Book Reviews and More

Hi! This blog is for my classes at Texas Woman's University.

Book Reviews for LS 5603

Genre 6 - Fiction, Fantasy, and Young Adult (YA)

Review for Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew. Babymouse: Queen of the World! New York: Random House, 2005. ISBN 9780375932298.

            Babymouse: Queen of the World, by brother and sister pair Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, is the first in a popular series of graphic novels. In this story, Babymouse desperately wants to be invited to the party of the most popular girl in school, Felicia Furrypaws. Babymouse, who has an active imagination, tries to come up with ways to convince Felicia to invite her to the sleepover. But it isn’t until Babymouse agrees to give Felicia her book report that she finally is invited. Babymouse skips out on her plans with her longtime best friend, Wilson the weasel, in order to go to the party. Once there, Babymouse struggles to fit in and figures out what true friendship is all about.

            Babymouse is an engaging character whose daily drama will ring true with its elementary and middle school audience. Her struggles with friends, school, activities, and just staying focused definitely has a lot of appeal. The character is written with a lot of spunk, spirit, and heart. The scenarios that Babymouse faces in school, such as not being invited to a big party, may not be the most original story ideas, but they are built on themes relatable to kids of all ages. Babymouse’s depiction as an avid reader results in her vivid imagination, which transports Babymouse within the story on all types of adventures throughout the book. These ‘side trips’ of Babymouse’s imagination are her entertaining excursions from the monotony of school, another theme sure to be relatable to many readers.

The story is told in graphic novel style, with a comic book feel. The color palette uses solely pink, black, and white, which gives the novel a distinctive style. When Babymouse is lost in her imagination, the artist uses mostly a pink palette, which helps differentiate those scenarios from the regular day-to-day ones. There is a narrator who interacts with Babymouse in the story, often making comments on her zany adventures. Babymouse talks to the narrator, so it feels as if she is addressing the reader directly, which helps draw them further into the story.

In its starred review, Horn Book says, “Nobody puts Babymouse in the corner." The Children’s Bulletin calls Babymouse, “almost an absurdly likeable heroine.” Babymouse: Queen of the World won the 2006 Gryphon Award and New York Book Show Award. It also was the first graphic novel to be named an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

Luckily for fans of Babymouse, the 18th graphic novel in the series, Happy Birthday Babymouse, was just released in April. The other books in the series are all charming as well, including Babymouse #4 Rock Star, Babymouse #5 Heartbreaker, and Babymouse #7 Skater Girl. Jennifer L. Holm and her brother Matthew also have another graphic novel series, Squish, starring an amoeba, which is geared toward Babymouse fans. Other graphic novel series to recommend include the Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renée Russell, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, Big Nate by Nathan Peirce, and Robot Dreams by Sara Varon. Older readers who want to try Jennifer L. Holm’s novels may check out her three Newbery honor books, Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven and Turtle in Paradise. Of course, for a fun activity, have students design their own graphic novel. What would a day at their school look like? Babymouse is definitely a springboard for imagination and inspiration.

Quote from Jennifer L. Holm: “I wear slippers to work.”


"Babymouse #1: Queen of the World!” by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm." (accessed April 30, 2014).

Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew. Babymouse: Queen of the World! New York: Random House, 2005.

Jennifer, Holm. "Jennifer L. Holm, Author: Babymouse." Jennifer L. Holm, Author. (accessed April 30, 2014).


Review for The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. ISBN 9780060530945.

            The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is the story of a young boy, who escapes to a nearby graveyard when his family is killed. Mrs. Owens, one of the graveyard’s ghost residents, pleads to the other ghosts to allow the boy to stay and have Freedom of the Graveyard. The residents of the graveyard reluctantly agree, and the Owens adopt the boy, who they name Nobody Owens. ‘Bod’, as he is called, grows up the only living among the dead. He has a guardian, a supernatural creature named Silas, and many others from the graveyard who help teach him about the ways of both the living and the dead. Bod’s curiosity and youthful questions often get him in trouble, and his misadventures with live humans (and even some dead ghouls) never seem to turn out very well. Even though Bod lives hidden away in the graveyard, he is never safe. Silas discovers that the man ‘Jack’ who killed Bod’s family is still searching for him. Finally, Jack catches up with him, and Bod must use all the knowledge he’s gained from the dead in the graveyard to preserve his chance for life amongst the living.

            Neil Gaiman has said the idea for The Graveyard Book came from watching his young son pedal his bike comfortably around a graveyard, and thought he “could write something a lot like The Jungle Book, and set it in a graveyard.”  That seems an apt description for this tale. It has classic elements, but seems original in almost every way. The chapters can be separated as short stories, which is the style Rudyard Kipling set up The Jungle Book. The residents of the graveyard are lifelike in their personalities and peculiarities, and Bod himself is an especially endearing character. It is hard not to root for someone orphaned at such a young age, in such a brutal manner. Which brings up a word of warning, although on a whole the book is not violent; the opening scene where Jack murders Bod’s family with a knife while they sleep is definitely one that could upset some readers. Another topic that may cause concern is the issue of suicide as a means of death for those in Potter’s Field, which may not be a subject that some readers are familiar or comfortable with, and could prompt some discussion. However, even with the macabre setting of the graveyard, Bod finds a true and honorable family there and the story is filled with the themes of loyalty and love.

            The author himself, Neil Gaiman, narrates the audiobook version of The Graveyard Book, produced by Harper Audio. Gaiman does an excellent job in drawing the listener into the world of the graveyard, setting just the right tone for the novel.

            The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2009. It 2010, it was awarded the Carnegie medal. It was also a #1 New York Times Bestseller, spending 61 weeks in the top ten. The audio version was awarded the Audio Publishers Association Audie Award and Audiobook of the Year in 2009. The Washington Post says, “Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet, and very satisfying.” The New York Times Book Review states, “The Graveyard Book, by turns exciting and witty, sinister and tender, shows Gaiman at the top of his form.”

            Those who enjoy The Graveyard Book may also want to check out Gaiman’s novels Fortunately, the Milk and Coraline. Coraline was also turned into an animated movie of the same name, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Readers may also want to turn to the partial inspiration of the novel, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, or at least enjoy the Disney movie version of The Jungle Book, which has retained its charm and popularity since its 1967 release. For readers who enjoy the spooky elements of the novel, try Doll Bones by Holly Black, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier or The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand.

Quote from Neil Gaiman: “Sometimes fiction is a way of coping with the poison of the world in a way that lets us survive it.”


Motoko, Rich. “The Graveyard Book Wins Newbery Medal”. The New York Times. 2009.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.

Review for The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011. ISBN 9780545224918.

            The Scorpio Races is a tale of high adventure set on the mystical island of Thisby. Each year on the island, a race is held, truly placing man vs. beast. The waters around the island of Thisby are home of the legendary capaill uisce. The capaill uisce are flesh eating water horses; and during the Scorpio Races, men trap and train them to race. It has always been men, and it has always been water horses, until this year. This year, Kate Connolly (nicknamed Puck) has decided to enter the race, riding her regular mare, Dove. She enters the races to try and save her family’s home from bankruptcy, and to try and keep her older brother, Gabe, from leaving the island. Things heat up on the island when it becomes apparent that many residents aren’t too happy about Puck entering the race. Sean Kendrick, multi-time winner of the races, takes up her cause and they form a friendship, which hints at romance. Sean trains with Puck to help her survive the race, but he has his eyes on the prize this year for a different reason. For years, he has ridden the capaill uisce named Corr for Malvern stables. Now, Mr. Malvern has finally agreed to let Sean buy Corr, but only if he wins the race. The island of Thisby is flooded with visitors who come to watch the deadly races. When race day finally arrives, it’s no longer each man for himself, as Puck, Dove, Sean, and Corr battle their competitors for victory - but there can only be one winner.

