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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Review of the Day: Firefighters’ Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

If there is an art to rendering expository facts with a narrative feel, then Meghan McCarthy is this type of book’s Vincent Van Gogh. Never sacrificing beauty, never skimping on reality, she provides the perfect balance while also managing to come up with books that kids will really really enjoy reading. A treat to eye and ear and a blessing to parents of the firefighting obsessed nationwide. The best at what it aims to be.

Review of the Day: Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Good news. I know exactly what to do with this particular middle school book. You need to weigh it down with awards, so many that it can no longer stand under its own weight and is forced to stagger to the display unit that stands front and center in the library where all the best books go. Then, and only then, will it have found its true home.

Review of the Day: Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe

There’s something going on in this book. A wry, whipsmart, funny tale that actually may have a thing or two to say about female empowerment. Or not? It’s easy to read too much into this book, but I’d say it’s also just as easy to read into it everything that you need it to be. Intelligent writing for kids that will not just appeal but engage and entice.

Review of the Day: The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, ill. The Fan Brothers

The Antlered Ship By Dashka Slater Illustrated by The Fan Brothers Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 9781481451604 Ages 4-7 On shelves now Take any number of picture books published in a given year. Read them all, cover to cover. Digest them. Ponder them. Then, I have no doubt, you’ll […]

Review of the Day: The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, ill. Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist By Cynthia Levinson Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-0070-1 Ages 6-10 On shelves now Today I’d like to begin with a small talk about diversity. Not diversity of people necessarily, but diversity […]

Review of the Day: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost By Jason Reynolds Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves August 30th This is a generalization, but in my experience librarians really enjoy reading within their comfort zones. They’ll travel outside of them from time to time but always they return to the books that they like […]

Review of the Day: Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life By Ashley Bryan Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1481456906 Ages 9 and up On shelves September 13th Who gives voice to the voiceless? What are your credentials when you do so? When I was a teen I used to […]

Review of the Day: The Storyteller by Evan Turk

The Storyteller By Evan Turk Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $24.99 ISBN: 9781481435185 Ages 4-8 On shelves June 28th Credit the internet age for doing what the television age never could. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a movement around the world that can be interpreted as nothing so much […]

Review of the Day: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

The Nest By Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Jon Klassen Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-3232-0 On shelves October 6th Oh, how I love middle grade horror. It’s a very specific breed of book, you know. Most people on the street might think of the Goosebumps books or similar ilk when they […]

Review of the Day: The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Russell Brand

Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin By Russell Brand Illustrated by Chris Riddell Atria Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-4767-9189-0 On shelves now. If there is a trend to be spotted amongst the celebrity children’s books being released these days then I think it boils down to a […]

Historical Kids: What the HECK is Going On With Nonfiction Bios These Days?

Maybe it’s Common Core.  Maybe not.  I’m not always quite certain how far to place the blame in these cases.  However you look at it, children’s nonfiction bios are getting weird these days.  In some ways it’s quite remarkable.  I’m the first one to say that nonfiction for kids is better now than it has […]

Review of the Day: Hug Machine by Scott Campbell

Hug Machine By Scott Campbell Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4424-593509 Ages 3-7 On shelves August 26th Do you remember that old Shel Silverstein poem “Hug O’ War”? This may be considered sacrilege but did you ever notice how the guy could do something brilliant one moment, like “Sister For Sale” […]

Review of the Day: Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

Grandfather Gandhi Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus Illustrated by Evan Turk Atheneum (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4424-2365-X Ages 4-8 On shelves now. Are you familiar with the concept of booktalking? It’s a technique librarians developed to get people interested in books they might otherwise not pick up. The whole concept is […]

Review of the Day: Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Ghost Hawk By Susan Cooper McElderry Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4424-8141-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now How do we best honor our literary heroes? Particularly those who not only live but continue to produce works of fiction within our lifetimes. Like whole swaths of women and men my age, I […]

Review of the Day: God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant

God Got a Dog By Cynthia Rylant By Marla Frazee Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4424-6518-3 Ages 9 and up On shelves October 29th I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whom children’s books are really for. Kids, obviously. And parents that will have to (hopefully, potentially) read those […]