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Total Solar Eclipse app review

The Exploratorium’s Total Solar Eclipse app (may 2017 ; iOS and Android) will be at its coolest on August 21. That’s when a total solar eclipse will take place over the U.S., and the app will make livestreams available from several different views. There’ll be live, hosted coverage in both English and Spanish starting at […]

Review of The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation)

The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation) by Anne Quirk; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley Intermediate    Knopf    118 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-5247-0035-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-0036-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-0119-2    $10.99 “It hurts to be on the wrong side of history. Winners, like George Washington, have great cities […]

STEM apps

These STEM-oriented nonfiction apps can help intermediate students brush up on knowledge for the coming school year — or invite them to explore an engaging new subject. What if we measured our lives in units other than hours, days, months, and years? Would life “feel shorter? Longer? More absurd? More precious?” Input your birthdate into […]

Review of The Street Beneath My Feet

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain; illus. by Yuval Zommer Primary, Intermediate    Quarto    24 pp. 5/17    978-1-68297-136-9    $22.95 Turn the sturdy pages of this large book from bottom to top for an accordion-folded journey to the center of the Earth. Successive vertical spreads show readers the layers of animal, vegetable, and mineral life […]

Review of The Emperor’s Ostrich

The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry Intermediate, Middle School    Roaring Brook    276 pp. 7/17    978-1-59643-958-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-959-7    $9.99 A beloved farm animal, a perpetually messy young man, a missing boy emperor, and a sturdy heroine are at the center of Berry’s lively literary fairy tale, a loving homage to Lloyd Alexander and his […]

Mammals app review

The latest in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library series, Mammals (2017; iOS only) offers a fascinating introduction to mammals and how their bodies operate. The app opens on a natural history museum–like gallery containing five subtly animated creatures: little brown bat, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, red kangaroo, African elephant, and Bengal tiger. Tap on any animal to interact […]

Review of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Candlewick    50 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-8094-7    $16.99 The title of this innovative poetry collection comes from Lucille Clifton, who wrote, “Poems come out of wonder, not out of […]

Review of Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything by Anita Sanchez; illus. by Catherine Stock Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-58089-606-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-832-0    $9.99 Carolus Linnaeus (née Karl Linné) pioneered a classification system for living things that is, for the most part, still in use today. In […]

On our own

Children make their own homes and families in these middle-grade novels. The stories range in tone from zany to poignant and highlight important elements of any family dynamic: love, loyalty, understanding, and, once in a while, cookies for dinner. For more on how child characters define their own versions of “home” in fiction, look for […]

Review of Felix Yz

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    283 pp. 6/17    978-0-425-28850-4    $16.99 Thirteen-year-olds may sometimes seem like alien creatures, but how often do you meet one with an actual alien inside? Meet Felix Yz (pronounced like “is”). When Felix was three, his scientist father was vaporized in a lab accident and Felix himself […]