            The Scorpio Races is a beautiful lyrically written novel, with lush, detailed descriptions of both the coastline and the local towns. The novel is written in alternating viewpoints - back and forth between Puck and Sean. Stiefvater slowly builds up the race (sometimes agonizingly so), which gives her time to truly delve into the personalities of the people and even animals that inhabit Thisby. Themes of family and finding one’s place are wound throughout the novel. With a vast cast of characters, the story’s plot really focuses on Puck’s ambition to try and save her brothers and her home, and Sean’s ambition of finally owning the only family he has left - Corr. Stiefvater uses the ‘ticking clock’ plot device well in this story. The pace may be slow, but the reader is always constantly aware that the life-changing race is only steps ahead, and it helps keep the reader turning the pages (or sitting in the car listening to the audio version even after you’ve arrived at your destination!).

            The audio version of the book, produced by Scholastic Inc., is narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham. The narration is very well done, with both voice actors having strong, engaging voices that sweep you into the story. In fact, the characters are so distinct, that the format of staying in one character's voice each chapter can be a little disconcerting. For example, when you are listening to Puck, and she has a conversation with Sean, then the voice of Sean sounds different than when you are listening to Sean’s narration. The same goes for when Sean narrates Puck’s voice. However, much of the novel is based on the character’s inner thoughts, so the voice discrepancies are more of a nuisance than a real distraction. One interesting note about the audio version is the music that accompanies the book was actually composed and performed by the author herself, Maggie Stiefvater. Obviously, she is a multi-talented woman.

            The Scorpio Races won the Michael L. Printz Award Honor in 2012 and appeared on numerous ‘Best of’ lists including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Chicago Public Library, the Children’s Book Committee, Amazon, ALA and YALSA. The audio version also won the Odyssey Honor Award for 2012 Best Audio Production and the YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2012. The Scorpio Races received five starred book awards, including one from Kirkus that says it is “Masterful. Like nothing else out there now.” Horn Book states, “Stiefvater’s novel, inspired by Marx, Irish, and Scottish legends of beautiful but deadly fairy horses that emerge from the sea each autumn, begins rivetingly and gets better and better… all the way, in fact, to best.”

            Fans of The Scorpio Races may want to read Stiefvater’s other works, including The Raven Cycle series (The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue - coming in October 2014) and the Shiver series (Shiver, Linger, and Forever).  Readers who enjoy the dangerous competitiveness of The Scorpio Races could also try The Hunger Games series (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) by Suzanne Collins or the Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant) by Veronica Roth. If the readers are horse fans, try Catch Rider by Jennifer H. Lyne, The Girl Who Remembered Horses by Linda Benson, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry,  or even classics like The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell or National Velvet by Enid Bagnold. Many consider the movies for The Black Stallion, Black Beauty, and National Velvet classics, and readers who enjoyed Puck may especially enjoy Elizabeth Taylor’s performance in National Velvet. Teen readers might enjoy checking out author Maggie Stiefvater’s website (, which includes book trailers, cover art, tour information, and links to her blog.

Quote from Maggie Stiefvater: “It’s true that the characters are what I care about. I mean, I care about the other things, but as a reader, the characters are what I remember. Mostly, I just long to make my readers sick at heart that they will never meet my characters in real life. That’s my goal. Does that sound sinister? I mean it in the nicest possible way.” 


Bartel, Julie. "One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Maggie Stiefvater." The Hub RSS. (accessed April 20, 2014).

Stiefvater, Maggie. "Maggie Stiefvater." Maggie Stiefvater Whats New Comments. (accessed April 20, 2014).

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011.

Stiefvater, Maggie. "The Scorpio Races | Maggie Stiefvater." Maggie Stiefvater The Scorpio Races Comments. (accessed April 20, 2014).

Genre 5 Historical Fiction

Review for Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
* This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. ISBN 978037585829.

            12-year-old Abilene Tucker has been a wanderer all of her young life, riding the rails with her father from town to town. But in the summer of 1936, her father sends her to his hometown of Manifest, Kansas, while he works on the railroad line.  While getting settled into her new home with family friend Pastor Howard, Abilene discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos from 1918. When Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, start digging into Manifest’s past, they discover the town has secrets that it’s not ready to share. Abilene starts visiting Miss Sadie, the town diviner, and the mystery begins to unravel; but will the stories lead to the town’s further decline or to redemption? As Abilene realizes her father’s role in the town’s history, she has to wonder – will he return for her, or is his past something that he will hide from forever?

            In Moon Over Manifest, Clare Vanderpool takes readers on a double journey into the past. This novel begins in 1936 with the struggle of the main character, Abilene, as she tries to find her way in a new town. Once she begins to investigate the town’s past; however, the story shifts to 1918, and the new characters of Jinx and Ned appear with their own story. Vanderpool weaves the two stories together, combining mystery with history.  Stylistically, the story is told with two different fonts – one for 1936 and one for 1918, which is helpful for readers to keep the story straight. There is also a list of characters included in the novel to help readers keep track of the many different people in the story. From the beginning, the setting of the book, Manifest, Kansas, is almost a character of it’s own. The town has an interesting history as a true “melting pot” of immigrants from around the world, many who have come to work in the coalmines. When entering the town in 1918, visitors are greeted by a sign that says “Manifest: A Town With A Rich Past And A Bright Future”, but in 1936, then faded sign only says “Manifest: A Town With A Past.”

According to the publisher, the reading level is ages 9-12, but older children can easily enjoy the book as well. Kirkus recommends it up to age 14, and Library Media Connection suggests up to 16. In the novel, Vanderpool explores themes that should appeal to readers of those ages, dealing with belonging, family, and forgiveness. Abilene’s inquiries help the town to take a look at its history, forgive itself for the past, and offers hope for the future. Rich details and word choice from the time period of both the Depression and World War I eras helps to create an authentic and nostalgic feel to the novel. In addition, the author’s note includes a glossary of some of the terms and historical events within the book to help clarify parts of the story based on real historical events or places. A list of sources and suggested reading is also included in the novel’s back matter.

Moon Over Manifest won the 2011 Newbery Medal, making Vanderpool the first author since Joan Blos in 1980 to win the award for their debut novel. Moon Over Manifest was a New York Times bestseller, a Junior Library Guild Selection and an NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Kirkus’ starred review said, “The absolute necessity of story as a way to redemption and healing past wounds is at the heart of this beautiful debut, and readers will cherish every word up to the heartbreaking yet hopeful and deeply gratifying ending.” Booklist starred review states, “With believable dialogue, vocabulary and imagery appropriate to time and place, and well-developed characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is ‘like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet.’”

Moon Over Manifest covers the time periods including the Depression as well as World War I. Topics such as immigration, coal miners, prohibition, and the Spanish influenza are introduced, so a range of opportunities for exploring history are opened up through the novel. Other Newbery winners touching on some of these topics include Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, Year Down Under by Richard Peck, Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. Other selections include Winnie’s War by Jenny Moss, Theodore Roosevelt: Letters From a Young Coal Miner by Jennifer Armstrong, the graphic novel The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan, the picture book Potato: A Tale from the Great Depression by Katie Lied, and the DK Eyewitness Books: World War I. Classroom or library activities could include researching the history of a student’s hometown or having readers make their own memento box of special items.

Quote from Clare Vanderpool: “I came across a quote from Moby Dick. ‘It is not down in any map: true places never are.’ That’s when the wheels began turning. What is a true place? What would a true place be fore someone who has never lived anywhere for more than a few weeks or months at a time?”


Donovan, Mary. "Moon Over Manifest." Moon Over Manifest. (accessed April 6, 2014).
"MOON OVER MANIFEST." Kirkus Reviews. (accessed April 6, 2014).

Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010.

Review for The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
* This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Cushman, Karen. The Midwife's Apprentice. New York: Clarion Books, 1995. ISBN 9780547722177.

            The Midwife’s Apprentice begins in an unusual place – a dung heap. The main character, who has only known the name ‘Brat’ in her 12 or 13 years of life, is trying to stay warm by sleeping there. She is discovered by the village midwife, who calls her ‘Dung Beetle’, which quickly becomes her new name. Beetle is cold, starving and homeless, and is taken in by the midwife, Jane Sharp, as an assistant. Thus begins Beetle’s journey from waif to apprentice in the small medieval English village. Despite having a floor to sleep on, and small pieces of bread and cheese to eat, Beetle’s life is still difficult. She is the brunt of village boys’ jokes and often the target of their cruelty. Jane Sharp is a difficult and demanding woman, who worries about Beetle learning too much and surpassing her role as midwife in the village. Beetle befriends a cat, who becomes her constant companion, and eventually stands up to the boys who were taunting her. She begins to pay attention and learn the trade of the midwife. One day at the village fair, Beetle is mistaken for a girl who knows how to read – and she decides to take the girl’s name ‘Alyce’ for her own. When things go wrong during a delivery, Alyce runs away to a nearby inn; but after a while, she realizes that what she wants most is a “full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world,” and she returns to the village to make that happen.

