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Review of School’s First Day of School

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 6/16    978-1-59643-964-1    $17.99    g We’ve had many books about kids getting ready for the first day of school, but now we have another perspective: the school’s itself. The title page shows the finishing touches being added to a […]

Recommended School Stories: Middle School

Alexander, Kwame Booked 314 pp. Houghton 2016. ISBN 978-0-544-57098-6 Nick is a wordsmith, thanks to his linguistics-professor father, but he would rather be shining on the soccer field. He’s blindsided when his parents separate; things worsen at school, too, as he and best friend Coby are targeted by the racist Eggleston twins. With accessible forms […]

Recommended School Stories: Intermediate

Barnett, Mac and John, Jory The Terrible Two 220 pp. Abrams/Amulet 2015. ISBN 978-1-4197-1491-7 Ebook ISBN 978-1-61312-763-6 Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Forced to leave behind his proud reputation as class prankster, Miles Murphy dreads starting over in a new town. Miles finds himself paired up with do-gooder Niles at Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy […]

Recommended School Stories: Easy Readers and Chapter Books

Cheng, Andrea The Year of the Book 148 pp. Houghton 2012. ISBN 978-0-547-68463-5 Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Nine-year-old Anna, who always has her head stuck in a book, sometimes uses reading as a shield against social exclusion (of the specialized fourth-grade-girl kind) and her own lack of confidence. Cheng’s telling is as straightforward yet sympathetic […]

Recommended School Stories: Picture Books

Bean, Jonathan This Is My Home, This Is My School 48 pp. Farrar 2015. ISBN 978-0-374-38020-5 The boy from Building Our House welcomes readers back into his home — and school. Our narrator — the author/illustrator’s stand-in — gives a whirlwind tour of homeschooling life, and the warmhearted, cheerfully cluttered illustrations show how home and […]

Books mentioned in the July 2016 issue of What Makes a Good…?

What Makes a Good Page-Turner? Primary Fiction and Nonfiction Broach, Elise  James to the Rescue! [Masterpiece Adventures] Illustrated by Kelly Murphy 104 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano     2015     ISBN 978-1-62779-316-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-62779-317-9 Cronin, Doreen  The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure [Chicken Squad] Illustrated by Kevin Cornell 103 pp.     Atheneum     2014     ISBN 978-1-4424-9679-8 Ebook […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Middle School Fiction and Nonfiction

Bancks, Tristan  On the Run 229 pp.     Farrar/Ferguson     2015     ISBN 978-0-374-30153-8 On the run from police, twelve-year-old Ben’s parents leave him and younger sister Olive on their own in a cabin in the Australian bush. Ben finds a copy of My Side of the Mountain, appropriate — and useful — reading since he and Olive […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Intermediate Fiction and Nonfiction

Anderson, Jodi Lynn  My Diary from the Edge of the World 421 pp.     Simon/Aladdin     2015     ISBN 978-1-4424-8387-3 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4424-8389-7 Twelve-year-old Gracie’s world is almost like ours — except that the planet is flat, dragons exist, and poltergeists stopped the Industrial Revolution. When the arrival of a Dark Cloud seems to portend her younger brother […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Primary Fiction and Nonfiction

Broach, Elise  James to the Rescue! 104 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano     2015     ISBN 978-1-62779-316-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-62779-317-9 Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Masterpiece Adventures series. Beetle Marvin is going collecting in the Pompadays’ apartment, where the beetles live behind a kitchen cupboard. When Uncle Albert is accidentally cut by a pair of nail scissors, Marvin enlists the help […]

Recommended Page-Turners: High School Fiction and Nonfiction

Bow, Erin  The Scorpion Rules 368 pp.     McElderry     2015     ISBN 978-1-4814-4271-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-4273-2 Pan Polar Confederacy princess Greta and the world’s other royal children are held hostage: if a leader goes to war, his or her child is killed; if that child survives to eighteen, he or she is released. There’s a welcome spin […]