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Review of Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough Middle School, High School    Feiwel    416 pp. 11/18    978-1-250-30803-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-30804-7    $9.99 Brockenbrough opens her critical biography of Donald Trump with a sampling of events leading up to the surprising (to most) results of the 2016 presidential election. She then takes readers back to […]

Review of SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir

SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson High School    Viking    290 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-670-01210-7    $17.99 “This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.” So opens Anderson’s three-part autobiographical collection of dynamic, mostly free-verse poems that serves as a potent poetic endnote for her landmark […]

Review of Soaring Earth

Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle Middle School, High School    Atheneum    160 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5344-2953-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2955-0    $10.99 In this companion verse memoir to Enchanted Air (rev. 7/15), Engle provides a glimpse into her high school years in Los Angeles and early adulthood as a Cuban American person coming to an understanding of […]

Review of I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5124-4914-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4380-5    $19.99  Even as a young child Tantoh Nforba loves the rich soils of his native northwestern Cameroon, earning the nickname “Farmer” from his mocking classmates; […]

Review of Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley; illus. by Jessica Lanan Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 1/19    978-1-250-15533-7    $18.99  The ever-fascinating idea that there may be life on other planets drives this smart discussion of the major advances in astronomy that have led to the discovery of exoplanets (officially, “extrasolar planets”), along with […]

Celebrating Black History 2019

February is Black History Month. The following nonfiction titles present informative, inspirational, and moving stories about notable African American people and events, to be shared with readers all year long. See also our Five Questions interview with Claire Hartfield, winner of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award for A Few Red Drops: The Chicago […]

Review of The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    276 pp. 9/18    978-1-338-14034-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-14035-4    $11.99  Bascomb follows his two previous WWII histories for young adults (The Nazi Hunters, rev. 9/13; Sabotage, rev. 7/16) with another gripping work of narrative nonfiction, this time […]

Review of Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 audiobook

Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin; read by Jim Frangione Middle School, High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 5 CDs    5.75 hrs.    978-1-525-52609-4    $45.00 Marrin’s account of the flu pandemic that killed millions of people during World War I, plus modern-day efforts to identify that strain and prevent a […]

Review of The Elephant

The Elephant by Jenni Desmond; illus. by the author Primary    Enchanted Lion    48 pp. 10/18    978-1-59270-264-0    $18.95 In this companion to the author-
illustrator’s The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear (rev. 3/17), a brown-skinned boy wearing a red crown introduces readers to one of nature’s endangered wild things: the elephant. In a setup similar to […]

Reviews of the 2019 Sibert Award winners

Winner The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman; 
photos by the author Intermediate    Houghton    140 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-544-71713-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-83028-9    $9.99 Sidman introduces readers to Maria Merian, a seventeenth-century German naturalist whose illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and moths included groundbreaking scientific details, […]