The Girl Who Sang by Estelle Nadel, illustrated by Sammy Savos and Bethany Strout (Roaring Brook Press, January 2024) is a graphic memoir about a very young Jewish girl surviving World War II hiding in barn. I’m always amazed at what humankind can endure and how strong children can be during hard times. The Girl

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The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon (published 1921) was awarded the first Newbery Medal in 1922, an award intended to celebrate the “the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children” that had been published in the previous year. As a volume that hoped to portray history with a conversational style, Van Loon

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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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