            The Midwife’s Apprentice tackles an unusual subject for a children’s book – midwifery. Set in a medieval English village, The Midwife’s Apprentice rings true to the period with its setting, language, characters and intricacies of village life. Great detail is given in describing the daily life and routines of the cast of characters who inhabit Alyce’s world. Medieval medicines and herbal remedies are given in particular detail, especially those that apply to assisting childbirth. Cushman paints a realistic and sometimes crude picture of life during those times. While not delving into too much graphic detail, Cushman does depict the medieval practices of childbirth. While fascinating, it may not appeal to some younger readers who are confused or uncomfortable by the descriptions. Questions may definitely arise about some of the practices used by midwifes of the period, and Cushman provides an Author’s Note to explain some of the history of midwifes and their techniques.

            Throughout the book, it is enjoyable to watch the character of Alyce as she develops and grows from a homeless waif to a young lady with a goal and a purpose. Her journey to find her true self and her place in the world will most likely ring true to its tween and teen readers. Alyce’s strength in the face of adversity, and even cruelty, creates a memorable character.

            The Midwife’s Apprentice won the Newbery Award in 1996. It was an ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults and a School Library Journal Best Book. In a starred review, Kirkus calls the language of the book, “simple, poetic, and funny.” Horn Book calls it a “fascinating view of a far distant time.” School Library Journal highlights the “Earthy humor, the foibles of humans both high and low, and a fascinating mix of superstition and genuinely helpful herbal remedies attached to childbirth make this a truly delightful introduction to a world seldom seen in children’s literature.”

            Readers who enjoy The Midwife’s Apprentice should also try Cushman’s Newbery Honor winning book Catherine Called Birdy, as well as her other novels such as Will Sparrow’s Road and the Alchemy and Meggy Swan.  If the medieval life captures their attention, try other Newbery winners, Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi, The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli and Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz.  Other nonfiction books with a fun twist include How Would You Survive in the Middle Ages by Fiona MacDonald and David Salariya, MacDonald also has several in a fun series of nonfiction history books including: You Wouldn’t Want to be in a Medieval Dungeon, You Wouldn’t Want to Work on a Medieval Cathedral, or You Wouldn’t Want to be Sick in the 16th Century by Kathryn Senior. For interactive activities, try Knights and Castles: 50 Hands-On Activities to Experience the Middle Ages by Avery Hart and Paul Mantell.

Quote from Karen Cushman: “I'm so proud and so moved when readers write me to tell me what a book meant to them or how it helped them or what it reminded them of in their own life.”


Cushman, Karen. The Midwife's Apprentice. New York: Clarion Books, 1995.

Lane, Kirby. "Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers: Karen Cushman." Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers. (accessed April 8, 2014).

"Midwife's Apprentice." The Midwife's Apprentice. (accessed April 8, 2014).

Review for Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos – Audiobook
* This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011.
ASIN B005MM7FIG (Audible Audiobook – Macmillan Audio 2011)

            Dead End in Norvelt tells of all that can happen to an almost 12-year-old boy one summer when he is “grounded for life”. The character of Jack Gantos (attesting to some of the autobiographical elements of the novel) lives in the small town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania in 1962. His mom still loves the town, but ever since returning from the war, Jack’s dad wants to fly to Florida for a new start in life. The town is quickly disappearing off the map, as many of the original Norvelt residents are starting to pass away at an alarming rate. Jack is allowed to help his elderly neighbor, Miss Volker, write the obituaries, and for each one, she adds a bit of history. Things around town get even worse when an autopsy shows that the residents have been poisoned, and everyone looks like a suspect. By the book's end, the mystery is solved and Jack finally gets un-grounded; but once he goes for a ride in his dad’s refurbished airplane against his mom’s wishes, he may just be back where he started.

            Dead End in Norvelt is a zany tale filled with all kinds of outlandish characters and situations. The character of Jack Gantos is a sympathetic and likeable boy, who quickly draws in the reader (or listener) into his world. Norvelt is more than just a town, it is truly a way of life. The town was developed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as a community with affordable housing. The city of Norvelt and its future become a major focus of the book, as more and more residents are moving away or dying off. The author Gantos does a remarkable job of weaving history into the book. Readers will close this book having learned about much more than life in 1962, but also about centuries from the past. The author cleverly touches history through his creative incorporation of historical facts through Miss Volker’s obituaries, her “This Day in History” columns, and Jack’s own reading of history while he’s grounded.  However, readers never lose sight of the fact that they are firmly in 1962. The author’s details about the time period, from the types of cars driven to the types of storage bags used (wax folded bags) truly give the story an authentic feel.

One word of warning though for the faint hearted, the book definitely has some cringe-worthy moments. Throughout the story, Jack has a problem with chronic nosebleeds any time he gets upset or excited about something. Well, with all the crazy things going on in Norvelt, Jack gets A LOT of nosebleeds, and the author spares no detail in describing them, as well as the rising body count at the funeral home. Despite the more macabre moments, the author manages to pull off charm, sensitivity, humor and heart throughout the story.

            The Macmillan audio version of the story (2011) is read by Jack Gantos himself and is an excellent way to experience Dead End in Norvelt. Gantos seamlessly switches between the voices of the characters. Most distinctive, of course, is Jack Gantos’ version of Jack Gantos, which rings true as a 12-year-old boy. At the end of the audiobook, there is an interview with the author. Gantos helps explain how much of the story is completely original, and how much is based on his own upbringing in the town of Norvelt.

            Dead End in Norvelt won the Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2012. Horn Book starred review states, “There’s more than laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the power of reading.” In the Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac, Anita Silvey says, “Norvelt weds slapstick comedy to historical fiction and a mystery novel, an unusual blend of elements that keeps readers guessing about what is really happening in town until the final pages.”

            Fans of Dead End in Norvelt will be happy to know that the sequel From Norvelt to Nowhere is now available. Readers may also like Gantos’ popular Joey Pigza series, including National Book Award finalist Joey Pigza Loses His Key and Newbery Honor Joey Pigza Loses Control. Older readers may want to read Jack Gantos’ autobiography Hole in my Life. Readers who want more historical fiction with male protagonists can try The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. Other authors who write strong male characters include Gordon Korman’s books such as Ungifted and Schooled, Louis Sachar’s Holes and The Cardturner, and Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot and Chomp. Activities based on Dead End in Norvelt could include creating a ‘Day in History’ column and making a timeline of all the historic events mentioned in Miss Volker’s obituaries.

Quote from Jack Gantos: “The main reason that I’m a children’s author is that I know that kids are the best readers. You know how to live in books, how to imagine books. You can travel emotionally and mentally into books. You are the most absorbent readers there are. I feel lucky to have you.”


Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011.

Gantos, Jack. "Jack's SECRET TIPS for Aspiring Authors." Jack Gantos RSS. (accessed April 9, 2014).

Silvey, Anita. "Book-A-Day Almanac." BookADay Almanac RSS. (accessed April 9, 2014).

Genre 4 Nonfiction and Biography

Review for The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU 

Fleming, Candace. The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008. ISBN 9780375936180.

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming is a detailed and fascinating look into the lives of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, spanning time from their birth until their deaths. All areas of their lives are explored: personal, political, social, and emotional, through articles, clippings, photographs, drawings, recipes, and letters. Abraham’s rise in politics, his presidency, the tragic deaths of their sons, the Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination, and Mary’s struggles are all intimately explored throughout the book.

