Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Dissent - a review

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Elizabeth Baddely
Simon and Schuster, 2016

"Disagreeable? No." "Determined? YES." Whether objecting, dissenting, resisting, or disapproving, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always done it with passion, with flair, and with conviction. This is her story, from childhood to the present. She has spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of women and minorities - beginning with her refusal to write with her right hand in grade school(she has always been left-handed), and continuing today with her Supreme Court decisions in favor of equal opportunities for women and minorities. The story is compelling; the illustrations have a cartoon-like quality, but are detailed and emotive.

There should be no dissent that I DISSENT: RUTH BADER GINSBURG MAKES HER MARK is a powerful introduction to a determined, successful, and inspiring woman.

Back matter includes:
  • More About Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Notes on Supreme Court Cases
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Quotation Sources
I Dissent is a 2017 winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award
See the entire list of winners and honor books at the Association of Jewish Libraries website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mouse and Hippo - a review

Mouse and Hippo
By Mike Twohy
Paula Wiseman Books, 2017

How does a mouse view a hippo? How does a hippo view a mouse? And more importantly, can they be friends? Mouse and Hippo is an entertaining commentary on artistic perspective, but at heart, it's a comical story of friendship.

On a shelf near you beginning in February, 2017.

My complete review of Mouse and Hippo is in the January, 2017 edition of School Library Journal.

Advance Reader Copy provided by School Library Journal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Father's Road - a review

Father's Road

by Ji-yun Hang. Translation from Korean by Joy Cowley.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017

Young Wong Chung is old enough to take part in his father's caravan from Chang'an (Xi'an) to Constantinople (Istanbul). He heeds his kindly father's advice and pays attention to everything he sees along the way as they travel the Silk Road from east to West.

We arrived at a place called Turpan where I could smell a sweet aroma. "That's the smell of grapes," said Father.

"Grapes?" I asked. "In a desert?"
"See that white mountain over there? The ice from Tian Shan melts into the soil, and these delicious grapes grow." Father traded some silk for a bunch of grapes that tasted sweet as honey.

I gave two grapes to my camel. He liked them too.

Illustrator Tan Jung creates delicate ink drawings on paper that is flecked and textured to mimic sand. Its color also serves to represent the skin tone of the travelers and the coats of their many camels. Only the silks and featured geographical or commercial highlights are rendered in colors outside a muted palette of tans and grays.  Wong Chung, however, is readily discernible from the rest of the caravan by the pompom atop his cloth hat and his simple, yet endearing facial expressions.

Entertaining, educational, and culturally respectful,  Father's Road is part of the Trade Winds series.

Front and endpapers combine to create a map of the ancient Silk Road.
Back matter contains the following sections:

  •     The Silk Road (a discussion of its commercial and historical significance)
  •     Key Terms and Concepts (definitions of terms related to cultural and economic globalization)
  •     Global Exchange (a discussion of "non-commodities" exchanged on the Silk Road, e.g., religion, inventions, disease)
  •     Goods from Around the World (India, Rome, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia, China - a list of the main trading groups and their products)
  •     Geography of the Silk Road (a list of major Silk Road cities, their ancient and modern names, significance)
  •     A Timeline of Events ( 3000 BCE - 2013 )

On sale 1/30/17.
My Advance Review Copy of Father's Road was provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Unposted #audiobook reviews of 2016

As the year draws to a close, I realized that I've never posted several audio books that I've reviewed for AudioFile Magazine.

Here they are in no particular order (all titles are linked to my full reviews on AudioFile Magazine)

The Last Execution

by Jesper Wung-Sung 
A short YA title based on a true story.
"Surreal would be the best description of this book if only it were not based on truth. In 1853, Denmark exercised the death penalty for a final time, cleaving the head from 15-year-old Niels Nelson."  

by Joan Aiken
"This collection of eight short stories contains gentle tales of fantasy and magic--not the magic of wizards and wands, but of wishing mats and enormous cats and gifts brought by the winds."

by Ridley Pearson 
"This audiobook is a prequel to the Lock and Key series, a contemporary revision of the Sherlock Holmes canon. "
by Carrie Jones
 The first in a YA series.
"Kate Reinders narrates this campy story about Mana, a high school cheerleader who finds herself battling aliens in a quest to find her missing mom." 
by Nanci Turner Steveson
 "Narrator Tara Sands realistically interprets a well-off teen's wry observations of her dysfunctional family and their friends.
by Martha Jocelyn 
YA series
"Part of the high-interest series Secrets, this audiobook includes support for reluctant readers through narrator Kelly Pruner's clear diction, easy pacing, and decidedly conversational tone."