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Jean Westmoore

Jean Westmoore is a digital content editor and the News' longtime children's book reviewer. She was the editor of The News' award-winning youth section, NeXt, from 1998 to 2009.


YOUNG ADULT Pet by Akwaeke Emezi; Make Me a World, 208 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This brilliant, evocative, beautifully crafted novel from Igbo and Tamil novelist Akwaeke Emezi is set in a post-revolution, post-bigotry, post-violence utopia, in a town named Lucille where "angels" have vanquished all the "monsters." "the angels banned firearms, not just…

YOUNG ADULT The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys; Philomel Books, 512 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. This enthralling work of historical fiction casts a sharp spotlight on Spain under the Fascist rule of Francisco Franco, with a particular focus on the suffering of  children and young people whose parents were imprisoned, tortured and executed for their Republica…

YOUNG ADULT SLAY by Brittney Morris; Simon Pulse, 318 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. A safe space for black gamers like herself, a game celebrating black heroes and black culture, a virtual reality without trolls or racist slurs. That's the genius and genesis of SLAY, a multiplayer online role-playing card game created anonymously by a black teenager in this thrillin…

CHILDREN'S Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo; Candlewick Press, 241 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... Fierce, stubborn, brave Beverly Louise Tarpinski will steal your heart in this heartbreakingly lovely, perfect gem of a book from the great Kate DiCamillo, the culmination of three books that began with National Book Award-nominated "Raymie Nightingale" and con…

YOUNG ADULT The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee; G.P. Putnam's Sons, 366 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... Stacey Lee, a fourth-generation Chinese American, casts a vivid spotlight on the post-Reconstruction South and the rank injustice and cruelty inflicted on newly freed blacks and on Chinese immigrants in this beautifully written, illuminating novel set in 1890 …

CHILDREN'S Dead Voices by Katherine Arden; G.P. Putnam's Sons, 256 pages ($16.99) Ages 10 and up. ... The three friends who survived an encounter with menacing scarecrows and the nasty smiling man in "Small Spaces" return for an equally scary adventure in this thrilling, pitch-perfect follow-up, as Katherine Arden once again shows herself to be the master of the h…

CHILDREN'S The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School by Kristin Mahoney; Knopf, 288 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This utterly charming novel, written as advice from sixth grader Augusta "Gus" Reynolds to her little sister, explores middle school through the lens of the people Augusta meets there as she attempts to find her "village," her "people," as her perc…

CHILDREN'S The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner; Henry Holt, 267 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This dazzling debut novel from Heather Kassner offers a breathtakingly original tale, at once terrifying and thrilling, of a girl conjured up out of bone dust and imagination, and of her struggle to break free of her creator. Irréelle, with her long white hair, misma…

PICTURE BOOK Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team by Susan Hood and Pathana Sornhiran, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk; Harper ($17.99) ... Award-winning nonfiction author Susan Hood brings her lyrical gifts to the first-hand account by reporter Pathana Sornhiran of the amazing rescue by an international dive team of 12 boys of the Wi…

YOUNG ADULT The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen; Henry Holt, 369 pages ($18.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Publishers Weekly used the phrase "visceral fantasy" for Margaret Owen's extraordinary debut novel, and there's no better phrase to describe her vivid prose, that sings and sparks as it plunges  the reader into a meticulously crafted world, into the headlong rush of …

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Bills training camp was in its third day at St. John Fisher College in Rochester on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Training camp continues through Aug. 6. The Bills play the Colts in their first preseason home game Aug. 8.

YOUNG ADULT Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly; Scholastic, 342 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Award-winning author Jennifer Donnelly offers a fresh and feminist take on the Brothers Grimm version of the Cinderella story in this intriguing novel told from the perspective of Isabelle, the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes, at her mother's command, so she could …