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August 26, 2015

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Review: Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree By Ellen Potter Illustrated by Qin Leng Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780553499230 $14.99 Grades 1-3 Out August 4, 2015 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library You know what’s normal? Being weird. Kids know this. But as we grow older we do our best to shed anything that […]

Review: Billy and Goat at the State Fair by Dan Yaccorino

Billy and Goat at the State Fair By Dan Yaccarino Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780385753258 $16.99 Grades K-2 Out June 30, 2015 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Since it seems appropriate, I’d like to start with a very perceptive quote by author-illustrator Peter Brown, from his Boston Globe-Horn Book acceptance speech for […]

Review: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Review: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich By Julia Sarcone-Roach Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780375858604 $16.99 Grades K-2 Out Now *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library It’s sounds counter-intuitive, but the best Big Reveals are the ones that aren’t necessary. Or maybe it makes more sense to think of it this way: […]

Inspirational Memoirs

Inspirational Memoirs

One of my favorite books of 2011 was Little Princes by Conor Grennan. It made that year’s AB4T best list, and Grennan is in demand around the country at schools and colleges where his book is a great Common Read choice. I say all of this to give context to the first of today’s books. […]

Asian Identity

Asian Identity

The Year She Left Us concerns the search for belonging and identity, both personal and cultural. Ari was abandoned in China as a baby, taken to an orphanage, then adopted by a Chinese American woman, Charlie, who raises her in San Francisco with the help of her sister and mother. Now Ari is 18 and […]

My Salinger Year

My Salinger Year

Joanna Rakoff’s wonderfully engaging memoir, My Salinger Year, shares the author’s experiences during the year she moves to New York City straight out of grad school. She sort of maybe wants to be a poet. She knows she wants to work with books. Maybe publishing? She leaves her boyfriend behind, even though he sounds like […]

Mixed-Race Relationships

Mixed-Race Relationships

Today we have two stand-out novels involving race and immigration that are told from multiple points of view. Both involve the weight of parental expectations. Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng‘s debut novel, and our starred review joins other stars from LJ, Booklist and PW.  This is a dysfunctional family story in which […]

School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers

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Bank Street School librarian Allie Bruce found herself facing a complicated question from a sixth grader about the lack of minorities on YA book covers, starting with Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender. The question led Bruce on a year-long lesson on diversity in children’s literature with a sixth grade class and—some surprising results.

Pick of the Day: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

This inventive and engaging fantasy, based on the story of the Snow Queen, will be a welcome addition to middle grade collections.

Pick of the Day: A Volcano Beneath the Snow

A Volcano Beneath the Snow

Marrin offers a multisided look at the events and controversy surrounding John Brown’s role in the banishment of slavery and his ongoing inspiration for current events.

Short Work

Short Work

Neither of the books reviewed below looks much like a traditional short story collection. Eileen Gunn’s Questionable Practices includes stories as short as one page long, a poem, and a “steam-punk quartet” of stories. Novak’s collection, meanwhile, mocks the whole concept of a “short story collection”, calling itself, in the subtitle,  “Stories and Other Stories”. […]

Pick of the Day: In New York

In New York

Marc Brown offers a kid-friendly tour of New York City that captures the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

Pick of the Day: The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

The Noisy Paint Box

In this delightful homage, crisp visual language unites with deeply expressive and whimsical paintings to re-create the intriguing world of art as seen through Kandinsky’s distinct lens.

Roundup: All the Books

Roundup: All the Books

Okay, not all the books, but three books for the price of one post: The Golden Day, Winger, and The Midnight Dress. (It was going to be four books, because I stayed up way too late reading More Than This the other night, but I think I need to sit on that for another day […]

Yellowcake

Yellowcake

Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan Knopf Books for Young Readers, May 2013 Reviewed from Final Copy Short stories aren’t always my favorite – collections can be so uneven sometimes; I’d rather spend time in a big long novel. But Margo Lanagan seems to be trying to convince me that I – even I! – can love a […]

Pick of the Day: Muckers

Muckers

WALLACE, Sandra Neil. Muckers. 288p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375867545; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375967542; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780307982384.
Gr 8 Up–Based on the true story of a 1950 scrappy high school football team out of Jerome, Arizona, this novel is about an underdog victory. Felix “Red” O’Sullivan and his friends have grown up in the copper-mining town of Hatley, but the ore has depleted over the years. The town has become so small that Hatley High will be closing at […]

Pick of the Day: The Great Trouble

child's profile against a blue background

Weaving historical personages such as Dr. John Snow and the Reverend Henry Whitehead with fictional characters, Hopkinson illuminates a pivotal chapter in the history of public health.

Review: The Waking Dark

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman. Knopf. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: One day, a small town: Oleander, Kansas. Like so many other small towns, where everyone thinks they know everyone. Where everyone has secrets. Some secrets they don’t even know about. A handful of people, with no connections to each other, go […]

Longbourn

Jane Austen lovers are in for quite a treat. Oh wait, make that Jane Austen lovers and Downton Abbey fans. Oh yes, buy multiple copies because Longbourn has arrived at last. Imagine that among the Bennet family servants there is one just about the same age as Elizabeth. Sarah is a hard worker, solid and […]

Community and Poverty

We review two books today, both set in very specific communities overshadowed by poverty and tragedy. Let’s start with Men We Reaped, a memoir by Jesmyn Ward. Ward’s fierce, poetic debut novel, Salvage the Bones, won the National Book Award and a 2012 Alex Award. It follows a pregnant teenage girl and her family through […]