August 14, 2017

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I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin | SLJ Review

DUNN, Gaby & Allison Raskin. I Hate Everyone But You. 352p. Wednesday Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250129321.

Gr 10 Up –This contemporary coming-of-age story of two friends on opposite shores explores difficult topics in a relatable tone. Ava and Gen are best friends whose relationship defines the maxim that opposites attract. Ava, the perfectionist, joins a sorority because she thinks that’s what college students should do. She struggles with balancing her social life, anxiety, and class load. Gen is studying journalism […]

Fault Lines in the Constitution by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson | SLJ Review

LEVINSON, Cynthia & Sanford Levinson. Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today. illus. by Adela Pons. 192p. Peachtree. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781561459452.

Gr 6-8 –Gerrymandering. Filibusters. The electoral college. The authors tackle these and other constitutional issues in this insightful work. The book functions differently than a straightforward explanatory text on the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the authors examine the fissures and issues that arise when it comes to the actual application of […]

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee | SLJ Review

DEE, Barbara. Halfway Normal. 256p. S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481478519.

Gr 4-7 –Norah Levy is entering seventh grade after being away from school for two years, during which she spent time in and out of the hospital battling leukemia. Transitioning back to the “real world” is challenging—everyone in the seventh grade knows her as “The Girl Who.” She’s tired of being treated like she’s fragile; some students are even jealous of the attention she receives. It doesn’t help that […]

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe | SLJ Review

ITURBE, Antonio. The Librarian of Auschwitz. tr from Spanish by Lilit Thwaites. 432p. Holt. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781627796187.

Gr 8 Up –Based on the true story of Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus, this novel features a protagonist who exemplifies courage in the face of death. Fourteen-year-old Dita is imprisoned at Auschwitz along with her mother and father in the “family camp.” Her work assignment is to assist the Jewish leader in charge of Block 31, a section created to entertain the children […]

Pup and Bear by Kate Banks | SLJ Review

BANKS, Kate. Pup and Bear. illus. by Naoko Stoop. 32p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399554094.

PreS-Gr 2 –At the close of an Arctic winter, a wolf pup, stranded on an ice floe, is rescued by a polar bear. “I am not your mother,” says the bear, but she assures the fearful pup that she will care for and shelter him. As the seasons turn, she protects the pup, plays with him, and teaches him to fish until at last […]

Coding Made Inventive: LittleBits’ Code Kit | SLJ Review

SLJ reviews the littleBits Code Kit, a suite of hardware, software, and resources that enable kids to apply computer code to their inventions.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott | SLJ Review

ABBOTT, Tony. The Summer of Owen Todd. 224p. Farrar. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374305505.

Gr 5-8 –It’s the summer after fifth grade, and lifelong best friends Owen and Sean are looking forward to a vacation full of baseball, go-karts, beach trips, and, now that they are getting older, a bit more independence in their Cape Cod hometown. Things don’t go as planned, however, when Sean’s single mom hires Paul to help look after Sean, who depends on insulin injections to manage his […]

Free School Supplies; Mentoring Opportunity; Grant Applications | News Bites

The South Asia Book Awards, Teen Read Week prep, America’s 100 favorite books, and more.

Sandwiches! by Alison Deering | SLJ Review

DEERING, Alison. Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food. illus. by Bob Lentz. 144p. Capstone. Aug. 2017. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781623708160.

Gr 4 Up –A tasty offering with more than 50 recipes covering five skill levels—there’s something here for everyone. The book spices up basic staples like PB&J and grilled cheese by adding historical facts in special “Between the Bread” sections, as well as challenges to experiment called “We Dare You” (mayonnaise plus peanut butter […]

Librarians Vote for the Top 100 Must-Have YA

The results are in! Almost 300 librarians weighed on SLJ’s Top 100 Must-Have YA poll. Download a PDF of the full list.

33 Winning Back-to-School Ideas

From VR and mystery parties to STEAM projects and life-skills programs, these initiatives ignite curiosity.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork | SLJ Review

STORK, Francisco X. Disappeared. 336p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780 545944472.

Gr 8 Up –Sara, a reporter at her Mexican hometown, writes a column in the local newspaper detailing numerous cases of abducted young girls in Cuidad Juárez, including her best friend Linda. When the young woman receives a coded email message hinting at her friend’s whereabouts and captors, she investigates further and discovers how deeply the corruption and criminality runs in her city. Her brother, Emiliano, lives […]

Engaging Reluctant Readers in Your Library

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, 3PM-4PM ET / 12PM-1PM PT
Reaching all young readers can be challenging. Attend this webcast to explore ways to help increase interest in all YA and middle readers in your public or school library. You will hear from public and school librarians on how they reach their reluctant and struggling readers and how they work together to ensure every reader is engaged.
Register Now!

Windows by Julia Denos | SLJ Review

DENOS, Julia. Windows. illus. by E.B. Goodale. 32p. Candlewick. Oct. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763690359.

PreS-Gr 1 –In this story, a boy of color dons a red hoodie, leashes his eager dog, and ventures out into the twilight, where the windows are “blinking awake as the lights turn on inside: a neighborhood of paper lanterns.” Readers get to peer in at the small, diverse figures making dinner, throwing a party, dancing, even stretching tin cans on a string between houses to talk on […]

Back-to-School Roundup | Reviews

Twenty-four titles to introduce newcomers to the school experience and to welcome back returning scholars.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

44 Terrific Titles | August 2017

August’s stars feature Molly Idle’s “Flora” adventures, an illustrated biography of the legendary Arturo Schomburg, and audiobooks of two popular YA titles.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | SLJ Audio Review

THOMAS, Angie. The Hate U Give. 9 CDs. 11:40 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2017. $39.99. ISBN 9781470827137. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Starr has learned to adapt her personality to fit two worlds. “Garden Heights Starr” helps her ex-gangbanger father in his neighborhood grocery. “Williamson Starr” has a white boyfriend, and is one of the few black students at a tony prep school in an exclusive part of town. When gunshots ring out at a Garden Heights party, Starr and her friend Khalil leave. […]

The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson | SLJ Review

SWANSON, Matthew. The Real McCoys. illus. by Robbi Behr. 336p. Imprint. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250098528.

Gr 3-5 –A lot can happen in one day when you’re the world’s greatest fourth grade detective. Moxie McCoy aims to find both her school’s stolen mascot and a new best friend while surviving multiple trips to the principal’s office. Moxie’s biggest surprise of the day? A new appreciation of her “boring as a butter knife” younger brother Milton, who reveals detective skills of his own. […]

Odd & True by Cat Winters | SLJ Review

WINTERS, Cat. Odd & True. 368p. Abrams/Amulet. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419723100.

Gr 9 Up –Trudchen, a polio survivor who reads tea leaves, is the younger sister to Odette, and both are Maria’s daughters. All through Tru’s youth, Od would fill her head with magical, fantastical stories to fill the dark times. After a two-year absence, Od returns looking haunted and accompanied by a case full of mysterious weapons that she promises will help kill monsters. Soon, the siblings whisk away on […]

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton | SLJ Review

BARTON, Chris. Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion. illus. by Victo Ngai. 36p. chron. further reading. photos. Millbrook. Sept. 2017. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781512410143.

Gr 2-5 –During World War I, the British were in danger of starving because so many German U-boats were sinking American and British supply ships. Eventually, Norman Wilkinson, a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lieutenant-commander, had the idea to paint boats in such a manner as to confuse the German submarine captains, and the concept […]