April 2017 Starred Reviews

Hello, my reading friends and fellow book nerds! I’m making lemonade from my lemons today – home sick with almost no voice, so I had time to write a blog post before a much-needed nap. I haven’t noted where titles have moved up this time around (say from 5 starred reviews to 6 like Vincent and Theo), but anything that is entirely new to the list is marked as such in the citations.

April 2017 journals have been entered; here’s the tally:

  •  510 books published in 2017 have been awarded 852 starred reviews as of the end of April.
  • 2 books have 6 starred reviews, 9 books have 5 starred reviews, 23 books have 4 starred reviews, 53 books have 3 starred reviews, 121 books have 2 starred reviews, 302 books have 1 starred review.

On to the list of titles!

6 starred reviews: 2 books



5 starred reviews: 9 books



4 starred reviews: 23 books



3 starred reviews: 53 books



6 starred reviews (2 titles):
The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 9780062498533. B, BCCB, HB, K, PW, SLJ.
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. Deborah Heiligman. Henry Holt. 9780805093391. B, BCCB, HB, K, PW, SLJ.

5 starred reviews (9 titles):
American Street. 
Ibi Zoboi. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 9780062473042. B, BCCB, K, PW, SLJ.
Big Cat, Little Cat. Elisha Cooper. Roaring Brook. 9781626723719. BCCB, HB, K, PW, SLJ.
Bull. David Elliott. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 9780544610606. B, BCCB, HB, K, PW.
Flying Lessons and Other Stories.
Ellen Oh, ed. Crown. ISBN 9781101934593. B, BCCB, K, SLJ, PW.
Grand Canyon. Jason Chin. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. 9781596439504. B, BCCB, HB, PW, SLJ.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors. Drew Daywalt, illus. by Adam Rex. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 9780062438898. B, BCCB, K, PW, SLJ.
Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth. Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm, illus. by Molly Bang. Scholastic/Blue Sky. 9780545805414. B, HB, K, PW, SLJ.
The Secret Project. Jonah Winter, illus. by Jeanette Winter. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane. 9781481469135. B, BCCB, HB, K, PW.
Wolf in the Snow. Matthew Cordell. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends. 9781250076366. B, HB, K, PW, SLJ.

4 starred reviews (23 titles):
All Ears, All Eyes. Richard Jackson, illus. by Katherine Tillotson. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy. 9781481415712. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Allegedly. Tiffany D. Jackson. HarperCollins/Katherine Teagen. 9780062422644. B, K, PW, SLJ.
City of Saints & Thieves. Natalie C. Anderson. Penguin/Putnam. 9780399547584. B, BCCB, PW, SLJ.
Crossing Ebenezer Creek. Tonya Bolden. Bloomsbury. 9781599903194. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Egg. Kevin Henkes. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 9780062408723. HB, K, PW, SLJ.
A Face Like Glass. Frances Hardinge. Abrams/Amulet. 9781419724848. B, K, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Mackenzi Lee. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 9780062382801. B, K, PW, SLJ.
A Greyhound, a Groundhog.
 Emily Jenkins, illus. by Chris Appelhans. Random House/Schwartz & Wade. ISBN 9780553498059. B, K, SLJ, PW.
Hello Universe. Erin Entrada Kelly. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 9780062414151. B, K, PW, SLJ.
History Is All You Left Me. Adam Silvera. SoHo Press/SoHo Teen. ISBN 9781616956929. B, K, SLJ, PW.
A List of Cages. Robin Roe. Disney-Hyperion. 9781484763803. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Little Fox in the Forest. Stephanie Graegin. Random House/Schwartz & Wade. 9780553537895. B, BCCB, K, PW.
*NEW* Midnight at the Electric. Jodi Lynn Anderson. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. B, K, PW, SLJ.
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Nikki Grimes. Bloomsbury. 9781619635548. BCCB, K, PW, SLJ.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illus. by Ekua Holmes. Candlewick. 9780763680947. B, BCCB, K, PW.
The Pearl Thief. Elizabeth Wein. Disney-Hyperion. 9781484717165. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Piecing Me Together. Renée Watson. Bloomsbury. 9781681191058. BCCB, K, PW, SLJ.
Speed of Life. Carol Weston. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. 9781492654490. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Strange the Dreamer. Laini Taylor. Little, Brown. 9780316341684. B, BCCB, PW, SLJ.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown. 9780316341578. B, K, PW, SLJ.
Town Is By the Sea. Joanne Schwartz, illus. by Sydney Smith. Groundwood. 9781554988716. B, HB, K, SLJ.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook. 9781596439542. B, HB, K, SLJ.
We Are Okay. Nina LaCour. Penguin/Dutton. 9780525425892. B, K, PW, SLJ.

