January 1 & 15, 2017 Booklist 13 www.booklistonline.com
Janell Bowman. Illus. by Daniel Minter. Lee
& Low, $19.95 (9781620141489). Gr. 3–5.
Doc Key, a former slave, is best remembered
for nursing sickly colt Jim not only to health
but also to heights of interactive intelligence,
thanks to a program of positive reinforcement. Luminous paintings bring to life this
inspirational, stranger-than-fiction tale.
The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. By Jan
Thornhill. Illus. by the author. Groundwood,
$18.95 (9781554988655). Gr. 2–5.
Touching on evolution, ecology, human
technological advancement, globalization, and
even cultural trends, Thornhill illustrates the
many factors, including its own physiology
and behavior, that led to the auk’s ultimate
demise and the surprising affects its extinction
had on modern ideas about conservation.
Under Water, under Earth. By Aleksandra
Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. Illus. by
the authors. Candlewick/Big Picture, $35
(9780763689223). Gr. 2–4.
This oversize picture book thrillingly and
comprehensively illustrates the fascinating components of the ground beneath our
feet and the waters that cover the planet.
The array of information is dizzying, but
the engrossing format makes it irresistible.
Comical interludes add buoyancy to this informative volume.
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book
of Nautical Codes. By Sara Gillingham.
Illus. by the author. Phaidon, $19.95
(9780714871431). K–Gr. 2.
This brilliantly designed abecedary introduces four systems of nautical communication and
offers loads of information about boats and sea
travel. Snazzy, primary-colored art illustrates
the codes, and nestled into each two-page
spread is a paper version of the flag itself.
Freedom in Congo Square. By Carole
Boston Weatherford. Illus. by R. Gregory
Christie. little bee, $17.99 (9781499801033).
Coretta Scott King honorees Weatherford
and Christie create a gorgeously artistic and
poetic homage to the slaves of New Orleans,
who were allowed to gather in Congo Square
each Sunday. Their anticipation of these joy-
ful Sundays stands in poignant contrast to the
harshness endured during the week.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes
Her Mark. By Debbie Levy. Illus. by
Elizabeth Baddeley. Simon & Schuster,
$17.99 (9781481465595). Gr. 1–3.
Dissent is the powerful through line in this
picture-book biography of Ginsberg. Levy and
Baddeley show how young Ruth was shaped by
her objections to injustice and how that dissent
led to her iconic career. Dynamic illustrations
further enliven this inviting account of a historic woman.
Alice and the Fly. By James Rice. Quercus,
$16.99 (9781681445281). Gr. 9–12.
Greg—known by classmates as “Psycho”—
keeps a journal recounting his medical “
condition,” his bouts of uncontrollable arachno-phobia, and his obsession with a girl on the
bus named Alice. A slowly unfolding mystery
powered by equal parts dread and empathy.
Burn Baby Burn. By Meg Medina. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763674670). Gr. 9–12.
Set against New York’s turbulent summer
of 1977, Medina’s latest tells the story of
Cuban American Nora, who’s determined
to gain independence from her increasingly
violent brother and the mother who coddles
him. An artfully crafted story of family loyalty and personal strength.
The End of FUN. By Sean McGinty.
(9781484722114). Gr. 9–12.
The year’s funniest YA novel is this high-concept offering about “FUN,” an embedded,
interactive marketing program chip that
Aaron is having a heck of a time deleting.
Barbed tech commentary is only part of this
surprisingly bighearted debut.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear. By E. K. Johnston.
Dutton, $17.99 (9781101994580). Gr. 9–12.
At end-of-summer cheerleading camp,
Hermione Winters is drugged, raped, and
impregnated. Recovery is long, but Hermione is determined to live her life. Fierce and
gorgeously drawn, this reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is a rape story that
doesn’t focus on victimhood.
Falling over Sideways. By Jordan
Sonnenblick. Scholastic, $17.99
(9780545863247). Gr. 7–10.
Ballet student Claire had enough problems
before her father’s stroke. Now she needs to
help him recover. However, in doing so, she
finds a way to move forward with all aspects
of her life. Another smart, droll winner from
Fifteen Lanes. By S. J. Laidlaw. Tundra,
$17.99 (9781101917800). Gr. 9–12.
As part of her community service, Grace, a
privileged student in Mumbai, meets 14-year-
old Noor, who has grown up in her mother’s
brothel. In detailing their hopeful kinship,
Laidlaw doesn’t shrink from the desperate,
Golden Boys. By Sonya Hartnett. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763679491). Gr. 9–12.
With stunning subtlety and quietly escalating tension, Hartnett traces the shattering
fissures that work their way through a modest
community when an effusive wealthy dentist,
Rex, and his family move in. Through the
neighborhood kids’ perspectives, the unsettling truth about Rex emerges.
The Lie Tree. By Frances Hardinge. Abrams/
Amulet, $17.95 (9781419718953). Gr. 7–12.
In the mid-nineteenth century, 14-year-old
Faith Sunderly aspires to be a naturalist like
her father, but such professions are deemed
unacceptable for women. When her family
hastily moves to a remote island, dangers
engulf her, knitting science, religion, and
fantasy into a dark but empowering tale.
My Lady Jane. By Cynthia Hand and
others. Harper Teen, $17.99
(9780062391742). Gr. 7–11.
The Tudor-era Catholic-Protestant conflict
is reimagined as a feud between shape-shifters
and non-shape-shifters. Bookish Jane Grey,
less than thrilled with an arranged marriage,
is soon caught up in a hilarious web of court
intrigue and high adventure in this wacky, irreverent historical fantasy.
The Passion of Dolssa. By Julie Berry.
Viking, $17.99 (9780451469922). Gr. 9–12.
The story-within-a-story begins in 1290 as a
friar gathers testimonies from the Inquisition.
But one tale troubles him: sassy matchmaker
Botille and her sisters encounter aristocratic,
mystic Dolssa—beloved by Jesus and spreading
a message of love—running from the Inquisitors after escaping the pyre.
Playing for the Devil’s Fire. By
Phillippe Diederich. Cinco Puntos,
$16.95 (9781941026298). Gr. 9–12.
After Boli’s Mexican village is overrun by
For Colt it is laughable, contemptible,
enraging; but for
Freya, he sees, it is
as if she has pulled a
weed and the whole
world has come up
in her hand.
She had tumbled
off the safe, hallowed shore of
now she was in
neither one thing
nor another, like a
mermaid. Until she
dragged herself up
on the rock of marriage, she was
difficult. —Frances Hardinge