November 23, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

A Thousand Praises for A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights, E.K. Johnston Hyperion, October 2015 Reviewed from ARC I already told you this is a great year for fantasy, and I’m back to today to continue building the case. And this is probably the one that most deserves the Printz, because for all the brilliance of The Scorpion Rules, the originality of […]


For the reader, like me, who prefers fantasy to reality, at least in books, this has been a pretty knockout year. We seem to finally be fully beyond the various waves (paranormal romance, dystopias, love triangles) that have dominated YA fantasy and science fiction for the past decade. This has been a slow creep, and […]

All the Rage

A few thoughts. One: I planned to cover two books tonight, linked by the fact that they both feature girls who have been harmed by their worlds but who won’t go down without a fight, and who both, through perseverance and pain, succeed. But it diminished both texts and I especially didn’t want to risk […]

PW Launches List Season!

Probably the exclamation point was unnecessary, since (A) PW always kicks off the pack and (B) it’s November when the season always launches. BUT! It’s still exciting. And full of surprises! And books I haven’t read, which is always a concern. Why are there so many books? Why must we all have to pick and […]

Thumper’s Dad (A Roundup)

Once upon a time ago, over on Heavy Medal, Jonathan very boldly (and wittily) ran a post with just a title and the cover of the book. His point was that sometimes you just don’t have anything good to say about a book, so why say anything at all? I’m not nearly as bold, nor […]

Printzbery Part 2, This Time on Wheels

Yesterday we gave you a twofold twofer: two titles with potential for both Printz and Newbery. Today we’re back with another, Roller Girl, in what looks like it might be a weeklong series. Let’s get to it! Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson Dial Books, March 2015 Reviewed from ARC This one is technically a potential Printzecott […]

Printzbery Part 1

Printzbery: could be one, could be the other, might even end up both.* By popular demand: today we’re talking about all those maybe kidlit, maybe YA books from the first three quarters of the year. On the table for the potential Printzbery*: Roller Girl; Echo; Goodbye, Stranger; The Hired Girl, Cuckoo Song, and Orbiting Jupiter. […]

Two Books That Have Absolutely Nothing in Common*

As previously mentioned, time is short and books are many. So for today, two books that don’t actually belong in a joint post, brought to you by the color red and the letter D: The Dead I Know and Dime. The Dead I Know, Scot Gardner Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2015 Reviewed from final copy […]

National Book Award, Part Deux: The SHORT List!

I didn’t want to hijack Sarah’s review of The Game of Love and Death, so this is a few days after the fact, meaning you’ve probably all seen the short list already. Surprises? Delights? Me, I’m surprised by the lack of X, and a little about Symphony for the City of the Dead, but two […]

The Clock is Ticking!

Once upon a time, we went to a pond and started kissing frogs. This year, the pond is large, the frogs are many, and (ALA Mid) winter is closing in. There’s no way we’re kissing them all, so we have some hard decisions to make. In an ideal world, every frog published between January and […]

Archivist Wasp Has A Sting You’ll Want to Savor

Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace Big Mouth House, May 2015 Reviewed from final e-book I love this book. Can I just get that out there right up front? Which is not to say I love its chances, but I’m still going to wax eloquent (or wax, anyway) in praise of its strengths. This is a weird […]

Boys Will Be… Knitters and Lovers and Funny, Oh My

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli Balzer + Bray, April 2015 Reviewed from ARC Boys Don’t Knit, T.S. Easton Feiwel and Friends, March 2015 Reviewed from final copy It’s a twofer Monday, today, with two delightfully warm, funny, and frankly tender tales of boys grappling with what it means to be a boy, […]

The Walls Around Us (are pretty darn impressive)

The Walls Around Us, Nova Ren Suma Algonquin Books for Young Readers, March 2015 Reviewed from final e-copy Finally! In The Walls Around Us, Suma has delivered the book I wanted back when I first read Imaginary Girls. It’s got the good stuff I knew to expect — her wordsmithing really is excellent (my notes […]

Haunting Historicals: Razorhurst

Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier Soho Teen, March 2015 Reviewed from final e-copy This seems to be a divisive book. It picked up four stars right out of the gate, but in conversation with readers (mostly librarians), I’ve found the majority didn’t love it, although not necessarily for reasons that matter for Printz. It’s a genre-blender — […]

So how about that NBA longlist?

10 books. 6 YA, 2 nebulous, and only 2 middle grade. 7 of the recognized titles already on our own initial list. I’m pretty happy with this NBA longlist, I must say! I’m also pleased to see the 60/40 split in favor of female authors for a nice change of pace. It’s still way whiter […]

Life, Life, and Masturbation: The Alex Crow

The Alex Crow, Andrew Smith Dutton, March 2015 Reviewed from ARC and ebook editions Last year, Andrew Smith wrote a book that had: weird science, boys who talk about masturbation, an incredibly strong voice, and strange animals created by the aforementioned weird science. Love it or hate it, we couldn’t stop talking about it. So […]

Kicking Things Off (and a LIST)

Labor Day has come and gone. School begins today for NYC. And the awards are only 4 months away. In other words, we’re back in action! If you’re stumbling upon us for the first time, remember: we know nothing (Jon Snow). But we’re going to have a blast speculating the &*#$ out of the 2016 […]

We’re Out! But before We Go, let’s talk Printz 2016

We’re Out! But before We Go, let’s talk Printz 2016

Well, another season has come and gone, and emotions have ebbed and flowed and so many pages have been read! Before we disappear back into our regular lives, we wanted to say thank you for reading with us, disagreeing with us, and generally raising the bar on the conversation in every comment. We will miss […]

Liveblog & Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Liveblog & Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Well, here we are, YMA Day! I’ll be watching the award stream since I am sadly not in Chicago, and I’ll do some live reaction blogging for the YALSA portion of things. See you in the comments after for the Monday morning quarterbacking (on a Monday morning, no less!) Also, while there may be shock, […]

Dark Horses

Dark Horses

For our final review of the season, squashed in at the 11th hour, we bring you a quick and dirty final roundup to shed a little bit of love on some books that we never got to discuss at length but that we still think deserve a little attention. Bombay Blues, Tanuja Desai Hidier Scholastic/Push, […]