Books by Mary Hoffman

Mary Hoffman is the author of the first two Stravaganza books, City of Masks and City of Stars, as well as more than eighty other books for children. For the Stravaganza series, Mary traveled to Italy many times to research the history of each setting. Ma


PIRATE BABY by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2017

"A bonny but uneven bit o' tale telling. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Six buccaneers and a baby. Read full book review >
THE GREAT BIG BODY BOOK by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"Cheerful and informative, this is a splendid introduction for humans of all shapes and sizes to share. (Informational picture book. 3-7)"
What is a body? Read full book review >
THE GREAT BIG GREEN BOOK by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2015

"Far too hard a sell for the intended audience. (glossary, websites) (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
Busy, colorful cartoons accompany text meant to encourage environmental activism in children. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2014

"Laudable in its inclusivity and content, imperfect in execution. (Informational picture book. 5-8)"
In a companion to The Great Big Book of Families (2011), Hoffman and Asquith tackle the myriad ways families are made in the 21st century.Read full book review >
THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF FEELINGS by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 13, 2013

"Well-intentioned but only intermittently effective. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A smorgasbord of thoughts and pictures about a variety of feelings. Read full book review >
THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES by The Brothers Grimm
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"A pleasant retelling enhanced by a truly original presentation. (Fairy tale. 7-10)"
A traditional Grimm tale is retold, with mixed results, in chapter form for "confident readers." Read full book review >
DAVID by Mary Hoffman
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 11, 2011

"Nonfiction masquerading as a novel and failing as either sort of narrative. (character list, historical note, glossary) (Historical fiction. 13 & up)"
The author of the Stravaganaza series reveals the muse behind Michelangelo's David. Read full book review >
THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF FAMILIES by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2011

"A sublimely simple idea, brilliantly executed. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A primer on families in words and pictures. Read full book review >
TROUBADOUR by Mary Hoffman
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"Serviceable, but it could have been so much more. (Historical fiction. YA)"
Intertwining narratives of the 13th century add up to less than the sum of their parts. Read full book review >
KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE BIBLE by Mary Hoffman
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"A concluding page locates the stories within the books of the Old Testament. (Picture book/religion. 6-9)"
Hoffman, author of the Amazing Grace and Stravaganza series, offers her third entry in her series of Bible story collections with this thematic exploration of the kings and queens of the Old Testament. Read full book review >
PRINCESS GRACE by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Just right. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Grace longs to be chosen to be a princess in the town parade. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2007

"Lightly historical and heavily fictional. (Historical fiction. YA)"
In Hoffman's latest, readers will have to suspend plenty of disbelief, and endure a few instances of deus ex machina, as well as the author's lighthearted treatment of many of the tenets of Catholic doctrine that even nonbelievers may find offensive. Read full book review >
STRAVAGANZA by Mary Hoffman
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"Bonus: Fans should flock to the history section to investigate the fascinating setting. (Fantasy. 11+)"
A crackerjack conclusion to a superior historical fantasy trilogy. Read full book review >
BRAVO, GRACE! by Mary Hoffman
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 2005

"A nice addition to the easily read British series. (Fiction. 8-10)"
The spirited Grace is back with her gang and quite a few changes, in her fourth outing, tackling a host of issues including divorce, moving, her mother's wedding, a new baby, a friend's eating disorder, jealousy and bullying. Read full book review >
ENCORE, GRACE! by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2003

"Good discussion material as well as realistic early fiction for read-aloud sessions. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Confident, determined Grace is back in a new school year sporting lots of changes that challenge her comfort zone within her circle of friends and immediate family. Read full book review >
STRAVAGANZA II: CITY OF STARS by Mary Hoffman
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"A fine read on its own, and a compelling entry in an addictive series. (Fantasy. 11+)"
This second exploration of the dimension of the "stravagantes" sets their wider political intrigues in a more intimate personal context. Read full book review >
ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2003

"Noah and his dove star on the cover, with the dove taking just flight from Noah's outstretched hands. (author's note, source notes) (Nonfiction. 4-9)"
Hoffman and Morris (Miracles: Wonders Jesus Worked, not reviewed, etc.) team up for their third collaboration on a Biblical theme. Read full book review >
STRAVAGANZA by Mary Hoffman
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"The tidy resolution seems to leave little room for sequels; still, some intriguing minor characters and glimpses of other cities hint at a richer world than so far revealed. (Fantasy. 11+)"
Political intrigue unfolds against the glittering backdrop of an alternative Venice, in the first of a promised trilogy. Read full book review >
THE COLOR OF HOME by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"The subtext of Hassan's family as persecuted Muslims might give children pause to find a new perspective on today's headlines. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A picture is worth a thousand words and, in this case, helps a young immigrant Somali boy make the transition into his new culture. Read full book review >
STARRING GRACE by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2000

"However, readers already familiar with these characters may enjoy learning about their new adventures. (Fiction. 5-9)"
The creators of the popular picture books Amazing Grace (1991) and Boundless Grace (1995) have brought fans a beginning chapter book about Grace and her friends. Read full book review >
THREE WISE WOMEN by Mary Hoffman
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"Deep blues, glowing reds, and rich purples spill over the spreads, lending visual depth to an otherwise disappointingly shallow story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Three Wise Women (32 pp.; $16.99; Oct.; 0-8037-2466-7) This uninspired retelling of the gifts of the magi adds little to the original version. Read full book review >
EARTH, FIRE, WATER, AIR by Mary Hoffman
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"A genuine feast for the eyes. (Picture book. 9+)"
A book about the myths and facts associated with the four elements. Read full book review >
BOUNDLESS GRACE by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1995

"Scenes of the Gambia show painstaking research in every lush scene. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A poignant challenge to the myth of the Ozzie and Harriet- style nuclear family and answer for the pain of those who feel their families don't fit the mold. Read full book review >
THE FOUR-LEGGED GHOSTS by Mary Hoffman
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 7-11)"
Alex Brodie and his sister long for a pet, but Carrie's asthma keeps them from having one until Alex is finally allowed a white mouse in his room. ``Cedric'' is no ordinary mouse—he summons up his own grandfather and then, as the days pass, the many former animal inhabitants of the Victorian house. Read full book review >
HENRY'S BABY by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Henry yearns to be one of a group of boys who seem to be special: Skif is ``trendy''; ``The Prof [is] a computer-head''; ``Zip'' is a whiz at sports; Jake is really tough. Read full book review >
AMAZING GRACE by Mary Hoffman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"It's easy to catch the wholesomely assertive spirit here—as Binch does, in this excellent debut, with her detailed, realistic watercolors; vibrant Grace almost springs from the page. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Grace loves to act out her favorite stories, taking every part from Joan of Arc to Mowgli. Read full book review >