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The Young Reviewers Online Program

The Children's Book Committee often relies on expert opinions of Young Reviewers to help us consider the best children's books of the year. That's where you come in!

Suggested Titles for Review

by Pam Munoz Ryan

Eden West
by Pete Hautman

by David Arnold

Red: A Crayon's Story
by Michael Hall

The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Select Reviews from 2014

When an Alien Meets a Swamp Monster
written and illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
(Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, $16.99) 978-0-399-25623-3
Friendship trumps differences. Dramatic watercolors. (6-8)  

A young reviewer says:
I like this book because it is funny. What I did not like was that the swamp monster ran away. I think he was scared but he could talk to the boy-alien. The illustrations are wonderful. 
– Anthony, age 7 (East Hampton, NY)

*The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen
by Nicholas Christopher
(Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, $17.99) 978-0-375-86738-5
Nicolo Zen, sole family survivor of a malaria epidemic in eighteenth century Venice, must rely on his talent with an enchanted clarinet to make his way in the world. (12-16)  

A young reviewer says:
The author's descriptions about the characters were fantastic. He used so much detail and everything was so clear. It is the kind of book where you pick it up, read the first page, and you can't stop reading it. The reason why this book touched me was that although he didn't have any parents or family, he knew how to handle his problems. It was truly an amazing book and I recommend it. 
– Lucina, age 11  (Brooklyn, NY)

*How I Discovered Poetry
by Marilyn Nelson
(Dial BFYR/Penguin, $17.99) 978-0-8037-3304-6
In a series of 50 sonnets the author recalls the events in her 1950s childhood that led her to discover her love for poetry. Sketches and family photographs. (12-17)  

A young reviewer says:
I think that any book that is exclusively poetry is interesting because it provides a different format of working which is quicker to read over, but allows for more time to process and think. I think Marilyn Nelson’s book surpasses even that. Her book is her memoir and explains so much. It tells the tale of how she moves from place to place. It gives young readers an insight into what life 60 years ago may have been like.  However, it also brings forth the issue of racism. I find the story-telling poems very effective and powerful. 
– Adam, age 14 (Highland Park NJ)