impressions of a poetry class they’re all taking, […]

Review of The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    298 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-5247-1595-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1596-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1597-7    $10.99 It’s summertime, and the living is easy. At least it was before narrator Caleb and his older brother Bobby Gene make a bad deal with their nemesis, Cory, leading […]

Review of The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Houghton    105 pp. 9/18    978-1-328-81015-1    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-56104-6    $13.99 There are over five million Syrian refugees around the world today, and each one has a unique story. Brown returns to the comics format of Drowned City […]

Review of Betty Before X audiobook

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson; read by Ilyasah Shabazz Intermediate, Middle School    Macmillan Young Listeners    Rev. 3/18 4 CDs    4.5 hrs.    978-1-4272-9368-8    $29.99 Long before she was the wife of Malcolm X, Betty Shabazz was a girl growing up in 1940s Detroit within a solid churchgoing community engaged in the fight […]

Review of Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Middle School, High School    Getty    96 pp. 3/18    978-1-947440-00-5    $19.95 This 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning biography introduces readers to “an icon. Orgullo mexicano. Maestra.” Photographer Graciela Iturbide’s (b. 1942) story is told in comic-panel format, with striking black-and-white illustrations, high-quality […]

Learning curves

A new school year means emotional challenges in addition to academic ones. The teen protagonists of these nuanced YA dramas navigate the complex intersections of their school, familial, and social identities. See also our recommendations for middle-school and high-school readers in the 2018 Back-to-School Herald. Sophomore Darius Kellner doesn’t fit in at his Oregon high […]

Review of Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone Middle School, High School   Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    266 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-338-23945-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-23948-5    $17.99 In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. Setting the stage […]