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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 Lucky Caller by Emma Mills; Henry Holt, 323 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Emma Mills has a gift for creating appealing characters, believable family situations and funny dialogue, and "Lucky Caller" is a well-crafted gem of a teen romance. Hoping for an easy and fun elective her senior year, 17-year-old Nina signs up for a radio broadcasting cl…

YOUNG ADULT Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean, Flatiron Books, 336 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. ... British author Geraldine McCaughrean weaves a kind of magic in this haunting, unforgettable tale of survival based on an actual event "at the end of the world" – the St. Kilda archipelago, the remote westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides off Scotla…

GRAPHIC NOVEL Cub by Cynthia L. Copeland; Algonquin Young Readers, 223 pages ($12.95) Ages 8 to 12. ... Cynthia Copeland's funny and charming graphic novel memoir, of her transformative seventh grade year, was inspired by her experience as a cub reporter for the local paper in her hometown of Litchfield, Conn., starting in seventh grade. Her wonderful illustratio…

CHILDREN'S Clean Getaway by Nic Stone; Crown Books for Young Readers, 223 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. (Jan. 7 publication) ... In her first novel for middle grade readers, Nic Stone offers a charming, poignant, often funny tale of a black boy and his white grandmother taking a road trip through civil rights history and uncovering some family secrets at the same t…

YOUNG ADULT The Color of the Sun by David Almond; Candlewick Press, 224 pages ($16.99) Ages 12 and up. ... All the promise and mystery of life reveals itself over the course of a single day, as a boy wanders the countryside around his small town in this beguiling, perfect gem of a tale from acclaimed British writer David Almond. A few weeks after his father's d…

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett; Little, Brown, 387 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... Debut novelist Claire Eliza Bartlett offers compelling characters, harrowing action sequences and an intricately crafted alternate universe of a world at war in this thrilling, fiercely feminist fantasy inspired by the Night Witches, female Soviet fighter pilots who hara…

CHILDREN'S My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder; Walden Pond Press, 291 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This poignant novel, of overwhelming grief and the seemingly magical healing power of friendship, comes from the author of National Book Award nominee "Orphan Island." School is out, it's June in Atlanta and for the first time 13-year-old Leah is not going to sum…

CHILDREN'S Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alex Nabaum; Caitlyn Dlouhy Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 189 pages ($17.99) Ages 10 to 14. ... The science of boogers – and being a friend. Stealing pocket change, for a higher purpose. Wiping out on a skateboard. Sticking up for a friend even when it costs you. Cracki…

YOUNG ADULT Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby; Balzer + Bray, 358 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This soaring, stunning novel – a finalist for the National Book Award –  takes its inspiration from Laura Ruby's mother-in-law's experience at the Guardian Angel Orphanage in Chicago during the 1930s and '40s. Ruby's mother-in-law – like the F…

CHILDREN'S Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman; GodwinBooks/Henry Holt, 267 pages ($19.99) Ages 10 and up. ... Deborah Heiligman, author of National Book Award finalist "Charles and Emma" and Printz Honor book "Vincent and Theo," again combines her talent for meticulous research and her gift for story…

CHILDREN'S Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly; illustrations by Lian Cho; Greenwillow Books, 384 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... A man with horns and no eyes, a murderous giant birdwoman, ravenous creatures that claw at one's hands, an eel woman,  a vengeful mountain. These are among the terrors and wonders encountered by a 12-year-old girl who brave…