Jean Westmoore, The Buffalo News
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Jean Westmoore

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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.

GRAPHIC NOVEL Fish Girl by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli; Clarion Books, 192 pages $25 hardcover, $17.99 paperback Ages 10 to 12. ... Three-time Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner and acclaimed author Donna Jo Napoli combine their considerable talents in this fascinating graphic novel, a magical if rather disturbing tale of a young mermaid kept in a boardwalk aqua…

CHILDREN'S One Amazing Elephant by Linda Oatman High; HarperCollins, 257 pages ($16.99). Grades 3 to 7. ... Twelve-year-old Lily Rose and circus elephant Queenie Grace alternate as narrators in this poignant novel of friendship, family and home, set in the Magic Mountain Campground in West Virginia and the “circus town” of Gibtown, Fla., a designated “residentia…

PICTURE BOOK Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History by Walter Dean Myers; illustrated by Floyd Cooper; Harper, $17.99. Ages 4 to 8.  ... The illustrious Walter Dean Myers, a five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, teams up with acclaimed artist Floyd Cooper, also a Coretta Scott King Award-winner, for this excellent illustrated biography of the great aboli…

YOUNG ADULT City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson; G.P. Putnam's Sons; 401 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. ... Debut author Natalie C. Anderson used her background as a relief worker in Africa in crafting this pulse-pounding thriller of refugees, street gangs, murder, corruption, sacrifice and resilience set against the vivid backdrop of the fictional cit…

YOUNG ADULT Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine; Philomel Books, 228 pages ($17.99). Ages 12 and up. ... A 16-year-old arsonist reconnects with the absentee millionaire art-collector father she’s been taught to hate in this beautifully written, wondrously plotted novel that is equal parts love story, thrilling mystery, meditation on art, and harrowing tale of family dys…

CHILDREN’S The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli; Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers; 339 pages, ($16.99) Ages 9 to 12. ... This poignant novel of love, loss and sacrifice, set in 1959 in the small town of Two Mills outside Philadelphia, comes from the author of many acclaimed novels for this age group including Newbery Medal winner “Maniac Magee. “ Twelv…

CHILDREN’S Elon Musk and The Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance; HarperCollins, 288 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 and up. Adapted for young readers. (Jan. 24 publication.) ... Journalist Ashlee Vance had exclusive access to Elon Musk and his family and friends (even his classmates from Musk’s childhood days in South Africa) for this riveting biography, adapted for…

CHILDREN'S Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan; Penguin Random House, $16.99. Ages 8 to 12. Jan 31 publication ... This fabulously entertaining novel, rich in both humor and heart, was inspired by Holly Goldberg Sloan’s childhood experience playing a Munchkin in a summer theater production of “The Wizard of Oz.” It was also inspired by her experience being the shortes…

PICTURE BOOK   Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol; Roaring Brook Press;  $17.99 ... An author-illustrator born in Moscow weaves something new and entirely original from familiar fairy tale elements in this charming Russian-flavored picture book about a cranky grandmother “who lived in a small village in a small house with a very big family” and who wishes on…

PICTURE BOOK Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol; Roaring Brook Press; $17.99 ... An author-illustrator born in Moscow weaves something new and entirely original from familiar fairy tale elements in this charming Russian-flavored picture book of a cranky grandmother “who lived in a small village in a small house with a very big family” and who wishes only to find a quie…

MEMOIR Krysia, A Polish Girl’s Stolen Childhood During World War II, by Krystyna Mihulka with Krystyna Poray Goddu; Chicago Review Press, 168 pages $17.99. Ages 8 to 14. ... Krysia Mihulka, daughter of a judge in Lwow, then southeastern Poland, was nine years old when the Germans invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. This harrowing memoir of her “stolen childhood” tell…