Children - MidChild

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781338129335
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Published: Scholastic Press - February 4th, 2020

This is a coming-of-age story not only for the protagonist, King, but also for his family. King must learn to let go of his identity as it's been defined by his late brother and be brave enough to come out and live as his true self. At the same time, King's mom and dad struggle to shed their prejudices and grow into the parents he needs them to be. Each character in this book is deeply flawed. Each one of them is trying their damn hardest to be better. Beautifully, beautifully told. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780525516477
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Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - August 25th, 2020

Historical fiction set in late 1930s Cuba, where Esther and her father have immigrated to escape the growing prejudice against Jewish people in Poland. They're saving up money to bring over Esther's mother, Baba, and younger siblings by selling the dresses that Ruth designs and sews. Based on Behar's family history, this novel-in-letters takes a wide view of this time in Cuban history, examining the experiences of Chinese and Black Cubans in Esther's neighborhood as well as the growing population of Cuban Jews. Great if you are looking for a Jewish-perspective WWII story that is empowering rather than a (unfortunately much more commonplace) helpless Jewish victim narrative. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781101938096
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Published: Wendy Lamb Books - April 7th, 2020

Stead has always been a master of creating incredibly complex, ultra-realistic characters with layered stories, but she's outdone herself with this one. Bea simply leaps off the page. I adore her, and I adore this book! There's something so delightfully fun about the perspective of a "bad kid" protagonist. Do not read in public unless you want to embarrass yourself by laughing out loud every other page. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780399545436
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Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - September 1st, 2020

Next-level good. You will cry the whole way through this book, which is no surprise given that that's Jaqueline Woodson's specialty. This is a sports novel in verse, perfect for fans of Kwame Alexander's The Crossover, but it's technically post-sports: it follows ZJ, whose pro-football-player dad is starting to act strangely: forgetting things, having migraines, and getting so shaky he can no longer play. Set in the early 2000s, this book looks at the dark side of football, examining one man's battle with CTE and its effect on his tight-knit family. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

The Giver (Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780544336261
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Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - July 1st, 2014

In this very real, possible future, feelings are null, love does not exist, and you are, essentially, the same as everyone else. Cleverly written, Lowry winds a moving, profound, and unsettling story of an idyllic society where Sameness is normal, and uniqueness is frowned upon. A perfect book to spark a deep discussion about controlled communities, embracing your differences, familial ties, and the fine line between doing what's right, and doing something because you don't know any better. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

One Time by Sharon Creech - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062570741
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Published: HarperCollins - September 8th, 2020

Is anyone else fascinated by watching super-popular white authors from the 90s and 2000s try to modernize themselves by infusing their new books with a diversity that was nonexistent in their career-defining works? It gives an interesting glimpse into what children's literature could have been then and defines what it must be now: world-conscious. One Time is full of Creech's classic overlapping dialogue, with a plot structure derivative of Jaqueline Woodson's Harbor Me. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinksy


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