Reviews of the Week: Sara Zarr, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Mull, and More!

Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and/or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from December 12 through 16 below, so that you can revisit the week’s best books.

 

 

dad-and-the-dinosaur-gennifer-choldenkoMonday, December 12

Dad and the Dinosaur, by Gennifer Choldenko

Newbery Honor Book author Choldenko and Caldecott Medal–winning artist Santat collaborate here to celebrate dads’ contributions to parenting. Choldenko excels in creating believable characters whose empathy and emotional quotients match their other successes.

 

 

 

season-for-the-ages-al-yellonTuesday, December 13

A Season for the Ages, by Al Yellon

The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series after a 108-year drought. It was the longest stretch of futility in American sports history. In a very emotional, touching epilogue, Yellon tips his cap to all the Cub players, coaches, managers, and fans who didn’t make it to November 2016.

 

 

 

dragon-watch-brandon-mullWednesday, December 14

Dragonwatch, by Brandon Mull

Fans of Mull’s popular Fablehaven books will be delighted with this rousing opener to a new sequel series, which builds upon familiar characters and plot points from the original fantasy series. Though the story is occasionally overtold, the excitement of the adventure will sweep up existing fans and undoubtedly create new ones.

 

 

 

 

norse-mythology-neil-gaimanThursday, December 15

 Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman yields to no one else writing modern-day-set dark fantasy in his use of classic mythologies. His favorite body of myths is—and those who’ve read enough of him don’t need him to tell them so—the Norse batch. Gaiman’s retelling of these ever-striking and strange stories should be every reader’s first book of Norse mythology.

 

 

gem-and-dixie-sara-zarrFriday, December 16

 Gem & Dixie, by Sara Zarr

In this illuminating, graceful novel, Zarr demonstrates how privation can reverberate through many areas of a teen’s life, and nicely emphasizes that problems don’t need to be violent or catastrophic in order for one to ask for help. Her frank, resonant story is both bittersweet and triumphant.

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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