An exciting, well-executed book that will captivate young readers.


From the Deadliest series , Vol. 2

Sept. 8, 1900, was a day no one in Galveston, Texas, would ever forget.

In a White part of town, 5-year-old Katherine Vedder wasn’t worried until her brother and cousin reported “that the Gulf looked like a great gray wall about fifty feet high.” Young African American newlywed Annie Smizer McCullough, who lived close to the beach, feared her beloved roses would be washed away in the storm. But no one was prepared for the devastation that would leave at least 8,000 people dead. In the States, it was originally thought the storm would head north after passing over Cuba; U.S. bias against Cuba prevented their warning that it was in fact heading west from being heard. Without modern technology, weather forecasters were dependent on tools such as barometers and rain gauges and their experience with previous storm patterns. This well-laid-out book tells a thrilling and terrifying story by combining science with social context. Quoting oral histories, journals, and letters, Hopkinson shares the vivid recollections of survivors. She also presents an inclusive portrait of the differences between African Americans’ and White people’s experiences of this natural disaster during a time of segregation. Photos of hurricanes and their aftermath add to the impact. The superlative backmatter includes a glossary, entertaining activities, oral history prompts, and additional resources for learning about hurricanes. Some information about other major hurricanes and the impact of climate change is included.

An exciting, well-executed book that will captivate young readers. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-36017-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Scholastic Focus

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)



Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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