Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Recommendations


GEORGE describes the efforts of one transgender kid, born George, who wants everyone to know her for the girl she really is. When George’s fourth grade class begins practicing for the play version of Charlotte’s web, more than anything George wants to perform the part of Charlotte. That’s a pretty huge leap for a kid in grade school. George is an earnest, appealing character, and even though her journey may seem a tad easy, author Alex Gino does a great job of bringing readers along George’s path towards being recognized as Melissa. (MG)

THE ACCIDENT SEASON, by Moira Fowley-Doyle, is a beautifully written, atmospheric novel revolving around the annual titular phenomenon that afflicts Cara and her family. Every October, they are all bruised and battered despite the elaborate precautions they take, like wearing thick layers of clothing, ridding the kitchen of knives, and padding over sharp corners in the house. This season will be a bad one, Cara’s friend Bea predicts, and indeed many things come to a head, including love, death, and deeply hidden family secrets. This is an unexpected favorite of the year for me. (YA)

THE HOLLOW BOY is the third LOCKWOOD & CO. installment, by Bartimaeus books author Jonathan Stroud. I love this series—it’s pure, self-indulgent escapist reading of the supernatural kind. Narrator Lucy Carlyle is definitely not happy about perfect, perky Holly Munroe joining the agency, but a massive outbreak of supernatural activity is wreaking havoc in London and all agents, including the talking skull in the ghost-jar, must work together to figure out the mystery. (MG)

Picture Books:

POOL, by JiHyeon Lee, may be wordless but there’s plenty of story in this underwater tale of friendship, imagination and adventure, beautifully yet playfully rendered in colored pencils and oil pastels.

THE NIGHT WORLD, by Caldecott Medalist Mordecai Gerstein, depicts the wonders of one boy's backyard in the darkness before the approaching dawn. Acrylics, pen and ink, and colored pencil bring the mysteries to life.

And LOOK! by Jeff Mack shows the lengths one gorilla must go through to get a boy's attention. Using only two words, “look” and “out,” this smartly designed book uses mixed media, including pencil, watercolor, collage, and digital manipulations. What’s it going to take for the boy to finally leave the TV and engage with the gorilla??


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