Books by Laura Freeman

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"An important story to tell about four heroines, one that will lead young readers to the longer, more-nuanced coverage available when they are ready. (Informational picture book. 5-8)"
At a time when "colored" water fountains and separate bathrooms also meant that African-Americans were excluded from many good jobs, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden made themselves indispensable to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which became NASA in 1958. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

"Perhaps one day we can reclaim the word 'wild' as a descriptor for black hair, but this book doesn't do the trick. As it is, it could facilitate discussion on the politics of black hair. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A young girl's hair becomes home to animals. Read full book review >
THE NEW KID by Karen English
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Combining inviting storytelling with a warm message of friendship and accountability, this entry is a welcome addition to a pretty near perfect series for independent readers. (Fiction. 6-9)"
English and Freeman's Carver Chronicles kids make the acquaintance of a mysterious and self-assured new kid in town. All goes awry when a prized bike goes missing. Read full book review >
SIGHTS I LOVE TO SEE by Cheryl Willis Hudson
Released: May 1, 2017

"A bright and bubbly outing with an infectiously cheerful protagonist. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A brown-skinned girl with straight, black hair who lives in what looks to be the American Southwest lists the "wonderful sights I love to see." Read full book review >
FANCY PARTY GOWNS by Deborah Blumenthal
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Kudos to a title that recognizes a previously uncelebrated African-American woman of achievement. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)"
Society ladies and screen actresses made Ann Cole Lowe's gowns famous, but no one credited their African-American designer. Read full book review >
CORETTA SCOTT KING by Kathleen Krull
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Foibles and tragedies receive due acknowledgement, but readers should come away impressed by her uncommon independence of spirit and opinion. (source and reading lists, indexes) (Biography. 9-11)"
An admiring portrait of a gifted singer who didn't exactly stand back when her illustrious husband stepped on to the public stage. Read full book review >
DON'T FEED THE GECKOS! by Karen English
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"The series continues to present appealing and likable characters gently exploring the moral dilemmas of childhood. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Bernardo, Carlos' cousin whom he hasn't seen in years, is temporarily moving in with Carlos and his family. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 2, 2014

"A welcome series addition that emphasizes familiarity instead of difference and treats its message with an affectionately light hand. (Fiction. 6-10)"
Richard dreams of landing the perfect flat-ground Ollie, but before he can attempt the daring skateboard feat, he must recover from an earlier trick that he played on his parents by concealing a teacher's note informing his parents of lackluster effort. Read full book review >
DOG DAYS by Karen English
Released: Dec. 17, 2013

"This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here's hoping English amps things up for subsequent volumes. (Fiction. 6-9)"
A gentle voice and familiar pitfalls characterize this tale of a boy navigating the risky road to responsibility. Read full book review >
WEDDING DRAMA by Karen English
Released: March 20, 2012

"Readers of this series will long for some character development; it would be nice to see the girls grow more empathetic along the way. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Third grade continues to be a series of ups and downs for best friends Nikki and Deja. Read full book review >
NIKKI & DEJA by Karen English
Released: July 4, 2011

"While beginning chapter books with African-American characters are rare and usually welcome, this particular installment in a usually sunny series falls flat. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Best friends Nikki and Deja are back in a tale of school elections and friendship. Read full book review >
NIKKI AND DEJA by Karen English
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"A solid addition to a welcome series for new readers, especially for children who want to read realistic stories about kids of color. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Third graders Nikki and Deja have a lot to learn about journalism. Read full book review >
NIKKI & DEJA by Karen English
Released: Jan. 19, 2009

"Likable and independent African-American girls are a rare find in early chapter books—let's hope these two can start a trend. (Fiction. 6-10)"
Little girls, little girls…they can be mean sometimes. Read full book review >
NIKKI & DEJA by Karen English
Released: Jan. 21, 2008

"English nicely fills an underdeveloped area—this is a first-chapter book featuring African-American girls, and race is presented as an attribute of the characters rather than as an issue. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Nikki and Deja are best friends, next-door neighbors and schoolmates. Read full book review >
A BRAVE SPACEBOY by Dana Kessimakis Smith
Released: April 1, 2005

Using a big box and a colander "helmet," a lad turns the stress of moving-in day into the excitement of a rip-roaring space adventure—but this promising premise runs afoul of inexpert execution in both writing and pictures. Read full book review >
A WILD COWBOY by Dana Kessimakis Smith
Released: April 1, 2004

"Freeman's chalk-like computer graphics, drawn with charm in bright, tangy colors match the fantasy well. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The pictures tell one story while the text reveals the youngster's inner fancies in this ode to cowboy enthusiasts. Read full book review >
BABIES by Deborah Heiligman
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Hello toddler.' (Nonfiction. 4-8)"
A satisfying introduction to babies from birth to toddler that explores how they grow, what they see and hear, why they look like their parents and more. Read full book review >