The Latest In Progress
Komoko Sakai has captured one girl’s discovery of wakefulness in a sleeping household. Hannah delights in the subversive pleasures—pilfered cherries, unauthorized milk for the cat, playing with sister’s things without permission. Thick streaks of paint—predominantly blue—capture the quiet feel of the night. Up to Seven. Tony Carmack
Goodall invites young readers to spend a day in Gombe National Park observing some of her favorite young chimpanzees and their families through an album of photographs by a photographer who has also spent years in this area. Irresistible.7-10. K. Isaacs
Orphaned Irish siblings Molly and Kip find employment in a creepy household haunted by an ancient tree and a mysterious figure who leaves muddy footprints, and learn that having your dearest wishes come true can be horrible. A haunting, satisfying tale about ghosts and ancient legends, the difference between stories and lies, and the power of love. This is a terrific read, full of thought-provoking ideas, magical use of language, spooky images, and memorable characters. 10-14. K. Isaacs
It's 1964 in Mississippi, the Freedom Summer, and Deborah Wiles stuns readers with this powerful story told not only through fictional characters, but through ephemera such as photographs, quotes, and lyrics which provide readers with a more thorough understanding of Mississippi. She inserts juxtapositions such as the Freedom Workers’ invasion (bad) and the Beatles’ invasion (good) to get readers thinking. In addition, Ms Wiles superbly brings in crucial side stories about Bob Moses, LBJ, Muhammad Ali, and Wednesday’s Women & Dorothy Height which offers a deeper insight into the time period. Needless to say, it was a privileged to read this insightful story. Ten to Fourteen. Ruth Compton
Our Founding Fathers would have had a lot of difficulty "founding" a nation without the support of strong, heroic, smart women. Alongside information about their contributions to the American Revolution, each woman is personalized with interesting tidbits about their lives. This intriguing book will encourage readers to find out more about the Founding Mothers. Ten to Fourteen. Julie Dietzel-Glair
Weingarten, the prize-winning humorist and curmudgeon of the Washington Post tries his hand at picture book writing with a rhymed bit about doggy devotion. As a tongue in cheek sendup of religious belief it could find an audience with determinedly atheist or agnostic parents, though it’s also about the way dogs adore their people: “Murphy’s pretty smart, but he / thinks a bit too much of me./ To him, I’m not a short grade-schooler. / I’m Supreme Almighty Ruler, Super-duper boss and king.” Weingarten even channels the admonition to consider the lilies of the field—his young narrators observes of his enthusiastic pet “It’s silly how he prays and pleads, since I give Murphy all he needs.” The real treat is Eric Shansby’s energetic, silly, lively illustration. Shansby seems to have an innate understanding of the picture book. His pacing is just right and his use of white space, color and perspective has fine child appeal. Definitely someone to watch and nominated so you’ll know about it! Up to Seven. Kathie Meizner
Life in Downers Grove in the 1950s seems as calm and staid as any other small town. Tommy's family, however, is struggling. In the months following the birth of her 4th baby Mom is becoming more and more out of control. Wild mood swings, violent behavior, and depression turn her into someone he doesn't know. His eldest sister, Mary Lou, protects him until she has an accident that puts her in the hospital for months. The pressure on Tommy is enormous and his behavior goes from mild bullying to out and out meanness. Relationships change in town when a copy of the Daily Worker surfaces bringing the reality of the McCarthy witch hunts front and center. Tommy is smack in the middle of it all. This is a beautifully written story of a bully whose behavior spirals out of control as his life unravels before him.