Immediately engaging, Jerry Pinkney’s middle-grade memoir, Just Jerry (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, January 2023) draws you in instantly on the small neighborhood streets of Philly in 1950. You also might find refuge under the piano bench, where young Jerry hid to draw in peace. (Well, as much peace as he could find in

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The bright, engaging middle grade nonfiction book How Does Chocolate Taste on Everest? by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe (Charlesbridge, September 2023) highlights the most extreme places around the world. With a vacation guide book feel, How Does Chocolate Taste? emphasizes what you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch when you visit the highest, best, deepest, hottest, and coldest

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The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day (Random House, September 2023) is a nonfiction middle grade story about the famous Mona Lisa. With alternating chapters telling the stories of the painting’s creation and its 1911 theft, The Mona Lisa Vanishes manages to capture the attention of a young reader with a friendly and humorous tone,

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I had so much fun when my kids and I visited Washington, D.C., and visited the National Postal Museum, so I was excited to read a review copy of Who’s Got Mail?: The History of Mail in America by Linda Barrett Osborne (Abrams Books, May 2023). This middle-grade nonfiction book covers the details of the

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I have read many books and novels about the Japanese-American Internment program during World War II, but nothing quite as unique as Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki (Chronicle Books, 2022). This nonfiction middle-grade Siebert Award winner is subtitled “What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adam’s Photographs Reveal about the Japanese

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The fictional middle graphic novel Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (Sourcebooks Young Readers, April 2023) addresses the effect of global climate change by illustrating two unique children in opposite situations on the other side of the globe. While Yuki faces a grolar bear (half grizzly and half polar bear) in the Arctic circle,

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Nomads: Life on the Move by Kinchoi Lam (Cicada Books, May 2023) is a middle-grade-level nonfiction picture book that illustrates the lives of those living today with a nomadic lifestyle. With eight pages (four two-page spreads) dedicated to each of seven unique nomadic cultures, Nomads teaches about the home structure, family cultures, and traditional food and

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