Children Books

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781984815682
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Published: Dial Books - August 11th, 2020

In the current wave of middle-grade books about childhood sexual assault, this book stands out in a big way. It doesn't just hint at the subject, but rather makes it the focus of the book, crafting its plotlines around acceptance, recovery, and defensive action. For those who may doubt that this is appropriate for a child reader, please remember that Bradley's bestselling Newbery Honor book, The War That Saved My Life, is intensely joyful despite its topics of childhood domestic violence and PTSD. Bradley is a master of taking care of her reader while introducing them to difficult subject matter and infusing a deep sense of hope within her books. Fighting Words is an empowering call to action and should be read by every child, girl or boy. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781338255812
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Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

This book! WOW! By far the best debut I've read in a long time. Historical fiction set on Martha's Vineyard in the early 1800's, where protagonist Mary is a member of the large Deaf community on the island. Deafness has always seemed normal to the islanders, who are all fluent in sign language, and Mary is unaware of the abusive treatment and low social status suffered by the Deaf on the American mainland. As tensions over land disputes between the English settlers and the Wampanoag native to the island become increasingly fraught, a scientist arrives and begins to investigate the cause of the islanders' deafness. Suddenly, Mary's world is ripped from underneath her feet, and she is rudely awakened to the devastation caused by prejudice. I can't stress enough how well-written this book is. It was particularly interesting how the characters' signing influenced the otherwise traditionally colonial tone of the book. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781368048958
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 26th, 2020

After Maddie's father died in an accident, she started to see danger at every turn and called the police so many times that the chief of police will no longer take her seriously. So when she begins to suspect that the new kid in her neighborhood is that same boy who was kidnapped from a nearby town a few months ago, she knows that she'll need proof before she asks for help. I would categorize this as an "emotional mystery" - all the traditional beats of a mystery novel are mirrored by Maddie's struggle to understand her complicated feelings about the death of her father and her attempts to figure out how to bond with her new stepfather. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Brother's Keeper by Julie Lee - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780823444946
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Published: Holiday House - July 21st, 2020

It's 1950 in North Korea, and the communist regime is at war with American-backed South Korea. Twelve-year-old Sora and her family use the chaos caused by the war as an opportunity to flee to South Korea - and freedom. But when Sora and her little brother, Young, become separated from the rest of the family, they must attempt to travel the hundreds of miles by themselves, on foot, and in the middle of a brutal winter. This is further complicated by the fact that although Sora loves Young, she's resentful of the fact that her parents only value their sons, and made her take care of them instead of going to school. A beautifully written book that makes history feel contemporary by looking at it through a feminist lens. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062310675
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Published: HarperTeen - April 3rd, 2018

The thrilling sequel to Aveyard’s mind-blowing novel Red Queen. Mare Barrow is an anomaly to the Silver world; her blood is red yet she possesses unique abilities not even the most powerful Silver can go up against. We last left off with her fleeing the Prince whom she thought she could trust until his true intentions and malice were revealed. Now her and her gang of rebels are on the run and in search of others like her--those that they call “newbloods.” Very exciting ending, Aveyard definitely wanted to make her readers suffer just a little bit with some ending plot twists and cliffhangers. Couldn't jump to the next book quick enough! ~ Reviewed by Adelia Callear

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen - Book Review

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By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763655983
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Published: Candlewick - September 27th, 2011

Adorable picture book about a bear who lost his precious hat and has to travel through the forest and question each creature he meets about the whereabouts of his hat. Goofy, humorous, and a little sassy, this book will leave you chuckling like a father after making a dad joke. ~ Reviewed by Adelia Callear


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