Blog Archives

“Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina” by Michaela DePrince

“Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina” (Knopf 2014) by Michaela DePrince is a memoir co-written with her adoptive mother Elaine DePrince. Mabinty Bangura is born to loving parents in war-torn Sierra Leone. She’s ridiculed in her tribe due

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“Egg and Spoon” by Gregory Maguire

  Gregory Maguire (author of “Wicked”) uses irony and vast imagination along with Russian folklore—Baba Yaga, the Firebird, and a lesser-known northern albino Dragon—to tell his story, “Egg and Spoon” (Candlewick 2014). At the outset of this 1900 Russian historical

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“This One Summer” by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Graphic novels, so often bigger than life, can sometimes be exactly like life. Cousins Jillian Tamaki (illustrator) and Mariko Tamaki (writer) raise the bar of authenticity in “This One Summer” (First Second 2014) a coming-of-age story. Preteens Rose and Windy

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“The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone” by Adele Griffin

While reading “The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone” (Soho Teen 2014) by Adele Griffin, I was reminded of my sister describing her snowboarding son as “tragically cool” from the time he was in 4th grade. She was speaking of his

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“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson writes ecstatically—beautifully and truthfully—about first love in her young adult novel “I’ll Give You the Sun” (Dial 2014), as she did in her first book “The Sky is Everywhere.” Jude and Noah are artists and twins living in

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“Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson

“Brown Girl Dreaming” (Paulsen/Penguin 2014) is Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir about growing up in a loving, but broken family, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. Written in accessible vivid verse, and a National Book Award Finalist—we’ll find out tomorrow,

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“Blood Guard” by Carter Roy

Overview: Young Adult—a.k.a. YA or Teen—Literature is designed for, let’s say, twelve to eighteen year old readers. But it’s catching on with all-aged readers. Certain books hover between Young Adult/Teen and Juvenile so that libraries will hold copies in both

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“Going Over” by Beth Kephart

The Berlin Wall constructed in 1961 divided East Berlin (a socialist state) from West Berlin (a federal republic) and did not come down until 1989. For those 28 years the Wall and its towers and armed guards prevented the mass

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“Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel” by Anya Ulinich

Anya Ulinich’s “Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel” (Penguin 2014), a graphic novel for adults will also be popular with young adults. The story of Lena, a 17 year old Russian immigrant moving with her parents to Arizona in the 80s, appears

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“Josephine” Recorded Books, read by Lizan Mitchell SLJ starred review

School Library Journal starred review May 2014 audio CD Recorded Books Read by Lizan Mitchell   Gr. 2-5 Powell, Patricia Hruby. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. Born into the slums of St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker had

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