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Children Books

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062796783
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 25th, 2020

I found this to be an interesting deviation from Connor's usual style - she usually favors a highly eccentric premise with a hint of mystery. This is her first novel published since she became a National Book Award Finalist for The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle (2018), so perhaps she's using that career milestone as a pivot into experimental territory. It strongly reminded me of Polly Horvath's writing - the nutty estranged family members, the pastoral setting, and the protagonist's furtive work on a project aimed at reuniting familial ties. I really enjoyed this book, and am excited to see whether Connor continues with this new style. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

I am a Capybara by Michela Fabbri - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781616899455
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Published: Princeton Architectural Press - October 6th, 2020

You will be clutching your copy of I Am A Capybara close to your heart , just like any child would upon finding a favorite story of surprise, joy and wonder. I had no idea a Capybara could have such an affect on me. Lessons on life for any age, and sure to be my favorite picture book of 2020, this is an understated masterpiece of mirth and wisdom. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Hatch (The Overthrow #2) by Kenneth Oppel - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781984894762
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - December 1st, 2020

In this next thrilling installment of The Overthrow series by Kenneth Oppel, Seth, Anaya and Petra - our beloved heroes from the first book - develop new abilities and appearances while struggling to sharpen the blurred lines between the “good” guys and the “bad.” Fast paced and emotional, this book solidly brings everything to a head, leading readers into what will most definitely be an epic final showdown between humans, Cryptogens, and the ravaging alien species that is destroying Earth. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781419739262
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Published: Amulet Paperbacks - August 11th, 2020

Among YA fiction, this grounded, near-future sci-fi story is a rare breed, exploring gender, race, and disability to the backdrop of a frighteningly plausible apocalypse. A tale about bravery, consequences, and what we do and don't owe to family. ~ Reviewed by Claire Bennet

Matched by Ally Condie - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780142419779
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Published: Penguin Books - September 20th, 2011

With graceful, dreamy pose and a compelling romance, this gentler cousin to Hunger Games is now a classic in its own right. It eschews high-stakes action in favor of a more contemplative tone, inviting the reader to explore this quiet dystopia at their own pace. ~ Reviewed by Claire Bennet

They Went Left by Monica Hesse - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780316490573
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 7th, 2020

Boy, do I love the surge of post-WWII-reconstruction novels currently happening across all age categories. Too often, Holocaust stories center Christian protagnoists and relegate Jewish characters to roles that (structurally) do little more than serve the Christian-savior narrative. The current focus on the aftermath of the war flips that script, centering the agency of Jews rebuilding their lives. This YA book is a shining example of that. It follows the difficult, extraordinarily written story of Zofia, who is liberated from Gross-Rosen and treated at a rehabilitation hospital before setting out across Europe in search of her brother, the one family member she has any hope of finding alive. Hesse's crystal-clear rendering of PTSD - without access to the language for it, as those terms were not yet in use in the 40s - is magnificent, and Zofia's voice as an unreliable narrator who is increasingly aware of her own memory lapses is vibrant, despite the deep sense of loss that permeates the book. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


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