Fleming has done a remarkable job relaying vast amounts of information in easy to read segments through her scrapbook style. While it may be a bit intimidating at first to see so much text on the page, once you read even one article, you are hooked into the compelling lives of these two people. The small chunks of information are relayed through such a variety of formats and devices, that it is easy to imagine poring over the pages for long stretches of time. The book’s organization and design are similar to a newspaper, and the black and white typeface and photographs from the time lend to that comparison. In fact, there is no color in the entire book other than black, white, and gray. When the book is first opened, the starkness may seem strange to children who are used to a more colorful style of scrapbook, but the choice contributes well to the story and overall design. Fleming’s writing style is engaging and very accessible, making difficult concepts such as the issues of the war, politics, and mental illness understandable for her audience.

The wealth of information about Abraham and Mary is staggering and well documented. Fleming includes an explanatory introduction to the style of the book, a table of contents, and a timeline of the Lincoln years. In the back matter, Fleming has further recommended reading, a list of Lincoln web sites, information about the research process, a 17-page quotation bibliography, picture credits, and an index. After reading this book, the reader feels as if they have really looked at a scrapbook into the lives of Abraham and Mary. It is much more than just a collection of facts; it truly seems to be their story.

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary received four starred reviews. Chicago Public Librarian Janet S Thompson says, “Notes, resources, and source notes are exemplary. It’s hard to imagine a more engaging or well-told biography of the Lincolns.” The book won the 2009 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and was a NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Common Sense Media says, “This is the way biography for children ought to be done. The content is deep, rich, complex, and emotional, and the author shows great respect for the intelligence of her young readers.”

Fleming offers readers several other compelling biographies including Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of a Good Gentleman’s Life; Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s Remarkable Life; and Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Her forthcoming biography is The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Children who want to read more about Lincoln may also enjoy Lincoln: A Photobiography and Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship both by Russell Freedman or Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’ Reilly. Freedman has also written several other award-winning biographies including The Voice that Changed a Nation: Marion Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights; Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery; and The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane. Readers that want to learn more about the Civil War may turn to autobiographies such as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. Fiction titles, such as Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt or Little Women by Louisa May Alcott would also pair well with biographies in a Civil War study.

Quote from Candace Fleming: "We may just be specters in this world, but our stories, if they are remembered and retold, become real and solid and alive... Once you hear a story, it becomes part of you." 


Berman, Matt. "The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary." Book Review. (accessed March 26, 2014).

Fleming, Candace. "Candace Fleming - The Lincolns." Candace Fleming - The Lincolns. (accessed March 26, 2014).

Fleming, Candace. The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008.

Review for Never Smile at a Monkey: and 17 Other Important Things to Remember by Steve Jenkins
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Jenkins, Steve. Never Smile at a Monkey: and 17 Other Important Things to Remember. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009. ISBN 9780618966202.

Never Smile at a Monkey takes a creative look at 18 different animals that readers may have never suspected could be dangerous. Each animal is presented with advice to the reader, such as “NEVER pet a platypus”, “NEVER collect a cone shell”, "NEVER clutch a cane toad” and then an explanation as to the animal’s dangerous nature is described. At the end of the book, more information is given on each animal, such as their size, habitat, diet as well as a more detailed explanation of their unique defense. The book is well illustrated using cut paper in a colorful collage style. Especially eye-catching are the front and back covers, with the entire cover appropriately filled with the face of a monkey – solemn on the front, showing its fangs on the back.

In Never Smile at a Monkey, Jenkins has created a book in a style that is quite hard to resist. By creating “NEVER” statements about the animals, a reader’s curiosity is naturally piqued to discover what could be so dangerous about the animal. The way that the story is staged lifts this book above a simple fact book about animals. Jenkins seems to have a knack for creating interesting new takes on animal books that greatly appeal to children. Other books he’s written, such as What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? and What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (which won a 2004 Caldecott Honor) also try and capture the readers’ attention by piquing their curiosity.

The simplicity of Never Smile at a Monkey does not necessarily lend itself to an index, but suggestions for further reading are listed in the informational summary section at the end of the book. So far, Jenkins has written and illustrated more than 30 nonfiction books for children, making him a prominent nonfiction author in public and school libraries. The books easily capture the attention of their intended child audience but are also an informative treat for parents, librarians and teachers as well.

Never Smile at a Monkey was a 2009 Junior Library Guild selection, a North Dakota Flicker Tale list selection, and on the Horned Toad Tale list for 2010-2011. School Library Journal gave it a starred review saying, “This superlative illustrator has given children yet another work that educates and amazes.” Kirkus describes it as “Another stunning environmental lesson from an aficionado of animal behavior.”

Readers who enjoy this book will be delighted by Jenkins many other animal offerings with unique perspectives. In Actual Size, Jenkins focuses on the different sizes of animals in comparison with each other. In the fun pop-up book Animals Upside Down, Jenkins explores the unique viewpoint of animals that actually live much of their life upside down. The book, Sisters & Brothers, goes into the relationships between animal siblings – not a subject that I’ve seen often in books about animals – and is filled with interesting facts about families in the animal world. My First Day describes what life is like for different animals on the day of their birth. Readers interested in animal nonfiction will also enjoy the books by Seymour Simon, who contrasts nicely with Jenkins. While Jenkins uses illustrations, Simon uses striking photographs in his books, such as Extreme Oceans and Animals Nobody Loves. Children may also enjoy many of the animal books by Gail Gibbons as well. Any of these books could be easily incorporated into a science lesson. Art classes could also explore Jenkins style of paper collage and compare/contrast it to other collage artists who depict animals – such as Eric Carle. Math teachers may want to incorporate the Jenkins’ book Just a Second, which takes a look at how much can be accomplished in a second, minute, month, year… in a unit studying time.

Quote from Steve Jenkins: “I believe we should teach science as a process… not just a collection of facts. It’s a tool that allows children to test their own theories and to trust their own conclusions.”


Jenkins, Steve. Never Smile at a Monkey: and 17 Other Important Things to Remember. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009.

Jenkins, Steve. "Steve Jenkins Books — Never Smile at a Monkey." Steve Jenkins Books. (accessed March 21, 2014).

Review for Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2012. ISBN 9780545595971.

Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon delves into the story behind the creation of the world’s first atomic bomb. In 1938, German scientists discovered that a uranium atom splits it two when placed next to a radioactive material. From then on, the race to build an atomic bomb was underway, with three major powerhouses – Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States – all trying to be the first to succeed as World War II raged on. Bomb goes into the creation of the Manhattan Project with Robert Oppenheimer as the lead, the KGB spy network that perpetrated the project through agents throughout the United States, and the efforts to derail Germany’s attempts to create a bomb.

Spanning a period of time from 1934 to 1950, Bomb reads like a fiction story – fast-paced, dangerous, and intriguing – and this style greatly contributes to its appeal to readers. But it is undoubtedly non-fiction, as the detailed source notes, bibliography, photographs, and eleven pages of quotation notes attest to its accuracy. The book covers different aspects of the bomb race occurring over the period of World War II. Rather than grouping each aspect of the story into separate sections, Sheinkin moves back and forth between the different storylines. So it shifts its focus between the scientific research going on at Los Alamos, the KGB activity in America, and then jumps to Norway and the attempts to sabotage German technology. These events move along chronologically and intertwine together. This organizational choice by Sheinkin helps make the story read more like a spy thriller than a textbook, and helps to realistically build up the tension while staying true to the timeline of events.

The book begins each section with black and white photographs of the various people involved in the story. More photographs of locations and events, as well as the letter written by Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning him about the discovery of the uranium reaction, are included at the end of the book. The photographs definitely help place faces to the names of the people in the book, and there are a lot of different players in this story. In fact, it would have been helpful to have a listing of the different people in the book with their title or role in addition to the photos, to help the reader keep all the names straight; and I found myself wishing for even more photographs to round out the text.

One of the most compelling storylines within the book was that of the Norwegian resistance and their efforts to destroy the heavy water production plant used by the Germans. I was not at all familiar with this aspect of the bomb race, and it was captivating. This story is portrayed in the 1965 movie, The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris. Also brilliant in the book is Sheinkin’s choice to leave readers in the dark as to how far the Germans had gotten in their development of the bomb throughout the story. As a result, readers can empathize with the pressure and worry that pervaded the minds and lives of the Los Alamos scientists to create the bomb quickly. Once the bomb is successfully tested, the story continues on to its horrific consequences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the impact the bomb had on all of those involved in its creation.

Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon has won many awards. In 2013, it was a Robert F. Sibert award winner, a Newbery Honor Book, and a National Book Award finalist. Kirkus starred review said Bomb is “a superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world.” The starred Publishers Weekly review compliments Sheinkin’s “highly readable storytelling style” and says it’s “a must-read for students of history and science.”

Readers who enjoy Bomb should try Sheinkin’s other novels including The Notorious Benedict Arnold and The Port Chicago 50. Older students interested in learning more about the atomic bomb may be interested in the Pulitzer Prize novel The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Bomb also opens up discussion into World War II and its impact on the world. Many excellent books have been written on the subject, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

Quote from Steve Sheinkin: “To me, history is the search for stories. I think my job is sort of like detective work.”


"BOMB." Kirkus Reviews. (accessed March 23, 2014).

"Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon." (accessed March 23, 2014).

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2012.

"SteveSheinkin." SteveSheinkin. (accessed March 23, 2014).

Genre 3
Review for I Am the Book by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Illustrated by Yayo
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. I Am the Book. Ill. by Yayo. New York: Holiday House, 2011. ISBN 9780823421190

     I Am the Book is a poetry anthology arranged by Lee Bennett Hopkins. The anthology features 13 poems that celebrate the love of reading. Books and stories are center stage as the topic of the poems. Each poet puts their own spin on the subject of books. One poem, “Paperback Plunder” by Michele Krueger is told from the point-of-view of a paperback novel left behind on the beach. The poem uses a lovely simile to compare the book to a giant conch shell saying “Lift me to my ear,/Hear the story I shall tell.” Other poems celebrate the excitement of getting lost in a story, such as “Don’t Need a Window Seat” by Kristine O’Connell George and “This Book” by Avis Harley. Both poems evoke lively images of the excitement a person can feel when they are lost in a story. In “Don’t Need a Window Seat”, the ride on the bus is compared to the ride in the imagination that a reader takes with the “Bus’s wheels are turning fast,/I’m starting Chapter One,” and “Riding my imagination/flying down city streets./Got this great new book to read-/who needs a window seat?” In “This Book”, avid readers can relate to the child who is captivated by a book through the whole day, from when they wake up, through school, then “I forgot I was hungry/I almost missed dinner” and onto the end of the day which they spend reading by flashlight to find out the ending of the book. This is an experience many readers will be able to picture in their minds, and begs the question – what books have you read lately that fill your mind throughout the day? Both of the poems have a quick-paced rhythm that would lend well to reading aloud. Other poems in the collection evoke a quieter, more reminiscent feel about reading. “Quiet Morning” by Karen B. Winnick and “Book” by Amy Ludwig Van Derwater both bring up the comforting emotions of snuggling up with a good book in bed or on a rainy day and the satisfaction that can come with that time. Any of the poems in this collection would make an excellent introduction to story time. Often, librarians use a little rhyme or song to help calm the kids down and prepare them to listen to a story. Perhaps one of the poems from I Am the Book could also be paired with that to help prepare children to fully engage into the wonder of a book.

     I Am a Book features illustrations for each poem in the collection by the artist Yayo created with acrylics on canvas.  Each poem receives a double page spread in the book, which allows the art to spread across the page and accents how the words and the pictures work together. The illustrator does an especially effective job for the poem “What Was That?” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. The illustration of a whale with a book with for a tail is clever and pairs well with the words “What was that/that made me blink?/Made me wonder,/made me think?” Just as the poem points out how a book can make you wonder about fantastical things, the picture of the whale delves into the world of imagination. The rhyme scheme using short 3 and 4 syllable stanzas and an A-B-C-B pattern also flows nicely together with the mood and feel of the poem. Overall, the anthology flows smoothly from one poem to the next. I like how it begins with “Quiet Morning” and ends with “Book” which ends with the line “Closing the cover/I sigh - /Good-bye, friend.” It also cleverly breaks up the collection with “Poetry Time” by Hopkins himself in the middle saying “It’s poem o’clock./Time for a rhyme –“, which acts as a middle-of-the-day poetry break within the collection itself. The book also includes an information section about each of the contributing poets at the back of the anthology.

     I Am the Book was a California Reading Association’s Eureka! Picture Book Award Silver Honor book as well as a 2012 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best selection. It also was a 2011 Nerdies Book Award winner for Poetry. Anthologist Hopkins is the founder of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, as well as a Christopher Award winner. Library Media Center reviews says the compilation “would be a great addition to any elementary media center… The illustrations have a whimsical and carefree feeling that all readers will enjoy.”
     Lee Bennett Hopkins is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific anthologist for children with currently more than 120 anthologies to his credit, so there is no shortage of anthologies to explore by Hopkins, including the excellent Amazing Faces and easy reader collection Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems. Poetry anthologies by other writers that feature a variety of classic and modern poets include A Family of Poems compiled by Caroline Kennedy, the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis (which features fabulous photographs), and The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury selected by Jack Prelutsky. A Child’s Book of Poems illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa invites readers to pore over the engaging pictures, and an excellent collection for bedtime includes Poems and Prayers for the Very Young, selected and illustrated by Martha Alexander. Readers who enjoy this poetic celebration of books should also check out BookSpeak: Poems About Books by Laura Purdie Salas or perhaps pair one of these poems with picture books about books such as Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner, Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce.

Quote from Lee Bennett Hopkins: “Guiness was a total shock. It was all due to Sylvia Vardell and one of her doctoral students, who initiated this and saw it through. I had nothing to do with it. It was a thrill and an honor.”
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. I Am the Book. New York: Holiday House, 2011.
"I Am the Book." Holiday House Book Page. (accessed February 24, 2014).
"Poetry Month 2013: ‘Good Books, Good Times!’ by Lee Bennett Hopkins." Renee LaTulippe No Water River. (accessed February 24, 2014).

Review for Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai 
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Lai, Thanhha. Inside Out & Back Again. New York: Harper, 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-196278-3

In Inside Out & Back Again, Thanhha Lai lyrically explores the experience of a young girl and her family’s journey from Saigon to Georgia during the Vietnam War.  Kim Hà is a ten-year-old girl living in Saigon in 1975. Her father left to fight in the war, and has been missing in action for nine years. Hà, her mother, and three older brothers are struggling to make it in the war-torn country. When Saigon falls, the family flees on a boat with thousands of other refugees. After almost a month on the ship, the refugees are rescued and allowed to choose a land for their new home. Hà’s mother chooses America, and Hà and her family end up in Georgia. But the family’s transition to America is not an easy one. At one point Hà poignantly says, “No one would believe me/but at times/I would choose/wartime in Saigon/over/peacetime in Alabama” (Lai 195). Despite the difficulties and prejudice they encounter, Hà and her family eventually begin to find their place in America.

Inside Out & Back Again is a beautifully written verse novel. One aspect that makes verse novels unique is that the narrative is revealed through poems that link to one another to tell the story. As Dr. Sylvia Vardell points out in Children’s Literature in Action, “The best verse novels are built on poems that are often lovely stand-alone works of poetry” (Vardell 116). Inside Out & Back Again does that remarkably well. As I was reading the novel, I often stopped and tried to imagine the page as a poem by itself. Even without the surrounding background of the novel, the verses evoke strong feelings. When you combine the verses along with the story of the novel, it creates a complimentary picture. In fact, this is one of the strengths of well-written novels in verse. The language, rhythm, and poetry combine with characters, settings, and context to bring out the best in both the novel and the verse.
The character of Hà rings true through her words describing the hardships she faces, both in school in Saigon,

“From now on
will be for
happy news.
No one has anything
to say” (Lai 18),

 as well as in America,

“Pink Boy keeps asking,
What are you?
By the end of school
he yells an answer:
She should be a pancake face.
She has a pancake face.
It doesn’t make sense
it does” (Lai 196).

