Blog Archives

Graphic Novels: “Child Soldier,” “Roller Girl,” “Baba Yaga’s Assistant”

Graphic novels can be a fantastic way to get a reluctant young adult to read. A reader of graphic novels develops visual acuity, but this takes exposure, maybe some practice. But it’s really fun. Graphic novels no longer feature just

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“The Lie Tree” by Frances Hardenge

Frances Hardenge sets “The Lie Tree” (Amulet 2016) in Victorian England, amidst the argument of God vs. Darwin’s theory of evolution. Faith, 14 years old, soon-to-be a woman, must feign ignorance in order to discuss natural science. Speaking to a

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“Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War” by Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin won the Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Award for his last three books including his most recent “Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War” (Roaring Brook 2016). No wonder. It’s thoroughly researched, clearly

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“Flannery” by Lisa Moore

Flannery, 16, lives with her charming but flaky mother in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Flannery says, “We used to be what’s called the working poor, but now we’re just plain old poor.” Her mother, Miranda, is an eco-artist, but that doesn’t

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“The Incident on the Bridge” by Laura McNeal

At the height of the two mile Coronado Bridge from the California mainland to the Island is a jumping spot. So many people have jumped from the 250 foot height that one of the surveillance cameras is trained right on

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“Anna and the Swallow Man” by Gavriel Savit

In 1939 Krakow, Poland, seven-year-old Anna awaits her father’s return at Herr Doktor’s pharmacy. Gavriel Savit writes “To a child, an empty hour is a lifetime” in his insightful debut novel, “Anna and the Swallow Man” (Knopf 2016). Motherless Anna

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“Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick’s “Ghosts of Heaven” (Roaring Brook 2015) is comprised of four haunting stories linked by the concept of a spiral. The four stories span prehistory to the future and is recommended for readers 12 and up. A Paleolithic girl

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“The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

“Boys in the Boat: The True Story of Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” (Viking 2015) is the young readers edition of Daniel James Brown’s best-selling original for adults. The story follows Joe

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“Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys writes books for teens and adults about “hidden chapters of history.” That perfectly describes her latest, “Salt to the Sea” (Philomel 2016). Set in Germany at the end of World War II, citizens flee Germany, while Russian forces

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“The Tightrope Walkers” by David Almond

David Almond’s “The Tightrope Walkers” (Candlewick 2015) is dark, yet inviting. It feels like magical realism, but it’s straight-ahead realism. Almond, a master-writer, depicts the post World War II northern England British class system showing how it defines its characters.

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Book Reviews