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Review of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Carolrhoda    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5124-2661-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-2468-2    $17.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) gives his quirky, funny verse and art a spooky twist here with seventeen poems celebrating ghosts, witches, demons, and even […]

Poetry with pictures

These illustrated poetry collections touch on a variety of topics — from the everyday to the prehistoric to the supernatural — but all provide inviting ways to introduce primary readers to poetry. In Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School, thirty-five poems follow the months of the school year, from “Bus Stop” to […]

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 Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All

Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All by Douglas Florian; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4424-8795-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-8796-3    $10.99 This collection of twenty-five poems teases out many of friendship’s fundamentals, as well as its more nuanced complexities. Along with jealousy, bullies, and new and imaginary friends, the punchy […]

Review of Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color

Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color by Julie Paschkis; illus. by the author Primary    Godwin/Holt    32 pp. 7/18    978-1-250-12229-2    $17.99 Fourteen color poems pair with vibrant gouache illustrations, beginning with the color yellow: “Loudly, rowdy / daffodils yell hello. / Hot yellow.” The poem, set inside a bright sun, blazes above butterflies, birds, flowers, and a bee, […]

Review of Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]

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 […]

Reviews of the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    361 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-06-266280-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8    $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life. The self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem furiously confronts catcalling boys, […]

Review of Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School

Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School by Kay Winters; illus by Patrice Barton Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-53898-8    $16.99 Thirty-five poems cover the school year from “Bus Stop” to “Sing a Song of Summer,” with a fire drill, a snow day, April Fool’s Day, and Earth Day in between. There’s […]

The Book That Changed My Life: At Home in the Pages

My mother, now ninety — the first person who ever read poems to me — must have given me this book, but she does not remember the occasion. By the time I was seven (1959), my copy was hand-worn and familiar. I toted it proudly. At 608 pages, containing more than 700 poems, it was […]