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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 Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen; Candlewick Press, 337 pages ($18.99) Ages 16 and up. ... This beautifully written, fresh reimagining of "Beauty and the Beast" finds new depths in the familiar fairy tale, exploring the nature of ugliness, the lie of the handsome exterior, the hidden beauty of the Beast. (On the opening page is the Greta Ga…

CHILDREN’S Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins; Greenwillow Books, 223 pages ($16.99). Ages 8 to 12. ... This charming novel of a girl’s first family beach vacation vividly evokes the childhood wonder of the first experience of the ocean. Perkins, who drew the marvelous illustrations, tells the story from the younger sister’s perspective, as Alix …

CHILDREN'S The Button War: A Tale of the Great War by Avi; Candlewick Press, 229 pages ($16.99). Ages 10 to 14. The author of more than 60 books for young people including 2003 Newbery Medal-winner "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" has published, at age 80, possibly his finest work yet, in the compelling, brilliant "The Button War," which one reviewer called reminiscent of "S…

YOUNG ADULT In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira; Farrar Straus Giroux; 399 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This extraordinary, poignant, beautiful novel, of love and loss, of family secrets, of mothers and daughters, is told from the alternating perspectives of 17-year-old Marilyn and, 18 years later, of her daughter, 17-year-old Angie. Angie and her mother have alw…

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Take a closer look at Silo City, the unique industrial site where four historic grain elevators are being preserved and incorporated into varied art and music installations, theatrical performances and numerous cultural events.

CHILDREN'S Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed; Nancy Paulsen Books, 226 pages ($17.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This beautifully written, moving tale by Pakistani-American author Aisha Saeed puts a human face on the global problem of indentured servitude, the persistence of a lawless, feudal state that allows the very wealthy to keep the poor in bondage and deny them an education. …

YOUNG ADULT The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom; Feiwel and Friends, 309 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... This delightful historical adventure, set in 1808 when the “Wild West” was the Genesee Valley of Western New York, marks a promising debut for Melissa Ostrom, who teaches English literature at Genesee Community College and lives in Holley, N.Y. Hard-working, outs…

GRAPHIC Novel Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, color by Alec Longstreet; First Second, ($12.99) Ages 8 and up. ... Gifted author-illustrator Vera Brosgol, who was born in Moscow and moved to the U.S. at the age of five, has created a funny, poignant, uniquely Russian-flavored graphic novel memoir about her childhood experience at a Russian Orthodox summer camp. Her wonderfu…

CHILDREN'S The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty; Random House, 304 pages ($16.99) Ages 8 to 12. ... This marvelous debut novel by a former mechanical engineer stars 12-year-old Lucy Callahan, a math genius whose idea of fun is reading old engineering textbooks and chatting in online math forums. She owes both her gift at math – and her obsessive compu…

CHILDREN’S The Lifters by Dave Eggers; Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 352 pages ($1799) Ages 8 to 12. ... Dave Eggers, author of acclaimed picture books "This Bridge Will Not Be Gray" and "Her Right Foot," makes an impressive middle-grade fiction debut with this terrific story of a town with a secret. Twelve-year-old Granite "Gran" Flowerpetal expects to be …

YOUNG ADULT Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 400 pages ($17.99) Ages 12 and up. ... The mapmaker’s skill and vital importance in the ancient world is central to this thrilling, beautifully written adventure set in a fantastic realm of long ago, when lepers were shunned, travel was by horseback, deadly sea serpents threatened sai…