 The book is a wonderful opportunity to allow readers to experience a life that is most likely very different from their own experience. It can allow children to empathize with the issues that face refugees. Through the story’s strong characterization, rich setting details and relatable family dynamics, readers can find themselves in 1975, living and empathizing with a memorable young girl’s experience.

     Inside Out & Back Again won the National Book Award in 2011 and was a 2012 Newbery Medal Honor Book. Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review saying, “In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven’t found themselves in a strange new country.” School Library Journal blogger Elizabeth Bird states, “All told, Inside Out and Back Again has the brevity of a verse novel packed with a punch many times its size. It’s one of the lovelier books I’ve read in a long time…”

     This novel’s richness and multi-layered subject matter lend it to pair well with several different types of novels. Children who enjoy the novel in verse form may want to explore others written in this style, including Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, and May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. Inside Out & Back Again places readers in the 1970s, which would make this book a nice selection to pair with a social studies or history unit about the Vietnam War. Other books that may appeal to interest in this time period include The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt and Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell. For more about the refugee experience, the picture books How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz, The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland, or Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan by Mary Williams may be a nice companion to the story, as well as the novel Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, which is also written in verse. To further explore the theme of trying to find one’s place in new or unwanted situations, include books such as One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia, Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

Quote from Thanhha Lai:
“I’m not so presumptuous as to think I could offer a voice to refugee children, but more of a sparkle to jump start their own stories. While writing I thought often of other 10-year-old refugees in the world.”

Bird, Elizabeth. "Review of the Day: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai." A Fuse 8 Production. (accessed February 22, 2014).

"INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN." Kirkus Reviews. (accessed February 22, 2014).

Lai, Thanhha. Inside out & Back Again. New York: Harper, 2011.

"Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again - National Book Award YPL Winner, The National Book Foundation." The National Book Foundation. (accessed February 22, 2014).

Vardell, Sylvia M. Children's Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.

Review for Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer, Illustrated by Josée Masse.
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Singer, Marilyn. Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. Ill. by Josée Masse. New York, N.Y.: Dutton Children's Books, 2010. ISBN 9780525479017.

     Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer is a collection of poems in reversible verse that can be read both forward and backward. Singer refers to this style as a reverso poem. She describes the style on the last page of the book saying, “When you read a reverse down, it is one poem. When you read it up, with changes allowed only in punctuation and capitalization it is a different poem.” What a clever and fun format! In this collection, Singer bases most of the poems on well-known fairy and folk tales, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel and many others. In “In the Hood”, we read the first poem from the perspective of Little Red Riding Hood, but when you reverse it, we get to hear the poem from the Big Bad Wolf. In “The Sleeping Beauty and the Wide-Awake Prince,” we hear from both the Sleeping Beauty and her knight in shining armor. With “Cinderella’s Double Life,” the reader gets to hear Cinderella’s perspective before and during the ball. The book includes 14 poem pairs, as well as an author’s description in the back of the book of how she came up with the idea of reverso poems – including her first one written about her cat.

     Despite the fairy tale subject manner, the poems themselves have a modern, even irreverent at times, tone about them. They pair nicely with the beautiful, colorful illustrations of Josée Masse, who adds a graphic design element that highlights the different sides of the poems. The poems themselves vary in readability, with some of the reverses reading more smoothly than others. Two of my favorites include “Have Another Chocolate” about Hansel and Gretel. In this reverse poem the stanzas flip very easily and “When you hold it out,/your finger/feels like/a bone./Fatten up./Don’t/keep her waiting…” becomes “Keep her waiting,/Don’t/Fatten up./A bone/feels like/your finger/when you hold it out.” In “The Doubtful Duckling” about the story of the ugly duckling, the reverse switches from “Someday/I’ll turn in to a swan./No way/I’ll stay/an ugly duckling” to “An ugly duckling/I’ll stay./No way/I’ll turn into a swam/someday.” While these poems are fun to read aloud, having a written copy of the poem makes the reader appreciate the clever switching of the stanzas even more, so having more than one copy of the book for kids to investigate further would be helpful. Another interesting thing to try is to read the poem on the right first, and then the left, instead of the usual left to right order. It just adds another flip to the reading, and helps the poems be seen and re-seen in a different light.

     Mirror Mirror was on the 2011-2012 Texas Bluebonnet list, the New York and Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2010, and the Washington Post’s Top 15 Books of 2010. Kirkus Reviews starred review states: “Masse’s gorgeous, stylized illustrations enhance the themes of duality and perspective by presenting images and landscapes that morph in delightful ways from one side of the page to the other. A mesmerizing and seamless celebration of language, imagery and perspective.” Booklist’s starred review says the book is “a must-purchase that will have readers marveling over a visual and verbal feast.”

     Marilyn Singer created another reverso poetry book called Follow Follow, which will definitely appeal to fans of Mirror Mirror. It includes more fairy tale based stories, along with an extended author’s note with summaries of the tales and further explanation of Singer’s reverse poetry style. These books just beg for a poetry lab or workshop to allow kids to attempt their own versions of reverso poetry – what a fun challenge! These poems would pair especially well with a study of fairy tales, folk tales and fractured fairy tales. Although most of the poems are based on familiar tales, a revisiting of the original tale would be beneficial to enhance the meanings of the poems. Since these poems offer a look into perspectives, stories such as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciesczka or The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivias would make nice comparisons. Even modern movies such as Happily Never After, Hoodwinked, Shrek, or the classic Disney versions of some of the tales would be a fun way to round out a study into all of these forms. For more interactive poetry options, try Messing Around on the Monkey Bars by Betsy Franco, which encourages reading aloud from two voices. Another take on old classics includes Alan Katz’s books based on traditional songs, so try Take Me Out of the Bathtub or I’m Still Here in the Bathtub for another way to explore putting a new twist on old things. 

Quote from Marilyn Singer: “For what genre is as much about gorgeous, glorious, perfect words than poetry?”

"Marilyn Singer." Marilyn Singer: Author: Marilyn On Writing. (accessed February 26, 2014).

"MIRROR MIRROR." Kirkus Reviews. (accessed February 26, 2014).

Singer, Marilyn. Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. New York, N.Y.: Dutton Children's Books, 2010.

Genre 2 
Review for The Story of The Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale by Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross, Illustrated by Virginia A. Stroud
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU 

Bruchac, Joseph, and Gayle Ross. The Story of The Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale. Ill. by Virginia A. Stroud. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995. ISBN 0803717377.

The Story of The Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale is a retelling of a Cherokee legend about how the Milky Way appeared in the night sky. In the story, an elderly couple discovers that some of their cornmeal has gone missing from their bin overnight. They are upset that someone has stolen from them, and their grandson decides to figure out the identity of the thief. He watches in the night and sees a mystical dog eating out of the bin. The village is unsure what to do, so they consult the wise old Beloved Woman. She says the creature must be a powerful spirit dog, and recommends they hide in the night, then make noises with their drums and rattles to scare it away. The plan works, and the spirit dog runs away dropping cornmeal in the sky as he escapes, which turn into the stars of the Milky Way.

This retelling of a classic Cherokee tale is an example of a pour quoi tale, because it explores the reason of why or how something is the way it is (Vardell 82). In this case, the story shares why there is the Milky Way, or as the Cherokees call it Gil’liutsun stanun’yi  - which means “where the dog ran” (Bruchac and Ross 32). The story is clearly set up as a folktale from its opening line, “This is what the old people told me when I was a child” (Bruchac and Ross 5). The story focuses on the young grandson and his determination to help his grandparents, and then on the wise elder woman of the tribe. These elements make it a positive representation of the relationship between the young and the elderly. As author Gayle Ross states, “Joe Bruchac and I felt it was important to identify the elder who provides the solution to the riddle of the theft… We added the character of the grandson to our version to represent the love children everywhere feel for their grandparents” (Bruchac and Ross 3). The appealing acrylic illustrations in this book incorporate vivid color with a traditional style. Elements such as the types of clothing the characters wear help establish the setting and provide rich cultural details, which enhance the folkloric feel of the book. The patterns, textures, and colors all work well together to draw the eye of the reader.

