Books by Johanna Hurwitz

Released: April 11, 2017

"Singletons' interest in twins will be piqued while multiples will find much to relate to. (Fiction. 6-9)"
The identical Kelly twins return with more stories about their unique relationship. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Accompanied by illustrations as playful as Arlene and Ilene, this chapter book is a t-winning choice for transitional readers who have graduated from Grace Lin's Ling & Ting early readers and enjoyed Hurwitz's previous titles. (Fiction. 6-9)"
In this Monty spinoff, Hurwitz once again writes about childhood milestones—but this time with twins. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2010

"The anthology's large font and short-story format may appeal to struggling middle-school readers as well as elementary-school kids, although the rather juvenile cover art (that nonetheless captures the 'fooled you' concept) might fool them into thinking it's only appropriate for a much younger audience. (Short stories. 8- 14)"
After collecting stories all based on birthdays from well-known children's authors for a previous anthology, Birthday Surprises (1995), this time Hurwitz has asked a group of ten writers to create stories that include the line, "I fooled you," a concept that, she reminds readers, is a common feature of most folk and fairy tales. Read full book review >
MIGHTY MONTY by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Readers of Mostly Monty (2007) will appreciate the boy's growing self-confidence (and, in particular, his father's encouragement as he tries new things), but this title stands on its own. (Fiction. 5-8)"
In an interconnected set of short stories, first-grader Monty Morris acquires a huge collection of old magazines, takes part in a class play, makes an outdoor birthday party special, begins karate lessons and successfully performs in an exhibition. Read full book review >
MOSTLY MONTY by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: July 1, 2007

"Mostly, readers will want more about Monty. (Fiction. 5-8)"
Six-year-old Monty, sheltered by protective parents because of his asthma, arrives in first grade a good reader, but shy and lacking social experience. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

"Azarian's black-and-white illustrations complement the overall mood. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Hurwitz continues her early 20th-century series begun in Faraway Summer (1998), focusing on Emma's coming-of-age year when she turns 16. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"Familiar situations and characters, frequent pencil illustrations, and generous font and white space make this a perfect transitional book for new readers who will look forward to following Elisa and her warm family and friends in the future. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Elisa, almost eight, is the star of the newest Riverside Kids series. Read full book review >
DEAR EMMA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Good enough, but it could have been better. (Fiction. 8-12)"
The epistolary format works against this sequel to Faraway Summer (2001). Read full book review >
PEEWEE AND PLUSH by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"It's one of friendship, love, and working together that will warm all but the most jaded of hearts. (Fiction. 8-11)"
PeeWee, the intrepid guinea pig, is back and now he has a mate. Read full book review >
RUSSELL’S SECRET by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"It is simple experience that slips the message to Russell, and it becomes his decision to go to school. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Hurwitz takes a standard theme—"I don't want to go to school"—and develops it in an intriguing and merry fashion: It's not so much that the boy becomes bored, but how he does. Read full book review >
LEXI’S TALE by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Although occasionally didactic, no one who reads this will ever look at these furry little creatures in the same way. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Lexi, a precocious squirrel, and PeeWee, an abandoned guinea pig, band together to help a hungry and friendless man in this latest Park Pals Adventure. Read full book review >
OH NO, NOAH! by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: May 1, 2001

"The generous font, comfortable size, and familiar story make this a fine addition to a growing list of good choices for new readers. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Hurwitz's (Russell's Secret, 2001, etc.) latest warm slice of family life explores another milestone: moving to a new neighborhood. Read full book review >
PEE-WEE’S TALE by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A caveat: this tale of freedom gained may leave readers longing to emancipate their own caged darlings. (Fiction. 7-9)"
A precocious guinea pig finds himself adrift in Central Park in a tale of high adventure. Read full book review >
ONE SMALL DOG by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Aug. 31, 2000

"Serviceable. (Fiction. 7-9)"
Hurwitz's (Make Room For Elisa, 1993) account of the failure of an untrained pound puppy to fit into a stressed household is a cautionary tale of how not to adopt a dog. Read full book review >
FARAWAY SUMMER by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 1, 1998

