Jean Westmoore - The Buffalo News

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Jean Westmoore

Member of News digital desk and longtime News' children's book reviewer News employee since 1983, serving on copy desk, as assistant city editor, NeXt editor, Features copy editor. Previously worked as reporter and editor at the Niagara Gazette. Graduate of Oberlin College and Lockport Senior High School. Native of Dayton, Ohio.


Books

There were some marvelous keepers among the floodtide of books for young readers from publishers this year. HOLIDAY DELIGHTS Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup, illustrated by Brett Helquist; Candlewick Press ($17.99) Ages 8 to 12. This delicious holiday confection, is set in 1892 St. Petersburg, Russia, where a mouse ballet company living under the floorboards …

CHILDREN’S The Road to Ever After by Moira Young, illustrated by Hannah George; Feiwel and Friends, 211 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This bewitching, mysterious and beautiful book will sweep you up from the first page. In the dismal, dead-end town of Brownvale, 13-year-old orphan Davy David feels a strange compulsion to draw elaborate angel pictures with twig brooms…

YOUNG  ADULT Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl; Farrar Straus Giroux, 279 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. From the author of 2013 adult novel "Lessons in French" comes a love story like no other, set in summer in France and told in the unforgettable voice of a 16-year-old boy on the autism spectrum.  Martin, son of a French father and American mother, has always attended a …

Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend; Little, Brown, 461 pages ($17.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... A cursed, unloved child is spirited away from certain death to a magical city by a mysterious patron who has entered her in a dangerous competition to win a place in the Wundrous  Society in this marvelous, beautifully crafted fantasy from debut author Jess…

GRAPHIC NOVEL Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer l. Holm & Matthew Holm, color by Lark Pien; Graphix/Scholastic, 217 pages ($24.99 hardcover, $12.99 paperback) Ages 8 to 12. ... The brother-sister team behind graphic novel series "Babymouse" and "Squish" offer a marvelous sequel to"Sunny Side Up," a poignant but upbeat tale in which young Sunny was sent off to live wit…

Young Adult The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Zelukin Thwaites; GodwinBooks/Henry Holt; 423 pages ($19.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This stunning novel of the Holocaust, from Spanish novelist and journalist Antonio Iturbe, is based on the true story of 14-year-old Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus who risked her life to protect a ragged asso…

YOUNG ADULT Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson; Candlewick Press, 149 pages ($16.99) Ages 12 and up. M.T. Anderson, author of National Book Award finalist "Feed" and the "Octavian Nothing" books, offers up a brilliant satire in this harrowing tale of a future Earth ruled by the vuuv, an alien race with advanced technology and an obsession with 1950s cultu…

CHILDREN'S The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange; Scholastic ($16.99) Ages 10 and up. ... A British author makes a dazzling debut in this poignant, beautifully written, enthralling novel set in England in 1919 after the devastation of the Great War. The novel opens with 12-year-old Henrietta, her parents and baby sister moving into Hope House, a rambling house …

YOUNG ADULT Turtles All the Way Down by John Green; Dutton, 286 pages ($19.99) Ages 12 and up. ... John Green, YA superstar author of critically acclaimed "The Fault in Our Stars" (which the Washington Post called a "tough, touching valentine to the human spirit"), offers his most personal novel yet in this compelling new novel told from the perspective of a 16-year-o…

Nation and World

By THOMAS KAPLAN WASHINGTON – The Senate took a significant step toward rewriting the tax code Thursday night with the passage of a budget blueprint that would protect a $1.5 trillion tax cut from a Democratic filibuster. The budget resolution could also pave the way for opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration by ensuring that dril…

POETRY I'm Just No Good at Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith; Little, Brown, 221 pages ($19.99) Ages 6 and up .... Chris Harris, writer and producer of "How I Met Your Mother," proves himself a worthy heir to the late, great Shel Silverstein ("Where the Sidewalk Ends") with this marvelous an…

Nation and World

By Eileen Sullivan WASHINGTON – President Trump has denied a congresswoman’s account that he told a grieving soldier’s widow in a phone call that the soldier “knew what he signed up for,” saying on Wednesday that the Democratic representative’s description was “totally fabricated.” Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., recounted details of Trump’s call with Sgt. La David T.…

CHILDREN'S The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 295 pages ($16.99) Ages 7 to 10. ... This wonderful debut novel brings to vivid life a lovable, big, biracial family and their vibrant Harlem neighborhood and is a stellar entry in the library of children's novels of  book families, in the vein of Jeanne Birdsall's  "Penderwicks…

YOUNG ADULT You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins; Farrar Straus Giroux, 303 pages, ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This lovely narrative of mothers and daughters, of the immigrant experience, of female empowerment and cultural and racial identity, of leaving home and starting over, spans generations and continents, from Calcutta to Ghana to London to Harlem. It's t…