Tag: Gr. 4-7

STAR SCOUTS: Summer Camp, Science-Fiction Style

STAR SCOUTS: Summer Camp, Science-Fiction Style

Lynn: When you’re the new kid in town, finding friends can be tough. Mike Lawrence takes an out-of-this-world look at the issue in his recent graphic novel, Star Scouts (2017).  Barrel-racing, rodeo loving Avani Patel is having an especially hard time fitting into her new school, so her well-meaning dad signs her up for Flower […]

Full of Mysteries: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA by Lauren Wolk

Full of Mysteries: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA by Lauren Wolk

Cindy: Beyond the Bright Sea (2017), Lauren Wolk’s fine follow-up to her 2017 Newbery Honor book, Wolf Hollow, features a young orphan with a mysterious past, a hunt for treasure, and a search for belonging. Said orphan, the twelve-year-old Crow, is named for the rasping cry she emitted when Osh, a reclusive fisherman, found her as […]

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

Lynn: Regular readers know that we are seldom speechless—but that’s exactly what I was however when I finished Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2017) by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. My powers of speech have definitely returned, but the awe has remained. There is so much that I love about this book that […]

THE LOTTERYS PLUS ONE: Emma Donoghue Writes for Middle-Graders

THE LOTTERYS PLUS ONE: Emma Donoghue Writes for Middle-Graders

Cindy: I grew up watching The Brady Bunch, but I can only imagine what fun someone could have with the new, millennial version of a blended family presented in The Lotterys Plus One (2017). When Lynn and I learned that Emma Donoghue (The Wonder, Room) had written her first middle-grade novel, we weren’t sure what to expect. […]

SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

Lynn: In schools these days, we talk about science in terms of the scientific method, theories, observation, and conclusions. Pedagogically, this is excellent, but it is important not to lose sight of something that both drives and excites kids: asking questions. Young biologist Brent Hughes did just that. His question? Why was the fertilizer-polluted Elkhorn Slough […]

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

Lynn: What do you get when you put an award-winning photographer and a Newbery Award-winning author together? When the photographer is Joel Sartore, longtime National Geographic contributor and creator of the Photo Ark project, and the author is the novelist and poet Kwame Alexander, the result is a glorious celebration of our world’s wild creatures. Animal […]

SOMEDAY BIRDS: A Wild Ride

SOMEDAY BIRDS: A Wild Ride

Lynn: Many of us hate change, but 12-year-old Charlie really hates it. The Someday Birds (2017) by Sally J. Pla begins with Charlie’s widowed father, who suffered a head wound in Afghanistan, being transferred from San Diego to a hospital in Virginia to undergo a new treatment. And so Charlie finds himself on a cross-country road […]

A Welcome New Voice: AMINA’S VOICE

A Welcome New Voice: AMINA’S VOICE

Lynn: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing recently announced a new imprint, Salaam Reads.  Their mission: “to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families, and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.” It couldn’t come at a better time. The first book […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Boring, Illinois is Anything But in THE MATCHSTICK CASTLE

Boring, Illinois is Anything But in THE MATCHSTICK CASTLE

Cindy: Hang on to your soccer ball and watch out for wild boars. . . have we got an adventure for you! Keir Graff’s new middle-grade novel, The Matchstick Castle (2017) is pure, wacky fun. [Editor’s note: Keir is both the executive editor of Booklist and the editor emeritus of The Booklist Reader.]  Protagonist Brian’s summer […]

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Lynn: Some kids just don’t like scary or creepy! A physically fearless six-year-old member of our focus group falls into this category; he markedly dislikes scary movies and scary books. So, on a recent visit, I was quite surprised to learn his first choice out of my ever-present book bag was The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo (2016) by Drew […]