Nate will sing and dance his way right into readers’ hearts. This is an encore performance that will leave them standing in...

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FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE!

Goodbye, Jankburg…hello, Broadway! Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is back (Better Nate Than Ever, 2013) in all his hilarious, vulnerable and heartwarming glory and headed “home” to the Great White Way.

Cast as Alien Number Seven and the understudy to E.T.’s understudy in the hotly anticipated E.T.: The Musical, Nate is prepared to do whatever it takes to make his dreams come true—even if it means a lot more cardio than he’d ever imagined. Nate navigates the rocky terrain of pushy child stars, stage momzillas and secret admirers with a wit and charm well beyond his years. Readers of the first book will be delighted at the continuation of Nate’s practice of substituting names of Broadway flops as swearwords, which he kindly explains for the uninitiated. While humor is clearly one of Federle’s strengths, what sets this novel apart is how beautifully he explores Nate’s vulnerabilities, particularly with regard to his sexuality, his family and his own self-esteem. Lines such as, “I never sit when I’m on the phone with Dad, because it’s the only time I get to practice what it feels like to stand up to him,” speak volumes about Nate and will surely resonate with any reader who has ever felt out of place in his own home…or in his own skin.

Nate will sing and dance his way right into readers’ hearts. This is an encore performance that will leave them standing in the aisles. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4693-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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Moving and poetic.

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PAX

A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

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The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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