Google+

January 20, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Picture Books for … Teens?

Picture Books for … Teens?

It’s rare that there are true all-ages picture books. This year, we have two of note. Both are beautiful, thought-provoking, unusual, and skew way up. All the way to adolescence and beyond. I’ll eat my hat if either receives a silver from the RealCommittee. Hell, I’ll eat all y’all’s hats. BUT. These are gorgeous books […]

Mock Printzing the Night Away

Mock Printzing the Night Away

Well, results are in for the Pyrite and for our local mock roster, and it’s interesting. Also, we have a winner! It will be interesting see if discussion knocks this one down in either final vote, but right now Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is the runaway winner. The breakdown: Locally, our group […]

Was It the Timing?

Was It the Timing?

Usually the Pyrite nominations bring all y’all out of the woodwork, because it’s the moment to champion the books you’ve loved this year. So either we launched the 2015 Pyrite at a terrible time, right before the insanity of the holidays, or this year is a really dull year. Which is it? I’m guessing a […]

Mary Poppins Books

Mary Poppins Books

Almost three years ago, I talked about Mary Poppins books (practically perfect in every way). These are books that deserve stars and commercial acclaim and critical praise. They are in the top of the crop for the year, but they’re… a little thin. Like Mary Poppins, they appear and have their moment and then off […]

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon, Gregory Maguire Candlewick Press, September 2014 Reviewed from final copy What an ingenious little (okay, big) book this is. Maguire is at his best when he’s being sly and subverting tropes and expectations; he did it to genius effect in Wicked, which remains one of my favorite novels, and while his overall […]

Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle

This book. This book! I loved it. Also I hated it. It has amazing characters, and then it has crimes against female characters. It’s A Tale of Two Cities for me on this one — this book contains multitudes and also contradictions galore. It probably deserves an award, except when it doesn’t. There’s a reason […]

Pyrite Time, Once Again

Pyrite Time, Once Again

Here at Someday, we have a tradition (this is year three) of a Mock Printz which, in a fit of serious humor,* we styled the Pyrite Printz. (Get it? Because Pyrite is like gold but not? Also, alliterative.) As always, we are still (still!) reviewing serious contenders and reading away madly to catch up with […]

Drugged by Love?

Drugged by Love?

Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC So, I think I made it pretty clear last year that I really like Alaya Dawn Johnson’s style. She’s smart and she writes books that appeal to me as a reader. But if you dismiss this as just another fangirl […]

The List, Revisited (and Shorter!), Plus Thoughts on Other Lists

The List, Revisited (and Shorter!), Plus Thoughts on Other Lists

Oh lists, we love you so! And it’s open season for year end lists — PW’s early entry was followed by SLJ, and then Kirkus, NPR, the New York Times, and Horn Book all joined the fray. Plus the Morris and Excellence in Nonfiction finalists were made public. SO MUCH DATA. It’s amazing. So let’s […]

Books in Brief: Series

Books in Brief: Series

Some time in the next few days I’ll have a lot to say about the year end lists, and we’ll be going back and making some additional edits to our start of season list in light of time crunches and more data. Today, though, I’m taking a moment away from that madness to reflect on […]

Roundup: Books That Pass the Bechdel Test

Roundup: Books That Pass the Bechdel Test

For years in my teens and early twenties, I read chick-lit like it was going out of style. I didn’t mind the label or the candy colored covers or the many many headless women — I was young, and not in love, and these books filled a hunger. I now scorn the love triangle in […]

Why We Took the Car

Why We Took the Car

Why We Took the Car, Wolfgang Herrndorf (translated by Tim Mohr) Scholastic, January 2014 Reviewed from finished ebook I initially came across this one on Jen’s fabulous spreadsheet. Two stars doesn’t make it a must read, but I still haven’t quite recovered from The White Bicycle. It’s one thing to not have read a Printz […]

A Time to Dance

A Time to Dance

A Time to Dance, Padma Venkatraman Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), May 2014 Reviewed from ARC Joy referenced the #weneeddiversebooks movement a few posts back, when she talked about two black ballerinas, one fictional and one actual. In some ways, A Time to Dance could have been included in that post: it’s a book about a […]

The Gospel of Winter

The Gospel of Winter

The Gospel of Winter, Brendan Kiely Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster), January 2014 Reviewed from ARC It’s so hard when a book is completely admirable and worthy of discussion and yet I just can’t like it. Because now I’m torn between wanting lots of discussion on this and also wanting to move on to […]

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, David Almond Candlewick, January 2014 Reviewed from finished ebook David Almond was one of the original Printz court (see my royalty pun there?). Skellig was an honor book in 2000, and then Kit’s Wilderness took the gold in 2001. Almond hasn’t stopped writing; at least in his […]

Oh! Oh! List Season Has Begun!

Oh! Oh! List Season Has Begun!

I love me some year end lists. Sometimes they affirm, sometimes they challenge and sometimes they bring me totally new books that I would have otherwise missed. And that’s even before we get to the comparing lists stage of things. First up, released this weekend, we have the Publisher’s Weekly lists, which wins for affirming […]

The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero, story by Gene Luen Yang & art by Sonny Liew First Second, July 2014 Reviewed from final copy I don’t review graphic novels here that often, although I read most of them, because I always worry that I don’t know enough about art. But I know enough to know that this is […]

Belzhar

Belzhar

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer Dutton, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC There’s always some weird dance of anticipation and dread when an author you respect as an author for adult readers dips into the YA world. Happily, Meg Wolitzer is very clear eyed about YA and about why she writes YA — it’s not to jump on […]

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling, Lucy Frank Schwartz & Wade, August 2014 Reviewed from final copy I’m old. This year, it has really come home to me that I have been doing this for a while, with the following exchanges: Me: Oooh, a new one from Cecil Castellucci! Joy: You mean the LA Review […]

Poisoned Apples

Poisoned Apples

Poisoned Apples, Christine Heppermann Greenwillow, October 2014 Reviewed from ARC Gosh, it’s a good year for poetry, at least from a publishing perspective. And unlike Nelson’s gorgeous memoir that I will be hard pressed to sell to actual real live teen readers™, Poisoned Apples has appeal in spades. This was a later addition to our list, […]