"Pastoral woodcuts garnish each chapter with old-fashioned country still lifes. (Fiction. 8-10)"
In the summer of 1910, when cars begin to replace horses, and librarians still check for clean hands, New Yorker Dossi finds herself bound for a small town in Vermont, courtesy of the Fresh Air Fund, the charity for poor city children. Read full book review >
EVER-CLEVER ELISA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"This story is full of good intentions, but lacks energy. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 5-8)"
There are few surprises in this outing from Hurwitz (Make Room for Elisa, 1993, etc.), who lays on the lessons with heavy hand and subdues any potential excitement with deadening passive-voice narration: ``Books were given out to the students, and the routine was explained.'' In six short chapters, Elisa attends her first day of first grade, follows her father into a voting booth, counts down to her birthday, celebrates Mother's Day in the wee hours of the morning, swallows a tooth, and enters a raffle. Read full book review >
THE DOWN AND UP FALL by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Even an appearance by Aldo doesn't bring this one up to Hurwitz's usually charming standard. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8+)"
The fourth book in a series that includes The Up & Down Spring (1993), about three friends—Bolivia, Rory, and Derek—now in middle school. Read full book review >
EVEN STEPHEN by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 1, 1996

"His emotional crisis takes place in so few pages that it's almost pointless, but it's also the only real action in the book. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 10+)"
According to his younger sister Sunny, who narrates this novel, there isn't anything at which Stephen, 17, doesn't excel: He has perfect SAT scores, girls drool at the sight of him, he's a star athlete, and has been accepted not only at Harvard but Yale, Princeton, and MIT as well. Read full book review >
OZZIE ON HIS OWN by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 1, 1995

"The details of everyday life glow with the warmth of good hearts and close families. (Fiction. 7+)"
In this sequel to Roz and Ozzie (1992), Ozzie, eight, is spending the summer alone. Read full book review >
SCHOOL SPIRIT by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 1, 1994

"Rewarding light fare for readers moving into chapter books, or for less proficient older readers. (Fiction. 7-11)"
Soon after his election (Class President, 1990), having learned that his school may close next June, Julio begins a campaign to save it. Read full book review >
A WORD TO THE WISE by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: March 1, 1994

"For such a handsome production, the result is oddly flat. (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)"
Following a short preface discussing their many honorable origins, a score of the best-known proverbs, illustrated in Rayevsky's usual pungently satirical style. Read full book review >
LEONARD BERNSTEIN by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Chronology; bibliography; index not seen. (Biography. 10-14)"
An interesting, well-balanced biography of this phenomenon of the 20th-century American musical scene, emphasizing the many facets of Bernstein's achievement (pianist/conductor/composer/media personality) and his identity as a Jew, and wisely (for this audience) ignoring the details of his convoluted personal life. Read full book review >
MAKE ROOM FOR ELISA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"A humorous, recognizable portrayal of family life, with Hoban's characteristic b&w sketches to add dimension. (Fiction. 4- 8)"
Russell's little sister (``E'' Is for Elisa, 1991), now five, helps Russell through an embarrassing moment at his violin recital; gets eyeglasses; finds herself locked in the bathroom of the family's new apartment; learns a lesson about admitting wrongdoing; and, finally, welcomes a new baby brother. Read full book review >
NEW SHOES FOR SILVIA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Just right. (Picture book. 3-8)"
"Far away in another America," little Silvia receives a treasured gift from Tia Rosita (who's in the US)—fine red shoes, too big for her to wear. Read full book review >
THE UP AND DOWN SPRING by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: May 1, 1993

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Rory, Derek, and Bolivia (The Hot & Cold Summer, 1984, etc.) are back; now the Woodside, N.J., boys are visiting Bolivia in Ithaca, N.Y., where they must adjust to her unusual household (exotic food, no TV) and her full spring-vacation agenda, including (to Rory's disgust) attending a ballet. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 21, 1992

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 7-10)"
In the third in a series of whimsical romps that began with The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein (1985), Ali Baba (nÇ David) is dealing with more mature concerns: doing the right thing when he finds $100 on a Manhattan sidewalk; learning how rumor can take on a life of its own; showing his parents he's responsible enough to have a dog. Read full book review >
ROZ AND OZZIE by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 23, 1992

"An appealing, comfortable read. (Fiction. 7+)"
New to the neighborhood and to fourth grade, Roz Sasser is eager to make friends—but not with Ozzie Sims, her second-grade uncle who lives next door and follows her everywhere. Read full book review >
'E' IS FOR ELISA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 20, 1991

"Fans are sure to enjoy this latest entry in a popular series. (Fiction. 4-10)"
These six easily read chapters about the four-year-old sister of Russell, one of Hurwitz's favorite characters, are appropriate for precocious readers and listeners as well as for Russell's third-grade contemporaries. Read full book review >
SCHOOL'S OUT by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: April 24, 1991

"Totally satisfying. (Fiction. 7-11)"
After three books recounting his checkered third-grade career, likable Lucas Cott has a busy summer. Read full book review >