The Story of the Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale was the winner of the Scientific American Children’s Book Award. Author Joseph Bruchac was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas in 1999. Kirkus Reviews says “A simple, well-phrased text introduces ideas of respect for elders, cooperation, and reverence for the spirit world, without ever veering from the storyline.” Publishers’ Weekly states “Bruchac and Ross subtly underscore the role of tradition in shaping narrative.”

Bruchac’s books Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places and How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, and Ross’ book How Rabbit Tricked Otter: And Other Cherokee Trickster Stories are more examples of folk tales that would pair well with The Story of the Milky Way. Older children interested in native cultures and history may enjoy Bruchac’s novel Code Talker: A Story About the Navajo Marines of World War Two; which former Horn Book editor Anita Silvey says “stands as a testament to the power of language – and why all languages should be respected and kept alive” (Silvey 2011). Myths and fairy tales may also be paired with folk tales for a well-rounded look into traditional literature. Students may also enjoy Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William F. Russell or stories by Rachel Isadora such as Rapunzel or The Princess and the Pea

Quote from Joseph Bruchac:
"It is important to understand that there are many different ways of seeing the world and expressing the wisdom of Native belief... No one voice speaks for all voices..."

Bruchac, Joseph, and Gayle Ross. The Story of the Milky Way: a Cherokee tale. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995.

"Joseph Bruchac Home Page: Author biography, published works, performance schedule, multimedia videos, music and poetry." Joseph Bruchac Home Page: (accessed February 8, 2014).

Silvey, Anita. "Book-A-Day Almanac." BookADay Almanac. (accessed February 8, 2014).

"The Story of the Milky Way." Kirkus Reviews. (accessed February 8, 2014).

"The Story of the Milky Way: a Cherokee Tale." (accessed February 8, 2014).

Vardell, Sylvia M. Children's Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.

Review for The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Illustrated by Dan Santat
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU

Schwartz, Corey Rosen. The Three Ninja Pigs. Ill. by Dan Santat. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012. ISBN 9780399255144

In this clever version of the "Three Little Pigs" tale, author Corey Rosen Schwartz places the pigs in the world of martial arts. The three pigs are being bullied by the big bad wolf and decide that ninja school is their best defense. The first pig studies aikido but only learns the basics; the second pig studies jujitsu but then leaves before making much progress; the third pig studies karate, and continues in her studies until earning the highest belt. When facing the wolf, the first two pigs discover their skills are no match, and rush to the third pig for help. The third pig shows the wolf her expertise, who quickly admits defeat and runs away. The first and second pigs decide to return to ninja school to improve their skills and the three pigs end up opening a dojo.

What a fun take on a classic tale, which completely updates the story while remaining true to the original premise. The book’s ninja angle will help this story appeal to all ages, both boys and girls, since two of the pigs are boys and the third is a girl. The story is done in rhyme, which is not an easy thing to do – especially with words such as aikido and jujitsu. Schwartz does a remarkable job and the words flow smoothly and rhythmically in an A, B, C, C, B pattern. If readers are uncertain about some of the martial arts terms, a glossary with pronunciation is provided in the back of the book. Artistically, Dan Santat uses a combination of full-page spreads and comic book styling to create fun, vibrant pages. Santat’s background as a television animator comes through on the page, creating a style that will be familiar and appealing to children.

The Three Ninja Pigs is a 2013 2 X 2 reading list selection (TLA), a Junior Library Guild Fall selection 2012, and a Los Angeles and Chicago Public Library Best of 2012 selection. Booklist says “Anyone who knows the original story will be well aware of what comes next, but this standout version has so much motion, action, and laughs, kids will feel like they’re hearing it for the first time.” The New York Times Book Review states “A fractured fairy tale to outcharm the original, The Three Ninja Pigs manages to one-up the well-worn story…” Kirkus Reviews also compliments the book calling it "A standout among fractured fairy tales, masterfully combining rollicking limerick verse with a solid story…”

This story would be great to include in an analysis of "Three Little Pigs" stories. Children could compare this version to David Wiesner’s Three Little Pigs, John Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and a more traditional version such as Paul Galdone’s The Three Little Pigs. Other traditional stories, such as "The Three Bears" could also be analyzed in this way with such examples as Galdone’s The Three Bears, James Marshall’s Caldecott Honor version Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldie and the Three Bears by Diane Stanley, Mo Willems’ Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and Schwartz’s new book Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears. For more examples of excellent rhyme, try books by Liz Garton Scanlon such as A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes or All the World. Children who enjoy Santat’s artwork may also like his work on Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds, and will be happy to find out that Schwartz and Santat will be teaming up again for Ninja Red Riding Hood, coming out in Summer 2014.

Quote from Dan Santat: 
“If every illustration you do is money driven and you constantly find that you’re asking yourself, ‘Can I sell this?’ then you’re not being true to yourself and your work is suffering because of it.”

Santat, Dan. "Dan Santat on Breaking Into The Business." The Animation Anomaly. (accessed February 11, 2014).

Schwartz, Corey Rosen. The Three Ninja Pigs. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012.

"The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Dan Santat." Corey Rosen (accessed February 11, 2014).

Review for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU 

Taback, Simms. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. New York: Viking Press, 1999. ISBN 9780670878550

In Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, Simms Taback shares his version of a Yiddish folk song called “I Had a Little Overcoat” in picture book form. The story tells the tale of Joseph who proves to be very resourceful with his overcoat, turning it into a jacket, a vest, a scarf, a necktie, a handkerchief, and a button. In the end, he figures out how to make “something out of nothing” when he loses the button but turns the tale into a book.

The artistic design of the book is superb. Taback uses cutouts within the illustrations to depict the progression from overcoat to a button. The cutouts are cleverly hidden and then revealed within the pages. It is so much fun to try and predict how the next piece of clothing will look from the hidden cutout on the previous page, and so satisfying to see how it looks once the page is turned. Taback makes wonderful use of details so readers can spend a long time pouring over the pages, enjoying the way he uses collage to layer in extra meaning to the story. The colorful palate throughout the book adds vividness to the story and the depiction of the characters. My favorite spread is on pages 18-19, when Joseph goes to visit his “married sister in the city." Not only do I love the language of that page, but enjoy the detail in the looks of uncertainty on the faces of his nephew and niece over meeting their boisterous uncle. In contrast to the folklore style of the page, Taback includes a collage of modern photographs of faces in the windows of the background building – perhaps this is to emphasize Joseph is in the city, and away from his more traditional home.  The book is designed from cover to cover, with the book jacket, hard cover, and end pages all contributing to the theme of the story.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat won the Caldecott medal in 2000. Barbara Z. Kiefer, chair of the 2000 Caldecott committee said of the book, "The patchwork layout of the pages, the two-dimensional paintings and the exaggerated perspectives, reminiscent of the folk art tradition, are the very fabric that turn this overcoat into a story" (Kiefer 2000). According to Publishers Weekly, with “its effective repetition and an abundance of visual humor, this is tailor-made for reading aloud.”

Pairing this book with Taback’s Caldecott Honor award-winning There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly would showcase the author’s talents and abilities. Other recommended interactive books featuring textural elements include Taback’s Safari Animals and City Animals, or Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth or Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. There is also an audiobook version of Joseph Had a Little Overcoat read by Taback himself. Teachers may also want to showcase different types of collage techniques, by pairing the Taback books with Eric Carle’s work or Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore.  

Quote from Simms Taback:
“You can always make something out of nothing.”

Kiefer, Barbara. "2000 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books." American Library Association. (accessed February 10, 2014).

Taback, Simms. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. New York: Viking Press, 1999.

"This Is The Official Simms Taback Site." Simms Taback Site. (accessed February 10, 2014).

Genre One
Review for Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág 
     *This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU - Genre One

Gág, Wanda. Millions of Cats. Ill. by Wanda Gág. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1928. ISBN 9780399233159

Millions of Cats is a classic picture book in the truest sense of the word. Many consider it to be the “first celebrated American picture book” (Silvey). In the story, a lonely husband and wife decide they need a cat to keep them company. The husband sets out to find a cat, but discovers he can’t pick just one, so he brings home “hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats." When he arrives home, the wife quickly realizes they can’t take care of all those cats, so they decide to pick the prettiest one. A fight ensues among the cats, and in the end, a thin, scraggly kitten is left. The husband and wife tend the kitten, which becomes the perfect pet for them.

