“Sanctuary” springs from the Latin sanctus, or holy—and the Tates have kept that well in mind.

TAKE SHELTER

AT HOME AROUND THE WORLD

From the Orca Footprints series

Once you start thinking of your home as a sanctuary, then your ingenuity can run pretty wild, as seen in this global tour of dwellings.

People find habitation pretty much anywhere, from scrap tin and wood to a sizable piece of cardboard. But destitution is not the Tates’ point. It is to show how people have used the materials at their disposal to fashion creative and wildly diverse dwellings not as a matter of last resort but as a matter of snugness, a place that provides a sense of comfort and security. The photographs are key: They convey a sense of place, evoking places where readers could imagine unfurling their bedrolls. The Tates moved about a great deal as kids, living in over 50 places by high school, so they have seen their share of different homes. But here, they get into some good and curious abodes: castles to yurts to igloos, Japanese capsule hotels (not for the claustrophobic), long houses and treehouses, wagons to teepees, and lots of caves and underground sites, including abandoned opal mines and storm drains. The supplementary text provides setting and logistical peculiarities, but more than that, it provides anecdotes about the homes, from the beautiful designs on the vardos (Romany caravans) to the cave complex used as sanctuary by Jewish refugees from the Nazis.

“Sanctuary” springs from the Latin sanctus, or holy—and the Tates have kept that well in mind. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0742-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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An inspirational exploration of caring among parent, teacher and child—one of Grimes’ best. (Poetry. 8-12)

WORDS WITH WINGS

In this delightfully spare narrative in verse, Coretta Scott King Award–winning Grimes examines a marriage’s end from the perspective of a child.

Set mostly in the wake of her father’s departure, only-child Gabby reveals with moving clarity in these short first-person poems the hardship she faces relocating with her mother and negotiating the further loss of a good friend while trying to adjust to a new school. Gabby has always been something of a dreamer, but when she begins study in her new class, she finds her thoughts straying even more. She admits: “Some words / sit still on the page / holding a story steady. / … / But other words have wings / that wake my daydreams. / They … / tickle my imagination, / and carry my thoughts away.” To illustrate Gabby’s inner wanderings, Grimes’ narrative breaks from the present into episodic bursts of vivid poetic reminiscence. Luckily, Gabby’s new teacher recognizes this inability to focus to be a coping mechanism and devises a daily activity designed to harness daydreaming’s creativity with a remarkably positive result for both Gabby and the entire class. Throughout this finely wrought narrative, Grimes’ free verse is tight, with perfect breaks of line and effortless shifts from reality to dream states and back.

An inspirational exploration of caring among parent, teacher and child—one of Grimes’ best. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-985-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid.

JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL

From the Jake the Fake series , Vol. 1

Black sixth-grader Jake Liston can only play one song on the piano. He can’t read music very well, and he can’t improvise. So how did Jake get accepted to the Music and Art Academy? He faked it.

Alongside an eclectic group of academy classmates, and with advice from his best friend, Jake tries to fit in at a school where things like garbage sculpting and writing art reviews of bird poop splatter are the norm. All is well until Jake discovers that the end-of-the-semester talent show is only two weeks away, and Jake is short one very important thing…talent. Or is he? It’s up to Jake to either find the talent that lies within or embarrass himself in front of the entire school. Light and humorous, with Knight’s illustrations adding to the fun, Jake’s story will likely appeal to many middle-grade readers, especially those who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. While the artsy antics may be over-the-top at times, this is a story about something that most preteens can relate to: the struggle to find your authentic self. And in a world filled with books about wanting to fit in with the athletically gifted supercliques, this novel unabashedly celebrates the artsy crowd in all of its quirky, creative glory.

A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-52351-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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