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Review of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illus. by Paola Escobar Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/19     978-0-06-274868-3     $17.99 In her native Puerto Rico, a young Pura Belpré retells folk stories to children under a tamarind tree; when she visits Nueva York in 1921 and decides to stay, obtaining […]

Review of Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-62779-512-8    $18.99 When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin; illus. by Jose Ramirez Primary    Atheneum    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-5344-0413-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0414-4    $10.99 Carlos Santana’s 1971 […]

Review of Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-60060-969-5    $17.95 William “Bill” Lewis (1810?–1896) was born into slavery in Tennessee on a plantation owned by Colonel Lewis. As a boy toiling alongside his mother, aunt, and siblings in the fields, […]

Review of What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

What Do You Do with a Voice like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/18    978-1-4814-6561-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6562-5    $10.99 This large book, with its lush, vivid, mixed-media illustrations, makes an artistic statement as bold as groundbreaking African American […]

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden; illus. by Don Tate Primary, Intermediate    Knopf    40 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-385-75276-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75277-0    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75278-7    $10.99 This informational picture book spotlights the life, work, and legacy of African American farmer and businessman Junius G. Groves (1858?–1925), […]

Review of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein and She Made a Monster

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey; illus. by Júlia Sardà Primary    Tundra    56 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-77049-559-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-77049-561-6    $10.99 She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton; illus. by Felicita Sala Primary    Knopf    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-525-57960-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-57961-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-57962-5    $10.99 […]

Groundbreaking women in STEM

Four new picture-book biographies introduce primary readers to female scientists and mathematicians who wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of their pursuit of knowledge. Also look for a review of Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson in the upcoming September/October Horn Book Magazine. An early, vivid […]

Review of Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary, Intermediate    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4814-7684-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7685-0    $10.99 Wife-and-husband team Cline-Ransome and Ransome celebrate tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their formative childhoods and the way their preparation and talent fundamentally changed […]

Review of The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar

The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle; 

illus. by Sara Palacios Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4814-4502-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4503-0    $10.99 In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue) Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Aída de Acosta (1884–1962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era […]

Review of Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs; illus. by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 1/18    978-1-4521-4857-1    $17.99 In this picture-book biography of folk musician Elizabeth Cotten (1893–1987), a straightforward narrative describes her modest upbringing in rural North Carolina, where “Libba” taught herself to play her brother’s right-handed guitar despite having […]