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Review of Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    306 pp.    g 10/17    978-1-4814-3825-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3827-8    $10.99 Fifteen-year-old Will, immobilized with grief when his older brother Shawn is shot and killed, slowly comes to mull The Rules in his head. There are three: don’t cry, don’t snitch, and “if someone you love / gets […]

Review of In Your Hands

In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Brian Pinkney Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-6293-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6294-5    $10.99 It looks like a baby-shower book, and it is a baby-shower book — but with a difference. On pastel backgrounds amidst the soft, swirling swoops of Pinkney’s gentle lines and colors, Weatherford […]

Review of Flashlight Night

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine; illus. by Fred Koehler Primary    Boyds Mills    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-62979-493-8    $16.95 On any dark night, a flashlight illuminating shadows can create delicious thrills. Here, a trio of kids is seen on the title page crossing a dark backyard toward a tree house. A boy carries a stack of […]

Review of When’s My Birthday?

When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool   Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-293-4    $17.99 When it comes to young children, there is one day that supersedes all others: the birthday. Fogliano understands the singular focus children have for this day and captures that intensity by repeating the word birthday with a […]

Review of Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales; illus. by Mehrdokht Amini Primary    Salaam/Simon    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-8936-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8937-9    $10.99 Gonzales pens an honest, heartfelt text about the beauty of cultural identity, a loving, compassionate exhortation to his daughter to embrace all that she is. Although written in […]

Review of The Memory of Things

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner High School    St. Martin’s Griffin    275 pp. 9/16    978-1-250-09552-7    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-250-09553-4    $9.99 It’s the morning of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, and the first tower has just fallen. Sixteen-year-old Brooklynite Kyle, fleeing toward home, stumbles upon a teenage girl wearing a pair of costume wings […]

Review of All Ears, All Eyes

All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson; 
illus. by Katherine Tillotson Preschool, Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-1571-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1572-9    $10.99 “An owl hoots in our dim-dimming woods. / Who-who.” As the sun sets 
in a forest, viewers must keep their senses alert to catch all the activity in 
Tillotson’s atmospheric pictures, […]

Review of 5 Little Ducks

5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/16    978-1-4814-2422-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2423-3    $10.99 Listeners familiar with the traditional nursery rhyme and song know the general plotline: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars — highlighted in glorious […]

Review of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Candlewick    50 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-8094-7    $16.99 The title of this innovative poetry collection comes from Lucille Clifton, who wrote, “Poems come out of wonder, not out of […]

Review of Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs by Carol Murray; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 5/17    978-0-8050-9818-1    $17.99 Twenty-nine common insects and arachnids (from ants to spiny-back spiders) are on display in Murray’s lively poems and Sweet’s inviting mixed-media illustrations. The titular cricket opens the proceedings in a poem mimicking an elusive […]