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.


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  "Penderwic…

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…

CHILDREN'S The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead with Illustrations by Erin Stead; Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 160 pages ($24.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This wonderful, beautifully illustrated volume takes some notes and a bare outline of a story Mark Twain made up for his daughters in a Paris hotel in 1879 and fleshes it out …

PICTURE BOOK Vincent Can't Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary Grandpre; Alfred A. Knopf, $17.99. Vincent Van Gogh was often plagued with insomnia, and Barb Rosenstock, the gifted author of Kandinsky picture bio "The Noisy Paint Box" (which won Caldecott Honors for Mary Grandpre), uses "Vincent can't sleep…" to begin each lo…

FICTION The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, a Lisbeth Salander Novel By David Lagercrantz; translated from the Swedish by George Goulding Alfred A. Knopf 347 pages, $27.95 Somewhere beyond the grave in the Great Hereafter, Stieg Larsson must be smiling: Lisbeth Salander, his "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," is still avenging injustice, hacking files, kicking…

YOUNG ADULT The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 385 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. Debut author Emily Bain Murphy weaves a shimmering magic into this hauntingly lovely mystery, of family secrets, of old hurts and deadly grudges, of cherished things seemingly lost forever. With their mother, Juliet, dead and their father shipped off to …

By Francisco Alvarado and Mark Berman KEY WEST, Fla. – Hurricane Irma barreled toward the U.S. mainland Wednesday, prompting the southernmost county in Florida to begin evacuations along its lone island-hopping highway while the “potentially catastrophic Category 5″ storm menaced Puerto Rico and a wide swath of the Caribbean. Forecasters said Irma posed an incr…

YOUNG ADULT Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart;  Delacorte Press, 288 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. (Sept. 5 publication) E. Lockhart, author of acclaimed 2014 best-seller "We Were Liars," delivers the goods again in this smartly crafted psychological suspense novel which unfolds in layers as she tells the tale in reverse. The tale revolves around Imogen, an orphan adopt…

CHILDREN'S Refugee by Alan Gratz; Scholastic Press, 352 pages ($16.99) Ages 9 to 12. In this heartrending and important tale for our time, Alan Gratz offers parallel stories, in alternating narratives, of three children forced to flee their native lands with their families - Josef Landau in 1939 Berlin, Isabel Fernandez in 1994 Havana and Mahmoud Bishara in 2015 Aleppo. …

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…