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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 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…

CHILDREN'S Knights vs. Dinosaurs by Matt Phelan; Greenwillow Books, 160 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... The boastful knights of Camelot have a near-death experience with some terrible lizards and emerge somewhat the wiser in this rollicking romp from award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan, liberally illustrated with his marvelous black and white cartoons. …

PICTURE BOOK Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera; illustrated by Lauren Castillo; Candlewick Press ($16.99) ... Who might you be when you grow up? Even as former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera traces the surprising trajectory of his own life,  his breathtakingly beautiful poem invites us all to dream and to imagine that even the most unlikeliest of dreams mi…

Photo Galleries

Photographs of welcome signs and other municipal markers, shot by News photographer Robert Kirkham during his travels around Western New York, offer a colorful patchwork of many WNY cities, towns, villages and hamlets with their own unique identities.

YOUNG ADULT Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman; Simon & Schuster, 390 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This harrowing, page-turner of a novel of teens struggling to survive apocalypse – a catastrophic drought in Southern California –   is dedicated "to all those struggling to undo the disastrous effects of climate change" and has already been optio…

YOUNG ADULT A Winter's Promise, The Mirror Visitor Book 1 by Christelle Dabos; translated from the French by Hildegarde Serle; Europa Editions, 491 pages ($19.99) Ages 15 and up. ... Prepared to be dazzled by this thrilling debut novel from French author Christelle Dabos, the first installment in the Mirror Visitor quartet, with its fascinating characters, intrica…

CHILDREN'S Merci Suãrez Changes Gears by Meg Medina; Candlewick Press, 355 pages ($16.99) ... Big-hearted, thoughtful Merci Suãrez will steal your heart in this poignant, beautifully written, often humorous coming-of-age tale of friendship and family. Unlike their classmates at Seward Pines Academy who take fancy vacations and live in big houses, sixth grader M…

CHILDREN'S Wundersmith, the Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend; Little, Brown,  390 pages ($17.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... Jessica Townsend lives up to the promise of her marvelous debut in this second book set in the brilliantly imagined fantasy world of Nevermoor, a magical, fluid, ever-changing cityscape with transport by umbrellas hooked on an overhead Bro…

YOUNG ADULT The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth; HarperTeen, 368 pages ($17.99) Ages 13 and up. ... There are lovely echoes of C.S. Lewis' Narnia tales in this bewitching, beautifully crafted tale – by a local author – of darkness, hope and finding your way home again. Two sisters and their brother, huddled in a backyard shelter outside their London h…