Fodder for future arborists but probably not casual tree lovers.

A FOREST IN THE CITY

Trees are beneficial for city dwellers’ health and survival.

Curtis inundates readers with seemingly every possible fact about trees in urban areas. Many Indigenous peoples made their homes in forests; later, settlers cleared trees to make homes and roads and buildings. Trees were relegated to the outskirts of towns and cities or to the private gardens of the rich. Industrialization caused urban populations to explode, and trees were further crowded out. Parks were established in some cities so their inhabitants could enjoy a bit of fresh air and space. More details are introduced: the ravages of Dutch elm disease, the structure of a tree and the urban forest, the impacts of insects and other pests, and current methods of planting and maintaining city trees. The many health and economic benefits trees provide for urban populations are heavily stressed. Also in the mix are exhortations advocating for urban forests in the face of climate change and pollution. The information is fascinating, but the lengthy, densely set, and comprehensive text is overwhelming. The language and vocabulary are of a very high level and read as a lecture or convention speech. Pratt’s bright green trees stand out in the cityscapes, but the people are cartoony, and there is a madcap, hasty quality to many of the scenes, belying the seriousness of the subject.

Fodder for future arborists but probably not casual tree lovers. (glossary, sources) (Informational picture book. 9-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77306-142-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A voyage both singular and universal, marked by sharply felt risks and rewards and deep waters beneath.

NORTHWIND

A solitary young traveler paddles through an archipelago of natural, often dangerous, wonders, learning as he goes.

Though the metaphorical layer lies barely beneath the surface in this short novel, Paulsen’s spare prose and legendary knowledge of the challenges and techniques of wilderness survival make the journey through a landscape that evokes historical Scandinavia compelling reading. Sole survivor—and that just barely—of the gruesomely depicted cholera that sweeps through his camp, 12-year-old Leif comes away with a dugout canoe, a few basic outdoor skills, and the command from a dying, respected elder to head north. Subsisting largely on blackberries and salmon, he travels a winding route through fjords and a seemingly endless string of islets and inlets where he finds both danger and delight in searching for food and shelter, literally coming face to face with bears and whales, struggling to survive a deadly tidal whirlpool, and coming to understand the importance of seeing and learning from the ways and rhythms of “this place and all places that will come to me.” Calling on memories, Paulsen writes in an autobiographical afterword of his Norwegian immigrant grandmother’s tales. References to Odin and whalers give the setting a timelessly folkloric feeling. Final art not seen.

A voyage both singular and universal, marked by sharply felt risks and rewards and deep waters beneath. (Historical adventure. 9-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-374-31420-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

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DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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