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.


YOUNG ADULT Boy by Blake Nelson; Simon & Schuster, 358 pages ($18.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This riveting novel of a teenage boy's journey toward self-discovery comes from the author of 1994 coming-of-age classic "Girl," "Recovery Road" and "Paranoid Park," which was made into a movie by Gus Van Sant. "Boy" is written as the interior monologue of Gavin Meeks, who is t…

YOUNG ADULT In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody; Farrar Straus Giroux, 449 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up.  ... What if? What if you had a do-over of a decision you've lived to regret? Or at least a chance to see what might have been if you'd chosen a different course? Jessica Brody has crafted a clever, funny, hugely entertaining novel which plays with that very idea. …

CHILDREN'S Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh; HarperCollins, 288 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... Twelve-year-old Harper Raine has moved in the middle of the summer with her parents, her older sister Kelly and four-year-old brother Michael from New York City to Washington, D.C., into a spooky old house with "gothic charm" that is rumored to be haunted. Harper has a bad feeli…

YOUNG ADULT No Good Deed by Kara Connolly; Delacorte Press, 352 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This marvelous time-traveling adventure offers a clever girl-power take on the Robin Hood legend and is swashbuckling good fun, but it's debut author Kara Connolly's attention to historical detail that makes it such a terrific read. Eleanor "Ellie" Hudson is grieving the…

CHILDREN'S NONFICTION Wicked Bugs: The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth by Amy Stewart; Algonquin Young Readers, 192 pages ($19.95) Ages 8 to 12. (Aug. 8 publication) ... Amy Stewart's young readers edition of her New York Times bestseller is at once fascinating, entertaining, informative and horrifying.  One example of her amusing, accessible style: "The bed…

CHILDREN'S Dragon's Green: Worldquake Book One by Scarlett Thomas; Simon & Schuster, 369 pages ($17.99) Ages 9 to 12. This marvelous fantasy - of a world where magic exists, where books are endangered and where children must do battle to save the world - takes place in a dystopian future "something like 1992,"  after a Worldquake has taken down the Internet and …

YOUNG ADULT Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden; Bloomsbury, 217 pages ($17.99) Ages 13 and up. Tonya Bolden, brilliant chronicler of the African-American experience, brings the fire to this searing, heart-rending, unforgettable novel based on a disgraceful, little-known event  in American history: Near the end of the Civil War, during Sherman's March through Geor…

CHILDREN'S Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar; Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 231 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... Ruth Behar  takes her childhood experience of a year spent in a body cast after a terrible car accident to create a powerful tale of suffering, courage, forgiveness and starting anew in her marvelous first novel for young readers. Ruth and her family were Cub…

YOUNG ADULT Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson; 272 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This lovely novel, of learning to love again after unspeakable loss, delicately interweaves the stories of three teenage girls across a 150-year sweep of history. Anderson, author of critically acclaimed "Tiger Lily" and "The Vanishing Season," brings to vivid life three v…

CHILDREN'S NONFICTION Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman; Henry Holt, 424 pages ($19.99) ... Deborah Heiligman was a National Book Award finalist for her marvelous biography "Charles and Emma" for young readers, and she brings the same original perspective, artistry, meticulous research and love for her subjects to this ambitious, heart-wrenc…

CHILDREN'S The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi; Algonquin Young Readers, 320 pages ($16.95) Ages 8 to 12. ... This entertaining work of historical fiction, set in 1724, comes from prolific author Avi, who  won the 2003 Newbery Medal for "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" set in 14th century England. The unfortunately named Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes up in …

GRAPHIC NOVEL Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham; First Second, $12.99. (Ages 8 to 12) ... Shannon Hale,  author of many marvelous novels for children including "Princess Academy," tells the true story of her struggles as a kid to make friends and keep them in this bracingly honest, painfully real graphic memoir in the tradition of the autobiographical graphi…

"Master of None" is a marvelous show that offers the rapid-fire laughs of the best stand-up comedy along with insights about dating, parents and finding your way in the world. It's from the perspective of the Indian-American experience as only Aziz Ansari could deliver. The actor, best-known as Tom Haverford in NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation," created and writes this sma…

PICTURE BOOK Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket,illustrations by Lisa Brown; Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99. ...  The author of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series brings his wonderfully skewed and original perspective to this unusual exploration of the afterlife featuring a goldfish who has gone belly up in the fishbowl.  The journey begins: "Goldfish …