The ANNEthology edited by Judith Graves (Acorn press, May 2024) is a new collection of young adult stories by Canadian young adult authors, subtitled “A Collection of Kindred Spirits Inspired by the Canadian Icon.” I adore Anne of Green Gables, so I was excited to revisit this lovely creature with new stories. I was so disappointed,

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Painting the Game by Patricia MacLachlan (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2024) is the last novel by the late great MacLachlan, who wrote my childhood favorite Sarah, Plain and Tall. In a similar understated tone, this short novel tells about a young girl, Lucy, who wants to prove her own baseball abilities as a pitcher, so

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A Little Bit Super is a collection of stories about teenagers with superpowers, but their super powers are, unfortunately a bit limited. One teen can talk to animals, but only one day a month. Another can get his wishes granted when he crosses his fingers, but it only works for small, somewhat insignificant wishes. Yet

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Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry (Clarion, 2024) features the friendship between two Sophies: one who is eleven and the other is 88. With a unique and memorable narrator, Lowry’s deceptively short newest offering touches on deep issues such as aging, childhood experience, and the formation of memories. In fact, there was so much in

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Teach by Dennis DiNoia captures some basic ideas on, as the subtitle explains “creating independently responsible learners.” These concepts are essential to successful teaching. He begins by outlining some of the issues of traditional schooling set-ups and explains how the role for teachers should be that of “coach.” Our main goal in teaching children is

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Big Ideas in Literature (The School of Life; March 2024) is a book all about one of my favorite subjects: literature. It introduces what makes literature literature, the history of literature and books, and what big topics literature can address, even through amusing situations and language. Throughout the book, the authors highlight literature from history

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In and Out the Window (illustrated by Catherin Peterslund; Philomel 2024) is a creative collection of children’s poetry by Jane Yolen. Poems are divided into thematic sections with further division into the categories of “In” and “Out” of a window. The volume shares poems about many aspects of children’s lives. Different sections featured include “At

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One Big Open Sky by Lesa Kline-Ransom (March 2024, Holiday House) is a free verse historical fiction novel about Black covered wagon pioneers in 1879. It features a young Black girl and her family, told from her perspective and that of her mother and another young woman. They journey from a sharecropping atmosphere in Mississippi

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In The First State of Being by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books, March 2024), Michael is a lonely celebrating his 12th birthday in the summer of 1999 when his life is changed by the appearance of strange kid in his apartment complex. Michael is an awkward kid obsessed with Y2K (yes, that moment when computers

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Lost Kites and Other Treasures by Cathy Carr (Amulet Books, February 2024) addresses anxiety and other mental illness with a middle-school story featuring Franny, who escapes to making creative “found” art when things start to feel overwhelming. Although Franny tries not to think about her absent mother and the traumas of her early life (after

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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 Collars of RBG: A Portrait of Justice by Elinor Carucci and Sara Bader (Clarkson Potter Publishers, November 2023) is a lovely coffee table book celebrating the unique personality and strong political influence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with detailed photographs of her legendary collars. The text of the book highlights the origin of each collar

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