3 starred reviews (53 titles):
Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights. Deborah Kops. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek. 9781629793238. B BCCB, K.
Amina’s Voice. Hena Khan. Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads. 9781481492065. B, K, SLJ.
Antoinette. Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Christian Robinson. 9781481457835. B, K, PW.
Ashes to Asheville. Sarah Dooley. Penguin/Putnam. 9780399165047. B, PW, SLJ.
Away. Emil Sher, illus. by Qin Leng. Groundwood. 9781554984831. B, K, SLJ.
Bang. Barry Lyga. Little, Brown. 9780316315500. K, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Be Quiet! Ryan T. Higgins. Disney-Hyperion. 9781484731628. K, PW, SLJ.
Beck. Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff. Candlewick. 9780763678425. K, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Blue Sky White Stars. Sarvinder Naberhaus, illus. by Kadir Nelson. Penguin/Dial. 9780803737006. B, K, PW.
Bronze and Sunflower. Cao Wenxuan. Candlewick. 9780763688165. B, K, PW.
*NEW* Clayton Byrd Goes Underground. Rita Williams-Garcia. HarperCollins/Amistad. 9780062215918. B, K, PW.
Deep in the Woods. Christopher Corr. Quarto/Frances Lincoln. 9781847807267. B, K, PW.
Dreamland Burning. Jennifer Latham. Little, Brown. 9780316384933. B, K, SLJ.
*NEW* Eliza and Her Monsters. Francesca Zappia. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 9780062290137. B, K, PW.
The End of the Wild. Nicole Helget. Little, Brown. 9780316245111. B, K, PW.
Forever, or a Long, Long Time. Caela Carter. HarperCollins. 9780062385680. B, K, SLJ.
Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History. Walter Dean Myers, illus. by Floyd Cooper. HarperCollins. 9780060277093. B, PW, SLJ.
Gem & Dixie. Sara Zarr. Harpercollins/Balzer + Bray. 9780062434593. B, K, PW.
*NEW* The Giant Jumperee. Julia Donaldson, illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Penguin/Dial. 9780735227972. K, PW, SLJ.
Harry Miller’s Run. David Almond, illus. by Salvatore Rubbino. Candlewick. 9780763689759. K, PW, SLJ.
Honestly Ben. Bill Konigsberg. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 9780545858267. B, PW, SLJ.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion. 9780544586505. K, PW, SLJ.
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d. Mary Losure. Candlewick. 9780763670634. HB, K, SLJ.
*NEW* Joplin, Wishing. Diane Stanley. HarperCollins/Harper. 9780062423702. B, K, PW.
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne. Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Elizabeth Zunon. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 9781481468244. B, K, PW.
Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood. Patricia C. McKissack, ed., illus. by Brian Pinkney. Random House/Schwartz & Wade. 9780375870880. K, PW, SLJ.
Life on Mars. Jon Agee. Penguin/Dial. 9780399538520. HB, K, SLJ.
Little Wolf’s First Howling. Laura McGee Kvasnosky, illus. by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee. Candlewick. 9780763689711. B, K, SLJ.
The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power. Ann Bausum. National Geographic Kids. 9781426326653. K, PW, SLJ.
Me and Marvin Gardens. Amy Sarig King. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 9780545870740. HB, PW, SLJ.
The Murderer’s Ape. Jakob Wegelius. Random House/Delacorte. 9781101931752. B, K, PW.
*NEW* The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano. Elizabeth Rusch, illus. by Marjorie Priceman. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 9781481444842. BCCB, K, PW.
*NEW* My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads. Hope Anita Smith. Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano. 9780805091892. K, PW, SLJ.
Nightlights. Lorena Alvarez. Nobrow. 9781910620137. BCCB, K, PW.
Optimists Die First. Susin Nielsen. Random House/Wendy Lamb. 9780553496901. K, PW, SLJ.
Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls. Tonya Bolden. Abrams. 9781419714559. K, PW, SLJ.
A Perfect Day. Lane Smith. Roaring Brook. 9781626725362. HB, K, SLJ.
Posted. John David Anderson. HarperCollins/Walden Pond. 9780062338204. B, K, PW.
Princess Cora and the Crocodile. Laura Amy Schlitz, illus. by Brian Floca. Candlewick. 9780763648220. B, PW, SLJ.
Priscilla Gorilla. Barbara Bottner, illus. by Michael Emberley. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 9781481458979. K, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Real Friends. Shannon Hale, illus. by LeUyen Pham. First Second. 9781626727854. B, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. Ben Costa and James Parks. Knopf. 9780399556135. BCCB, K, PW.
Round. Joyce Sidman, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 9780544387614. B, K, PW.
*NEW* Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth. Frank Cottrell Boyce. HarperCollins/Walden Pond. 9780062643629. B, K, SLJ.
*NEW* Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees. Mary Beth Leatherdale, illus. by Eleanor Shakespeare. Annick Press. 9781554518951. B, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Thick As Thieves. Megan Whalen Turner. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 9780062568243. B, PW, SLJ.
This House, Once. Deborah Freedman. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 9781481442848. K, PW, SLJ.
Train I Ride. Paul Mosier. HarperCollins. 9780062455734. B, K, PW.
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts: Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate. Avi. Workman/Algonquin. 9781616205645. B, K, PW.
The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling. Timothy Basil Ering. Candlewick. 9780763664329. B, K, SLJ.
Walk With Me. Jairo Buitrago, illus. by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood. 9781554988570. K, PW, SLJ.
*NEW* Words in Deep Blue. Cath Crowley. Knopf. 9781101937648. B, K, SLJ.
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe. Megumi Iwasa, illus. by Jun Takabatake. Gecko Press. 9781927271889. B, K, SLJ.

