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A Look at Reviews by Book: Fall 2018

Review Abbreviations: BCCB—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books BL—Booklist CL—Children’s Literature Database K—Kirkus Reviews LJ—Library Journal PW—Publishers Weekly SLJ—School Library Journal V—Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) H—The Horn Book Magazine HG—The Horn Book Guide *indicates starred review ^ indicates outstanding or superior

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      Hey, Kiddo

      by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

      Feb 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.
      Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.
      Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.
      Author's note. Note on the art. Full-color illustrations.

      Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

      by Larry Dane Brimner

      Feb 2019

      Nonfiction High Plus

      K*, SLJ*, BL*, PW
      The Cold War, 1947: the US government investigated nineteen men from the film industry for suspected communist ties. The first ten to be questioned—known as the Hollywood Ten—were blacklisted for standing up for their First Amendment rights and refusing to cooperate. Author's note. Bibliography. Source notes. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      A Very Large Expanse of Sea

      by Tahereh Mafi

      Feb 2019

      Young Adults

      2002: Shirin figures everyone at her new school will dislike her for her race, religion, and hijab. Then she meets Ocean James, who actually seems to want to get to know her—and she discovers breakdancing.

      The Light Between Worlds

      by Laura E. Weymouth

      Feb 2019

      Young Adults Plus

      Ever since sisters Evie and Philippa returned from the strange kingdom they were transported to six years ago, they have struggled to adjust to life in England. List of poems and paintings mentioned in the novel.

      My Sister, the Serial Killer

      by Oyinkan Braithwaite

      Feb 2019

      Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

      Ayoola has a bad habit of killing her boyfriends. Her sister, Korede, cleans up the messes. Now, Korede’s crush is showing interest in Ayoola. The sisterhood is put to the test.

      In Another Time

      by Caroline Leech

      Jan 2019

      Young Adults

      World War II: In Scotland as part of the Women’s Timber Corps, Maisie finds the independence she’s craved. But she is frustrated by reserved lumberjack John Lindsay and his many secrets. Author’s note.

      My Father's Words

      by Patricia MacLachlan

      Jan 2019

      Independent Readers

      K*, PW*, BL*
      Declan O’Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Grant Us Peace.” His family loved him deeply, and always knew they were loved in return.
      But a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O’Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief? At the suggestion of their friend Luke, Fiona and Finn volunteer at an animal rescue shelter where they meet two sweet dogs who are in need of comfort, too. Perhaps with time, patience, and their father’s gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more.
      Author’s note.

      What If It's Us

      by Becky Albertalli

      Jan 2019

      City High School

      K*, BL, PW*, SLJ*
      Ben and Arthur meet-cute, lose touch, and have multiple missed connections and three first date do-overs. They finally find love . . . but will their insecurities keep them apart for good?

      The War Outside

      by Monica Hesse

      Jan 2019

      History High

      PW*, SLJ*
      Crystal City, Texas, 1944: Haruko and Margot meet at a "family internment camp" during World War II. But in a prison the US government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone—even each other? Black-and-white map. Note on historical accuracy.

      An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

      by Virginia Boecker

      Jan 2019

      Mystery High Plus

      K*, BL
      London: Queen Elizabeth I commands her spy, Toby, to stage a Shakespearean play as a trap for Catholic rebels. Or, if Katherine has her way, it will be where she kills the queen. Author’s note. Bibliography.

      Code Girls: The True Story of the America Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition)

      by Liza Mundy

      Jan 2019

      Nonfiction Middle

      More than ten thousand American women served as codebreakers in World War II, recruited by the US Army and Navy. Because the work was classified, their story has only recently been told. Foreword. Note on codes and Allied and Axis powers. Time line. Glossary. Bibliography. Further reading. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      Thank You, Omu!

      by Oge Mora

      Jan 2019

      Read Aloud Plus

      BL, PW*
      Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?
      Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.
      Author’s note. Full-color illustrations created with acrylic paint, china markers, pastels, patterned paper, and old-book clippings.
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