July 23, 2016

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The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz | SLJ Review

Inquisitor's Apprentice

Gidwitz, Adam. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. illus. by Hatem Aly. 384p. Dutton. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525426165.
Gr 5-10–What is a miracle? Is a miracle what happens when, faced with murderous bandits, a teenage monk rips a leg off his donkey, beats them to death with it, then restores the donkey’s leg? Or is it a miracle when a cranky innkeeper is so moved by a little girl’s friendliness that he risks his […]

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill; Illustrated by Francis Vallejo
Published by Candlewick Press, 2016
ISBN # 978-0763669546

Grades 3 and up

Book Review

The year was 1958, and jazz music was everywhere in full for…

Diana’s White House Garden

Diana’s White House Garden

Written by Elisa Carbone and Illustrated by Jen Hill

Published by Viking in 2016

ISBN 978-0-670-01649-5

Grades PK – 6

Book Review

The year is 1943; America is at war and the inhabitants of
the White House i…

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

A Bandit’s Tale: The
Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Written by Deborah Hopkinson

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-385-75499-6

Grades 4-8

Book Review

“These days, when anyone asks, I say I’m an Ameri…

True Dystopia: Three New Wartime Novels for Tweens | The Upper Deck

True-Dystopia-Reviews-TN

These three recent historical novels about wartime survival should appeal to upper middle graders and teens.

American Girls | Historical Fiction Featuring Feisty Females

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Looking for strong female characters in stories steeped in period detail to recommend for Women’s History Month? Share these exciting new young adult novels and short stories with your patrons.

Why “The Hired Girl” Won the 2016 O’Dell Award

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The win strikes a chord of redemption for supporters of the controversial book following a wide-ranging discussion over the main character’s prejudiced outlooks.

The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz, published by Candlewick Press. When Joan’s father burns her beloved books as an undeserved punishment for shirking her housework, the put-upon fourteen-year-old makes a reckless gambit for freedom, running away to Baltimore in search of paid work. There […]

The post The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction appeared first on The Horn Book.

Sort of historical

I have just realized that we’ve reviewed a lot of historical fiction this year. Karyn was talking about a strong year for fantasy, but I’m over here impressed by historical fiction in 2015. Or our sort-of-historicals, as is the case for one of these. This week, we’ve got two past winners, and both authors provide […]

Show and Prove

Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero Knopf Books for Young Readers, July 2015 Reviewed from a ARC Karyn started out the week gushing about what a banner year for fantasy it is. I’m a little closer to Joy’s wavelength because I’ve got some (historical) realistic fiction to cover in this post. Joy also talked about SIGNIFICANCE […]

Ordinary Kids, Extraordinary Circumstances: World War II Fiction for Middle Grade Readers

into the killing seas

Set against a backdrop of dramatic world events, three engrossing and vividly written novels provide glimpses at history from the relatable perspectives of their young narrators.

Exploring America’s Past: Historical Fiction for Middle Grade Readers

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Three new superbly written books feature unique protagonists with compelling points of view and provide insight into the experiences of others, while underscoring the extraordinary courage of otherwise ordinary kids

Review of the Day: Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Gone Crazy in Alabama By Rita Williams-Garcia Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0062215871 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. I’m a conceited enough children’s librarian that I like it when a book wins me over. I don’t want them to make it easy for me. When I sit down to read something I […]

Which book will hurt which reader how?

There are some lively debates going on at Heavy Medal and Fuse #8 about Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Hired Girl, a presumed favorite for 2016 Newbery consideration. The Horn Book starred it; I like it too (and here’s a brief interview I did with Schlitz in the September Magazine). What’s interesting about this debate is […]

The post Which book will hurt which reader how? appeared first on The Horn Book.

The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, April 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Last week, I spent my time talking about unusual formats. This week, I’m not dealing with an unsual format — just straight up prose here, folks — but this title does have a unique feel. It’s like […]

Review of the Day: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Hired Girl By Laura Amy Schlitz Candlewick Press $17.99 ISBN: 978-0763678180 Ages 12 and up Bildungsroman. Definition: “A novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.” A certain strain of English major quivers at the very term. Get enough Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man shoved down your gullet and […]

The Tightrope Walkers

  The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond Candlewick, March 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, I am conflicted about this one. This is gorgeous, gorgeous writing — even the first line pulls you in and lets you know that you’re in for something unusual here (“I was born in a hovel on the banks of the […]

Audacity

  Audacity by Melanie Crowder Penguin/Philomel, January 2015 Reviewed from ARC I have a copy all marked up with post its; Audacity is full of lovely language, creatively placed text (srsly, such nice design), and strong recurring images, and I want to put lots of quotes in for oooh-ing and aww-ing purposes. However, I GUESS […]

Book Review: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Publisher’s description: “This is East Texas, and there’s lines. Lines you cross, lines you don’t cross. That clear?” New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Smith and Wash Fullerton know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But there are […]

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz | SLJ Review

Hired

Schlitz, Laura Amy. The Hired Girl. 400p. Candlewick. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763678180.

Gr 6-9–Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs is a reluctant drudge on her family’s farm, and no one appreciates her. She pours her thoughts and emotions into her diary, which is the lens through which readers experience her life. And life on her family’s 1911 hardscrabble Pennsylvania farm grinds on endlessly. She loves to read and longs for more education, but is trapped by her circumstances. Her boorish father pushes […]