For information on titles with one or two starred reviews, please see the spreadsheet.

My Goodreads account is sadly out of date, but I’ve been keeping my Litsy shelves (bkwrm7) pretty accurate for my 2017 reading. I have read 4 of the books that have 5 starred reviews and would recommend them all (Big Cat, Little Cat; Flying Lessons; The Secret Project; and Wolf in the Snow). I’m still partway into The Hate U Give but hoping to make some significant progress on that post-nap.

ETA 5/10/17: After reading Debbie Reese’s analysis of The Secret Project on American Indians in Children’s Literature, I cannot whole-heartedly recommend it the way I originally stated. There are some things I very much liked about it – particularly the powerful ending, but those aren’t worth erasing Native people from the Los Alamos history. I apologize for not reading carefully enough the first time. 

Anyone who wants to share favorites they’ve already read, shout them out in the comments. Happy reading!


3 thoughts on “April 2017 Starred Reviews

  1. Thank you for updating the list. I hate it that you had to be sick for that to happen, however. Get well. The only book I have read so far that I consider Printz worthy is THE HATE U GIVE. Wowza! What a book.


    1. Thank you for the well wishes! I like to think that I would have gotten the updating done no matter what, but it made me feel better to think of it as time to be productive in another way since work was not going to be happening.

      I have to finish THE HATE U GIVE – I’ve loved what I’ve read so far, but I really want to be able to focus on it when I read it and need to carve out the time to finish up.


  2. I’m so grateful for your data obsession, Jen! You are my go-to reference to help me determine which books to add to our Newbery Club reading list. I’m reading UNDEFEATED right now and enjoying it. I hope you’re feeling better!


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