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Review of Izzy Kline Has Butterflies: A Novel in Small Moments

Izzy Kline Has Butterflies: A Novel in Small Moments by Beth Ain Intermediate    Random    167 pp. 3/17    978-0-399-55080-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55081-2    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-399-55082-9    $10.99 Fourth grader Izzy has her share of common woes — mean girls, school anxiety, auditions for a play, a dad […]

Review of Garvey’s Choice

Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes Intermediate, Middle School    WordSong/Boyds Mills    108 pp. 10/16    978-1-62979-740-3    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-747-2    $7.99 In a little book of little poems, Grimes tells a big-hearted story of Garvey (named after Marcus Garvey), an overweight boy tormented by name-calling at school: “lard butt, fatso, Mister Tubs.” Of his size, he says, […]

Review of Moo

Moo by Sharon Creech Intermediate, Middle School    Cotler/HarperCollins    278 pp. 8/16    978-0-06-241524-0    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-241525-7    $17.89    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-241527-1    $6.99 Sick of city life and having recently lost their jobs, Reena’s parents decide to move to Maine, to a small coastal town. It’s summer, and twelve-year-old Reena and younger brother Luke are free […]

Review of Ronit & Jamil

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    183 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-245854-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245855-1    $9.89 This Romeo and Juliet–inspired story unfolds in five acts of verse, swapping the setting of Renaissance-era Italy with present-day Israel. Teenagers Ronit (an Israeli girl) and Jamil (a Palestinian boy) are […]

Review of When My Sister Started Kissing

When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Farrar    195 pp. 3/17    978-0-374-30303-7    $16.99    g Claire and Abigail have few memories of their mother — she died when they were very young — but at their family’s lakeside cabin, the girls are surrounded by the poetry, art, […]

Review of We Come Apart

We Come Apart by Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan High School    Bloomsbury    312 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-68119-275-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-276-5    $12.99 Two troubled UK teens forge an unlikely romance in this novel in verse. Jess, a jaded tough girl, nicked some cosmetics with friends who let her take […]

Review of Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle Middle School    Houghton    260 pp. 3/14    978-0-544-10941-4    $17.99    g Of the thousands of people from around the world who helped build the Panama Canal, the voices of the dark-skinned workers have been seldom heard. Known as the “silver people” because they were paid in silver […]

Review of Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words

Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle Middle School    Atheneum    163 pp. 8/16    978-1-4814-6112-2    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6114-6    $10.99 In this last chapter in her series of verse novels about the struggle “against forced labor in nineteenth-century Cuba” (The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, rev. 7/06, and […]

Five questions for David Elliott

“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

Review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown Middle School, High School    Candlewick    292 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-7811-1    $17.99 In this compelling verse novel, Brown (Caminar, rev. 3/14) imagines the Donner Party’s harrowing survival tale as experienced by nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves, a real-life member of the […]