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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.


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…

YOUNG ADULT Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Little Brown, 358 pages ($18.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This fine novelization of the hit musical, a collaboration between the musical's creators and novelist Val Emmich, beautifully tells the poignant story of a lonely, despairing teenager who accidentally, miraculous…

Gusto

Fans of “Downton Abbey” and British period dramas in general will enjoy this entertaining series set in the late 18th century, filmed on location in Cornwall and starring dashing Capt. Ross Poldark, who gallops about the scenic countryside in his high boots and tri-corner hat, scandalizing his peers in the gentry with his sympathy for the working class. This excellent adap…

YOUNG ADULT Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram; Dial Books for Young Readers, 312 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This stunning, beautifully written debut novel, about a teenage boy's voyage of self-discovery while visiting relatives in Iran, offers a wonderful voice in Darius Kellner, son of a Persian mother and a white father. Darius, who, like his d…

YOUNG ADULT Pride by Ibi Zoboi; Balzer + Bray/Harper-Collins, 304 pages ($17.99) Ages 13 and up. "It's a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it's a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up."  This 21st century twist on Jane Austen's famous opening line begins this amusin…

Education

A school district spokeswoman said Friday that authorities were speaking with a person of interest in connection with an incident earlier in the day at Leonardo da Vinci High School, which was evacuated after a female student sprayed mace either in or near a second-floor bathroom in a hallway as students were changing classes. A statement released by Buffalo Public Scho…