One of the most compelling aspects of the story is undoubtedly the contagious, repetitive phrase “hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats”. Gág effectively uses this stance throughout the story, making it an excellent read-aloud. Kids will enjoy saying the phrase along with the reader and imagining all of those cats. While the read aloud appeal is undeniable, the unfortunate fate of those millions of cats may bother some children. However, Gág moves quickly past it to the happy home of husband, wife, and lucky kitten.

The artwork is all in black and white and has the feel of a folk tale. The book is uniquely hand lettered and contributes to the mood of the story. Visually, the pictures of the husband as a Pied Piper of sorts with the cats are very appealing. In her Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac, Anita Silvey explains the significance of the book in literary history, “Using a varied layout and alternating broad vistas with intimate scenes, she [Gág] developed pacing, timing, and tension. In one title, she basically invented the America picture book” (Silvey). The copy that I reviewed was a rectangular shape (9.5” x 6.5”), which contributes to the effectiveness of the double-paged spreads of the book, and is a good size for children to hold.

The book is unique in that it won a Newbery Medal honor in 1929, one of the few picture books to do so. It is the oldest known American picture book still in print. In the Top 100 picture books by School Library Journal, Millions of Cats comes in at #21 and is listed in their “100 Books Which Shaped this Country”.

Other books written and illustrated by Wanda Gág include The ABC Bunny, The Funny Thing, Tales from Grimm, and Gone is Gone: or the Story of a Man who Wanted to do Housework (I must admit – this one intrigues me!). Children may also enjoy a pairing of Millions of Cats with classic stories such as The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack, Illustrated by Kurt Wiese, The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop, Illustrated by Kurt Wiese, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, and more modern stories such as The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Illustrated by Beth Krommes, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, and Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.

“I believe it is just the modern children who need it [fairy tales] since their lives are already over-balanced on the side of steel and stone and machinery…” Wanda Gág, 1939


Bird, Betsy. "Top 100 Picture Books #21: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag." A Fuse 8 Production. (accessed January 28, 2014).

Gág, Wanda. “I Like Fairy Tales.” Horn Book Magazine, March 1939.

Gág, Wanda. Millions of Cats. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1928.

Silvey, Anita. "Book-A-Day Almanac." Children’s Book A Day Almanac. (accessed January 28, 2014).

Review for The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
 *This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU - Genre One

Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York: Scholastic Press, 2007. ISBN 9780439813785

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the imaginative, innovative story of a young boy who lives behind the walls of a Paris train station. An orphan, all he has left from his father is a notebook of designs and the automaton that his father died trying to rebuild. While struggling to stay alive and repair the automaton, Hugo meets an eccentric toy maker and his goddaughter, Isabelle. Together, he and Isabelle begin to unlock mysterious secrets into the toymaker's past, which changes the lives of all those who they encounter.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a combination of elements, effectively combining art and words in a form unlike those that have come before it. It is part picture book, part novel (yet still different than a graphic novel) and very successfully blends the two formats. The characters of Hugo and Isabelle are realistically depicted as curious children, who search for information without much thought as to the consequences. Setting the story behind the walls in a train station in Paris seems to add its own mysterious magic to the story. The pacing of the story is excellent, and the pictures contribute nicely to its development, making it is hard to decide if you want to keep turning pages quickly to figure out what happens next in the story, or linger over their details. This is definitely a story that readers will want to revisit, for once they solve the mystery of this fantastical tale, they will want to go back and look more closely at the illustrations. The illustrations are all in black, white and shades of gray. Selznick ‘zooms’ in on the pictures from one page to the next, much as a camera might do.  As New York Times reviewer John Schwartz says, “…it is like a silent film on paper” (Schwartz 2007). The book also mixes in non-fiction with the fiction, since the story includes a real person from cinematic history as one of the main characters.

The book has received many awards, including the 2008 Caldecott Medal, National Book Award finalist, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2007. It received Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist starred reviews. With Kirkus calling it a “uniquely inventive story” and Publisher’s Weekly “a story as tantalizing as it is touching.” It has also received many Kids’ Choice awards, testifying to its overall kid appeal. It is an especially good choice for reluctant readers, since the blending of pictures and text make it a quick read, even though it is more than 500 pages.

Readers who enjoy the style and subject of The Invention of Hugo Cabret may also enjoy Selznick’s books Wonderstruck and The Houdini Box. Selnick also illustrated several other popular books such as Andrew Clements’ Frindle and The Landry News and Ann M. Martin’s The Doll People series. For lesson plans, Library has an excellent resource for class teaching using The Invention of Hugo Cabret created by Lynne Farrell Stover. Readers who enjoy the mystery aspect of the book, may enjoy titles such as From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, Holes by Louis Sachar, The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby (which includes clocks and an automaton), and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Also, The Invention of Hugo Cabret was made into a movie called Hugo in 2011, directed by Martin Scorsese, which won several Academy Awards.

“I definitely think my work comes from things that I liked as a kid, and things I still like now. Monsters and magic and museums and movies, a lot of things that start with 'M' for some reason.” – Brian Selznick


Rockman, Connie. "The Amazing World of Brian Selznick Discussion Guide." Scholastic Teachers. (accessed January 30, 2014).

Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York: Scholastic Press, 2007.

Schwartz, John. "Children's Books: The Invention of Hugo Cabret." New York Times, March 11, 2007, sec. Sunday Book Review. (accessed January 27, 2014).

Stover, Lynne Farrell. "The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Library Lessons." (accessed January 27, 2014).

Review for We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
*This review is coursework for LS 5603 at TWU - Genre One

Willems, Mo. We Are in a Book! New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2010. ISBN 9781423133087

We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems is a prime example of the captivating storytelling ability of Mo Willems. In this story, Elephant and Piggie realize that they are in a book. They interact with the ‘reader’ in funny ways – such as making the reader say the word ‘banana’. But what will happen when the book runs out of pages? Elephant and Piggie have their own ideas about that, which they share with the reader.

The simple line drawings that are Mo Willems' signature style are evident in this cleverly told tale. Willem’s has been referred to as master of the eyebrow and he has a remarkable ability to convey an expression through his drawings. Writer Joanna Cooke remarks, “Willems is a master of age-appropriate inference” (Cooke). As typical of this series, many of the pages do not have words, and the lively personalities of Elephant and Piggie tell the tale through with their expressions. In We Are in a Book! the characters of Elephant and Piggie break the fourth wall and directly address the reader. This is a technique used by Willems in other books, such as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and seems particularly effective for children ages 2-8 years old. These books are great for reading aloud, and the simple storyline makes them excellent choices for beginning independent readers. Willems has definitely used the Elephant and Piggie series to break free from more typical early reader books. It takes talent to create a story with early level vocabulary that engages kids as effectively as We Are in a Book! Willems excels at crafting stories that not only teach kids how to read, but entertain them so that they'll want to continue reading.

We Are in a Book! has won many awards, such as the 2011 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor, listed as #26 on the School Library Journal Top 100 Picture Books, and the 2010 CYBIL award for Easy Readers. The CYBIL committee notes, “Exquisite use of limited language? Check. Laugh out loud humor? Check. Meets new readers on their level but doesn’t condescend to them? Check.”(Cybils).

Children who love this book will be happy to know that there are 20 Elephant & Piggie books. They will also most likely be charmed by the Willem’s Pigeon book series, as well as the Knuffle Bunny series.  For those looking for ways to pair technology with reading, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive this App, is an especially charming an interactive app to supplement the stories. Other fun books that pair well with Elephant and Piggie include Max & Milo Go to Sleep by Heather and Ethan Long, Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories by Jeff Mack, and The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.

“School libraries are as important as the kids who need them.” Mo Willems


Cooke, Joanna. "A Life Spent Reading." A Life Spent Reading. (accessed January 27, 2014).

Willems, Mo. "Mo Willems doodles!" Mo Willems Doodles. (accessed January 30, 2014).

Willems, Mo. We Are in a Book! New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2010.

"Winners of the 2010 Cybils Awards." 'Cybils'. (accessed January 28, 2014).

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