February 10, 2016

Subscribe to SLJ

Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy | SLJ Review

Macy, Sue. Miss Mary Reporting The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

Macy, Sue. Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber. illus. by C.F. Payne. 40p. chron. ebook available. filmog. further reading. glossary. notes. websites. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481401203. 

Gr 2-4 –A heartfelt, informative, and thoroughly engaging picture book biography about groundbreaking sports reporter Mary Garber (1916–2008). Garber became a sportswriter at a time when there were few women in the field, when women were not welcome in […]

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket by Deborah Hopkinson | SLJ Review

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Bandit’s Tale The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket. 304p. ebook available. photos. Knopf. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385754996; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385755009.

Gr 4-7 –As this lively, fast-paced novel attests, the streets of late 19th-century New York City were especially cruel to young immigrants trying to improve their chances of upward mobility. Eleven-year-old Rocco, newly arrived in New York after a misunderstanding caused by an obstinate donkey, is sold to a […]

The Typewriter by Bill Thomson | SLJ Review

Thomson, Bill. The Typewriter

Thomson, Bill. The Typewriter illus. by Bill Thomson. 40p. Amazon/Two Lions. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781477849750. 

PreS-Gr 3 –Three friends ride their bikes to a deserted carousel on a wintry day; a lone monarch butterfly suggests whimsy despite the snow banks and heavy coats. Though the attraction is closed for the season, they find a mysterious black box covered in white letters atop a ride-on bumblebee. The children—a white boy, black girl, and Asian boy—marvel […]

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older | SLJ Audio Review

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowshaper

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowshaper. 6 CDs. 7:21 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2015. $29.99. ISBN 9780545921220.

Gr 7 Up –If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does it mean when paintings start morphing, shifting, and even weeping actual tears? For Sierra Santiago, who thought she would spend her summer making the mural of her dreams, these newly moving pictures are clear warnings that mere words can’t save the world as she knows it. While avoiding evil spirits and […]

Teens Review the Latest from Sarah Fine, David Lubar, and More

Lubar_Character Driven

The members of the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group have been busy. Check out what they think about David Lubar’s Character Driven, Sarah Fine’s latest fantasy, and Emily Skrutskie’s debut, The Abyss Surrounds Us.

Philly Girl Scout Creates Community Lending Library  


With help from a local pastor, one teen’s scout project becomes Project Read, which is “raising reading levels one book at a time” in her needy community.

You Don’t Show the Sweet Without the Bitter | Up for Debate


I understand small moments of joy on a page, like a slave receiving a Christmas present, because I can place those stories into a broad landscape and see them as the exception, not the norm. You have to earn hopeful stories about horrifying events, and you can only see what hope means if the horrors lurking nearby are visible

We Will Continue to Raise Our Voices: Survival, Slavery, Censorship | Up for Debate


This ‘shocking and unprecedented case of self-censorship’ was, in fact, an editorial decision. The publishing industry makes thousands of them every day. They happen in response to many factors, including outside pressure, personal bias, and money. This decision happened after many voices were raised opposing the book, led by Black Lives Matter activist Leslie Mac.

So People Disagree. Is This a Problem? | Up for Debate


Withdrawing a book from circulation—which makes it disappear as effectively as burning—is a dangerous course. The book is gone. By the same logic, other books will also disappear, or never be written. But there’s another compelling cause for concern: Censorship often works against those who are the most marginalized—historically, women, minorities, and dissidents.

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page | SLJ Review

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. Flying Frogs and Walking Fish

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move. illus. by Steve Jenkins. 40p. bibliog. HMH. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544630901.

K-Gr 3 –Every living creature requires a way to travel from one place to another, as showcased in this informative exploration of animal mobility. Jenkins and Page highlight a variety of animals, both familiar (frogs, dogs, and elephants) and unusual […]

Book: My Autobiography by John Agard | SLJ Audio Review

Agard, John. Book My Autobiography

Agard, John. Book: My Autobiography. 1 CD. 1:04 hrs. Brilliance. 2015. $16.99. ISBN 9781511323604.

Gr 4-8 –Here listeners are treated to an overview of the written word from oral traditions to ebooks, from the point of view of the book itself. As narrator of its own story, Book touches on multiple important topics in short, engaging chapters. With style and aplomb, it describes cuneiform and clay tablets, hieroglyphics and alphabets, papyrus and parchment, the invention of paper, […]

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino | SLJ Review

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree. illus. by Gemma Merino. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807512982. 

PreS-Gr 2 –Tina is a cow with perfectly purple spots. Her three sisters have neat navy spots. Tina has “a thirst for discovery.” Her sisters do not, preferring instead to focus on procuring fresh and juicy grass, like good cows do. One day, while exploring the woods, Tina decides to try something new, and climbs […]

The Gnomist | SLJ DVD Review

The Gnomist. Dist. by Great Big Story.

The Gnomist. 17 min. Dist. by Great Big Story. 2015. Free streaming.

Gr 4 Up –Along a forest path in Overland Park, KS, colorful, miniature doors began mysteriously appearing in the hollows of trees, inviting the curiosity of passersby. Peeking inside the fairy homes, enchanted visitors find twig furniture, moving boxes, and even tiny jars of candy, creating the illusion that occupants live amid the trees. Here, in Firefly Forest, visitors young and old believe in fairies […]

Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff | SLJ Review

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 48p. Candlewick. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763668419.

Gr 2-5 –From the team responsible for Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France (Candlewick, 2015) comes another excellent picture book biography, this time about someone less well known but truly intriguing. Adelaide Herrmann (1853–1932) never wanted to be like other girls: she was […]

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley | SLJ Review

Dooley, Sarah. Free Verse

Dooley, Sarah. Free Verse. 352p. Putnam. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399165030.

Gr 5-7 –The West Virginia coal mining town of Caboose seems to be to blame for the mounting losses of everyone Sasha loves. First her mother walks out and doesn’t come back. Then her father dies in a mining accident. And finally her caretaker older brother Michael dies while fighting a fire. Angry and los t, the seventh grader initially shuts down everyone around […]

Patrick Ness Raised $1 Million for Refugees. But Don’t Call Him a Saint.

2014 Judge: Patrick Ness

The YA author rallied 6,783 donors, including fellow authors, to contribute to his relief campaign for the global refugee crisis. Ness says that he just got “pissed off about 30 seconds before anyone else did.”

National Book Foundation Launches BookUp LGBTQ

National Book Award – Shortlist

The National Book Foundation, best known for its National Book Awards, will expand its BookUp program for teens on February 5, by creating its first after-school reading club for LGBTQ teens.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

The Lie Tree US Version

Hardinge, Frances. The Lie Tree. 412p. ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. May 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419718953.

Gr 7 Up –In a time when a young woman’s exterior life can be stifling and dull, Faith Sunderly’s interior life is cavernous. She has a sharp mind; a keen interest in the scientific research that has made her father, the formidable Reverend Sunderly, famous; and an irresistible impulse for sneaking, spying, and skulking around. Faith’s curiosity about the world around […]

All About Instagram


Detailed tips on engaging young users with the image-based social media tool, plus 20 Instagram accounts to follow.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy | SLJ Review

Coy, John. Their Great Gift Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land.

Coy, John. Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land. photos by Wing Young Huie. 32p. ebook available. Carolrhoda. Mar. 2016. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781467780544.

K-Gr 4 –An attractive and inspiring look at immigration to the United States, sure to spark discussions at home or in the classroom. Coy takes a simple approach with the text, employing only a few words per page, while Huie uses his mostly black-and-white photographs to illuminate […]