Saturday, December 29, 2018

Year in Review: Top Ten Picture Book Biographies

Favorite Picture Book Biographies (in no particular order)

  1. Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen. Deborah Hopkinson. Illustrated by Qin Leng. 2018. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books. Michelle Markel. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. 2017. 44 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. How Sweet the Sound: the Story of Amazing Grace. Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. 2018. Simon & Schuster. 48 pages. [Source: Library] 
  4. Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13. Helaine Becker. Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk. 2018. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein. Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Julia Sarda. 2018. 56 pages. [Source: Library] 
  6. Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art. Hudson Talbott. 2018. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  7. Vincent Can't Sleep. Barb Rosenstock. Illustrated by Mary Grandpre. 2017. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  8. Before She Was Harriet. Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illustrated by James Ransome. 2017. [November] Holiday House. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  9. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World. Susan Hood. Illustrated by Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin K. Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet. 2018. HarperCollins. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  10. Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing. Nancy Churnin. Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez. 2018. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

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