January 1 & 15, 2016 Booklist 13 www.booklistonline.com
profiles Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada
(1852–1913) while celebrating his printmaking and his portrayal of calaveras, the droll
skeletons prominent in Día de los Muertos
(Day of the Dead) celebrations. The witty,
informative text and brilliantly conceived dig-ital-collage artwork make this a bold winner.
Human Body Theater. By Maris Wicks.
Illus. by the author. First Second, $14.99
(9781626722774) Gr. 5–8.
Using an appealing, approachable, and
downright jaunty cartoon style, Wicks playfully yet informatively leads readers through
the various systems of the body, clearly explaining basic concepts with both words and
helpful diagrams in a perfect balance of engaging silliness and rigorous science.
Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood
from Sports Legends. By David Stabler.
Illus. by Doogie Horner. Quirk, $13.95
(9781594748028). Gr. 3–6.
This outstanding collection of sports stories
examines the childhoods of 16 athletes who
grew up to leave indelible marks on their
fields. Positivity and humor abound in the
diverse profiles, which receive a further assist
from Horner’s color illustrations.
The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the
Mind of a Mollusk. By Sy Montgomery.
Illus. by Keith Ellenbogen. HMH, $18.99
(9780544232709). Gr. 5–8.
The octopus’ high intelligence and prowess at
camouflage have made it difficult to study, but
this entry in the Scientists in the Field series
follows scientists in French Polynesia as they
unlock some of the mystery surrounding this
elusive mollusk. Great underwater photography
and intriguing facts make this a spectacular read.
The Rain Wizard: The Amazing, Mysterious,
True Life of Charles Mallory Hatfield. By
Larry Dane Brimne. illus. Boyds Mills/Calkins
Creek, $16.95 (9781590789902). Gr. 5–7.
Using a top-secret mix of chemicals, Hatfield traveled the country at the turn of the
last century, drawing rain from the skies with
remarkable success. His fascinating—and
little-known—story gets standout treatment
with an eye-catching design and loads of historical photographs.
Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip through
the Motown Sound. By Andrea Davis
Pinkney. illus. Roaring Brook, $19.99
(9781596439733). Gr. 5–8.
Pinkney takes readers on a road trip to
Motown in a book that catches the groove of
Hitsville, U.S.A, juxtaposing musical highlights against the literally fiery events that
were taking place across the country: war, rioting, and a cultural revolution.
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of
the Civil Rights Movement. By Carole Boston
Weatherford. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763665319). Gr. 4–7.
This poetry biography of voting rights ac-
tivist Hamer is paired with beautiful, boldly
realized multimedia collages. The poems ex-
amine Hamer’s early life under Jim Crow laws
as well as her staunch activism despite fac-
ing many difficulties in life, including arrest,
physical abuse, and forced sterilization.
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. By Laurie Wallmark. Illus. by April
Chu. Creston, $17.99 (9781939547200).
Lord Byron’s daughter grew up a mathematician instead of a wordsmith, spending
a sickly childhood coming up with inventions
and eventually creating an algorithm that
made her history’s first computer programmer. Soft, delicate, detailed illustrations evoke
both her accomplishments and her wonder
and highlight her legacy.
Beastly Verse. By JooHee Yoon. Illus.
by the author. Enchanted Lion, $18.95
(9781592701667). K–Gr. 2.
Using a vintage spot-color printing technique, which employs three primary-color
inks that overlap to create a broad spectrum
of hues, Yoon brings a series of classic animal
poems to life with wild, vibrant illustrations
ranging from uproarious to serene.
Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester
Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor
of Earmuffs. By Meghan McCarthy. Illus. by
the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $17.99 (9781481406376). K–Gr. 3.
Chester Greenwood Day is celebrated annually in Maine to honor a man credited with
inventing earmuffs. But did he? With a clearly
written text and appealing acrylic paintings,
this unusual picture book shows how the
muddling of fact, memory, and legend can
result in popular history.
Bone Gap. By Laura Ruby. HarperCollins/
Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062317605).
Finn is haunted by Roza’s disappearance, and
since he can’t seem to describe her abductor to
anyone, he takes it upon himself to find her.
Ruby captivatingly explores a dizzying breadth
of themes—including beauty, violence, love,
and family—seamlessly lacing together magic
and reality in a bewitching blend.
The Bunker Diary. By Kevin Brooks.
Carolrhoda/Lab, $17.99 (9781467754200).
Brooks’ relentless existential horror story
centers on six people trapped in an under-
ground bunker being tortured by “He”—an
unseen figure who demands his prisoners play
a series of “games” that slowly break their
wills. It’s inscrutable and terrifying but also
possessed of a singular dedication to its prem-
ise. Powerful and unforgettable. (Top of the
List winner—Youth Fiction.)
Carry On. By Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s/
Griffin, $19.99 (9781250049551). Gr. 10–12.
Superstar Rowell smartly turns classic fantasy
tropes upside-down. “Chosen One” Simon
Snow and his archrival/love interest Baz Pitch
go to magic school, fight monsters, get messages from ghosts, and figure out their destinies.
Sound familiar? Spot-on characterizations and
an epic romance make this hard to put down.
Challenger Deep. By Neal Shusterman.
Illus. by Brendan Shusterman. Harper Teen,
$17.99 (9780061134111). Gr. 9–12.
This breathtaking exploration of one teen’s
experience with schizophrenia may be Shusterman’s masterwork. As Caden is admitted
to a mental hospital, his real-life narrative
becomes intertwined with an imagined counterpart tale where he is sailing the pirate seas.
Based on Shusterman’s son’s own struggles
with mental illness, this is, in fact, both challenging and deep.
Dumplin’. By. Julia Murphy. HarperCollins/
Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062327185).
Willowdean, a self-proclaimed fat girl, decides to enter a beauty contest, ready to take
the ridicule for her right to be in the spotlight. Will’s singular voice compels readers to
think about all that goes into building—and
The Emperor of Any Place. By Tim
Wynne-Jones. Candlewick, $17.99
(9780763669737). Gr. 9–12.
Two weeks after finding his father dead,
Evan is dealing with a grandfather he’s never
met while unraveling secrets recorded by two
soldiers, one Japanese, the other American,
stranded on a small Pacific island during
WWII. This complex narrative is original, absorbing, and rewarding.
The Game of Love and Death. By Martha
Brockenbrough. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine,
$17.99 (9780545668347). Gr. 9–12.
For millennia, Love and Death have played
haunted Love as
he walked the
streets of Seattle
in the guise of
begging for work.