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April 25, 2014

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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 [...]

Pick of the Day: Toys in Space

many mythical creatures, space background

This is an offbeat story-within-a-story about an alien who collects abandoned toys.

Pick of the Day: Far Far Away

blue and green background, house, lower right

The ghost of Jacob Grimm narrates a story about complex characters who have conflicted motivations.

Review: Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball by Charise Mericle Harper

Henry and the Cannons (Brown), ©2013 illustration by Don Brown

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball By Charise Mericle Harper Alfred A. Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780307977076 $4.99 Grades K-3 In stores May 14, 2013 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library “I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” -Ursula Nordstrom, Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom Getting into [...]

Pick of the Day: Out of Nowhere

figure standing on lots of grass

Soccer is certainly an element, but the novel is rich and multidimensional, addressing the Muslim experience in America

Pictures of the Week: Bankstreet Students Debate Diversity; Elizabeth Eulberg at TEDxTeen 2013

editorsknopf

Students at the Bankstreet School discuss diversity and book covers with editors from Knopf; author Elizabeth Eulberg reunites with a fan at TEDXTeen.

Weekly Reviews: Nonfiction

Weekly Reviews: Nonfiction

This is Sonia Sotomayor’s 8th week on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list, up to #4 from #5 last week. (Sandra Day O’Connor’s book, Out of Order, debuts at #11.) I am particularly excited to write about My Beloved World this week because I recently had a chance to booktalk it to a [...]

Weekly Reviews: Postmodernism

Today we look at two examples of the postmodern novel. Postmodernism has gotten a bad rap–almost from the beginning–for being purposefully obscure, denying the existence of meaning, and encouraging moral relativism.  But, while I concede that many postmodern works of art can be infuriatingly vague, for me at least the best postmodern novels (like the [...]

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2013

It’s time to once again to look at the season before us and say “that looks good”. What follows are books coming out in March, April, and May that appear to have promise. Picture Book Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird; illustrated by Brandon Dorman April 23 | Greenwillow | Grades K-2 Ever heard of [...]