Hesson: Children's book reviews for July 2024

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The World In Our Backyard

By Jami Gigo

(A Paula Wiseman Book)

This beautifully illustrated picture book explores and reimagines every child’s backyard. Whether they are in a city or a country setting, children visualize mountains, forests, oceans, and deserts. Gardens and streets are full of energy, ready to be discovered. Each one is different yet similar. A wonderful and fun way to encourage young readers to discover and bring to life, the outdoor spaces of their homes.

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Dalmartian

A Mars Rover’s Story

By Lucy Ruth Cummins

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

When a young Martian dog visits Stephen’s house on Earth, it is accidentally left behind. Stephen invites the Dalmatian in and soon finds it’s not just an ordinary dog. It refuses to eat until offered bacon, prefers to walk upright alongside Stephen, and thinks the dog park is a very unhygienic place. After a few compromises, they become best friends. When the dog is rescued and has a chance to return home, he decides home is now with Stephen. Filled with softly coloured illustrations, this is an amusing book about co-operation, companionship, and the funny habits of dogs.

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Always Anthony

By Terri Libenson

(Balzer and Bray)

When basketball player Anthony receives a D on his English assignment, his teacher gives him the chance to rewrite it and assigns Leah as his tutor. Leah is smart and quirky and very intimidated to be helping Anthony, who is one of the TPFW (Too Popular For Words) students. As we follow their sessions together we also get a glimpse of their separate lives. A friendship forms as they face the rocky past they share. This graphic-style story is a compelling read and faces the serious issues of bullying and taking a stand against it.

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Deep Water

By Jamie Sumner

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

With the help of her best friend Arch, Tully wants to be the youngest person to swim the 12-mile Lake Tahoe marathon. As she narrates her story, in verse, readers follow her every stroke and thought. Short chapters track the hours, as she sinks deeper into memories of her mom’s relentless coaching, and her mom’s devastating departure, hoping that this daring feat will bring her back. The closer she gets to her goal, the more dangerous the conditions become. Middle-grade readers will plunge into this fiction that takes a realistic look into depression, and perseverance.

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