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Review of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    298 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-31284-6    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-259-0    $17.99 This relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel opens with seventeen-year-old Frederica (“Freddy”) Riley’s email to advice columnist Anna Vice. “For almost the past year I’ve been […]

Review of Moth: An Evolution Story

Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas; illus. by Daniel Egnéus Primary    Bloomsbury    48 pp.    g 6/19    978-1-5476-0020-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0024-3    $13.29 “This is a story of light and dark. Of change and adaptation, of survival and hope.” In a shadowy (pre-industrial) wood, a peppered moth — its “speckled, freckled” wing patterns wonderfully detailed […]

Review of Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America

Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America by Ann Bausum Middle School, High School    Viking    166 pp.    g 6/19    978-0-425-28720-0    $17.99 “The first to die left behind little more than their names and brief stories of chaotic, terrifying deaths. Individual by individual, they went from being seemingly well to perplexingly ill in a matter of […]

Review of Charlie & Mouse Even Better

Charlie & Mouse Even Better by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-4521-7065-7    $14.99 This third Charlie & Mouse picture book/easy reader hybrid (Charlie & Mouse, rev. 7/17; Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy, rev. 11/17) shines the spotlight on Mom’s approaching birthday. The first chapter sets the scene, with the […]

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Primary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99 Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi […]

Review of I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    72 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-3942-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4203-4    $11.99 Following I Am Pan! (rev. 5/16), here comes Pan’s father, Hermes, the messenger god, eager to tell his own story. This Hermes is handsome, insouciant, impulsive, and […]

Review of Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II by Andrea Warren Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    214 pp. 3/19    978-0-8234-4151-8    $22.99 Continuing her theme of children in peril because of governmental policies outside of their control, Warren (Surviving Hitler, rev. 3/01; Escape from Saigon, […]

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp. 4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99 A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first […]

Review of With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    392 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-266283-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266285-9    $9.99 High school senior Emoni Santiago, whose “Puerto Rican side is as Black as [her] Black American side,” is many things — an aspiring chef, a proud North Philly native, a reserved student who keeps to […]

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99 The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example, their […]