Jordan B. Nielsen
JORDAN B. NIELSEN received her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. She has been reviewing children’s literature since 2008, and is currently the children’s book buyer for The powerHouse Arena, an independent bookstore in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Thanhhà Lai reverses course from Inside Out and Back Again, her previous dazzler written in poetic-verse, in which a family of Vietnamese refugees acclimate to their new home in Alabama after the fall of Saigon. Listen, Slowly, written in teenager-speak, follows a modern day, second-generation Vietnamese-American girl as she and her grandmother travel back to the small village where her late grandfather was last seen alive before the Vietnam War swept the country.
This is the book you are looking for. This is the book that all of us who work in children’s books, who care about the quality of what children read, are looking for. Newbery Medal-winner Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger, a move towards tween readers after her huge successes in Middle Grade fiction, is as authentic as it gets.
Returning with a second installment in their Not-So-Impossible-Tales series, Reeve and McIntyre spin buoyant, zany, intelligent confectionary in Cakes in Space. Both a throwback and palpably modern, this swift, illustrated chapter book for seven-to-ten-year-olds is a thoughtful, laugh-out-loud delight.
Julie Berry, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place(Roaring Brook Press, 2014)
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014)
Ben Tripp, The Accidental Highwayman (Tor Teen, 2014)