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A young nurse investigates murders in 18th century China in 'The Red Palace'

June Hur's history-based novel binds fiction to fact in a gripping young adult mystery. A nurse in 18th century Korea's royal court tries to track down the killer of four women.(Image credit: Feiwel & Friends)

'Anatomy' is a gothic love story stirring up mystery and medicine

In Dana Schwartz's novel, it's 1817 and Lady Hazel, set to marry a cousin, just wants to study medicine. She meets a boy who helps her — and the journey is an adventure from there.(Image credit: Wednesday Books)

'Honor' is a searing meditation on the meaning of dignity in a dehumanizing world

Thrity Umrigar's novel is about India's humanitarian crisis — with its depictions of misogyny and scenes of public shaming, mistreatment and torture — but it's also about a transformative journey.(Image credit: Meghan Collins Sullivan/NPR)

A true crime writer struggles with his responsibility to the victims in 'Devil House'

Novelist John Darnielle — also singer-songwriter with the Mountain Goats — has a hero who wants to honor the victims he's writing about but doesn't much like them.(Image credit: MacMillian)

Want to understand the U.S.? This historian says the South holds the key

Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book South to America reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor.(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Brooklyn Academy of Music)

They didn't get the Newbery or Caldecott but these kids' authors won big this year

The American Library Association handed out nearly two dozen awards for kids' books this week. We look at some of the winners.(Image credit: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)

'And I say, Hey! HEY!' Aardvark Arthur's wonderful new days are ending

The world-famous aardvark first appeared in print over 45 years ago. The Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV show is about to begin its 25th and final season — and creator Marc Brown has a new book.(Image credit: Little Brown & Co. )

Wajahat Ali's 'Go Back To Where You Came From' is biting and funny and full of heart

Ali's memoir is intelligent and incisive in its arguments against "whiteness" but focuses, too, on hope and heart — calling for a more compassionate world through community and solidarity.(Image credit: W. W. Norton & Company)

Children's librarians announce the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott medals

America's librarians announce their top children's book picks virtually on Monday. Among the honors they're awarding are the 2021 Newbery and Caldecott medals.

'Camera Man' unspools the colorful life of silent film star Buster Keaton

By age 5, Keaton was a star in his family's vaudeville act; he went on to star in and direct silent films, performing jaw-dropping stunts. Slate film critic Dana Stevens profiles Keaton in a new book.

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