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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.


CHILDREN'S The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd; Kathy Dawson Books/Imprint Penguin-Random House; 294 pages ($16.99) Ages 9 to 12. From the very first sentence ("There is such a thing as honorable lying"), author Gail Shepherd draws the reader in to her extraordinary debut novel narrated in the smart, sassy, memorable voice of 11-year-old Lyndon "Ly…

YOUNG ADULT Beast Rider, A boy's journey beyond the border by Tony Johnston and Maria Elena Fontanot De Rhoads; Amulet Books, 159 pages ($17.99) Age 12 and up. ... This haunting, heart-wrenching tale of one boy's dangerous journey from his home in Mexico to reunite with his older brother  in Los Angeles explores the bonds of family, the ties of home, and the despe…

CHILDREN'S The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart; Henry Holt, 341 pages ($16.99) ... This heartwarming road trip tale, of a girl and her father finding their way back after a tragedy, comes from Dan Gemeinhart, Washington State-based author of "Some Kind of Courage," "Good Dog" and "The Honest Truth." Since her mother and two sisters were …

Obituaries

Dec. 5, 1953 – March 7, 2019 Ann Grace Oppedisano Moore, a retired teacher whose sunny personality earned her the nickname "Smiling Annie" even while she faced considerable health challenges, died Thursday, March 7, while under the care of Buffalo Hospice. She was 66. Mrs. Moore grew up in Honeoye Falls, the daughter of Vincent and Antoinette Oppedisano. She worked a…

CHILDREN'S The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu, Drawings by Erin McGuire; Walden Pond Press, 356 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... There is real magic in this sparkling, perfect gem of novel by the author of  "Breadcrumbs" and "The Real Boy" (which was long-listed for the National Book Award). There's a very spooky villain with a talent for magic; there is magic in the obse…

CHILDREN'S BIOGRAPHY Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge, Young Readers Edition by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve; Aladdin, 233 pages ($18.99) Ages 9 to 13. ... "Never Caught," a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction, is now available in this fine Young Readers Edition, meaning children can now learn the fascinating story of the young…

GRAPHIC NOVEL New Kid by Jerry Craft; HarperCollins, 256 pages ($12.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This smart, funny, insightful graphic novel offers a sympathetic and entertaining exploration of "new kid" drama in middle school while training a sharp spotlight on realities of race and class in America, through the experience of a 12-year-old African American boy who leave…

YOUNG ADULT Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer; Page Street Publishing, 589 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This thrilling reimagining of Norwegian fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (with elements borrowed from Scottish ballad "Tam Lin"), set in a vivid landscape inspired by 19th century Siberia, is a beautifully written tale of the power of love – an…

PICTURE BOOK What Is Given From the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison; Schwartz & Wade Books ($17.99). Ages 4 to 8. ... This eloquent tale about the joy of giving, of generosity from the heart by the poorest of the poor, acts as a sort of benediction as the final picture book by gifted storyteller Patricia McKissack, who died in 201…

CHILDREN'S The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman; Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 187 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... The author of acclaimed novel "A Time to Dance" brings a gritty realism to this  heartrending look at the plight of the homeless children of her native India in this fine novel inspired by true stories of India's homeless children. Fleeing an alcoh…

CHILDREN'S The End of the World and Beyond by Avi; Algonquin Young Readers, 325 pages ($16.95) Ages 8 to 12. ... From 81-year-old Newbery Medal-winning author Avi comes a  thrilling companion to "The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts," following 12-year-old Oliver to America after he and his sister are sentenced to transportation to America and seven years'…

YOUNG ADULT Damsel by Elana K. Arnold; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children's Books, 309 pages ($17.99) Ages 13 and up. ... Emory, the handsome prince of the Kingdom of Harding, is only following his destiny and doing as his father and grandfather have done before him when he slays the dragon, rescues the damsel and delivers her home to be his bride. From these tr…