May 27, 2016

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Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah | SLJ Review

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Shevah, Emma. Dara Palmer’s Major Drama. illus. by Helen Crawford-White. 288p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Jul. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492631385. POP 

Gr 3-6 –British fifth grader Dara Palmer is a natural-born actress, destined for Hollywood stardom. At least, that’s what she and her best friend, Lacey, think, until neither of them lands the lead role in their school’s musical production of The Sound of Music. Dara, who is adopted from Cambodia, believes that she may have been passed […]

“Snappsy” Creator Tim Miller Is in the House!

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The author and illustrator is building a strong connection with a contingent of his young readers by taking up residency at their school.

Sex Education: Covering the Bases | Focus On

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A carefully curated selection of accurate, up-to-date sex education titles that aim to be age appropriate and that reject heteronormal assumptions and stereotypes.

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

Wildlife of the World | SLJ Review

REF-DK-Wildlife of the World

Wildlife of the World. 480p. index. photos. DK. Oct. 2015. Tr $50. ISBN 9781465438041. 

Gr 4 Up –Looking outside one’s window can give students an appreciation for nature, and this volume greatly widens the view. Detailed data panels provide a snapshot of the size, diet, status, and habitat of each species. The book begins with information on animal habitats and then shifts the focus to species in more than 40 ecoregions. Vibrant, full-color images illuminate the pages, with […]

Pictures of the Week | Ezra Jack Keats 2016 Bookmaking Winners

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The young winners of the annual student bookmaking contest describe their creations.

Therapy Dogs Work Wonders for Struggling Readers

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A group of eighth graders in need of academic intervention in Virginia are now more confident readers. Never underestimate the power of a pooch.

Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb | SLJ Review

Sabotage The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb

Bascomb, Neal. Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. 320p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545732437; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545735339. 

Gr 8 Up –The people of Norway had hoped to remain neutral during World War II as they had in the Great War, but that hope was shattered when Nazi Germany invaded Norway’s ports in the early days of April 1940. In addition to taking over Norway’s […]

Parsing a Tale | A Storyteller Shares Tips On Learning “The Old Woman and Her Pig”

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Everyone has their own method of learning a story; Judy Freeman shares hers.

Gutsy, Funny, and Flawed: Angela Cervantes on Crafting Strong Latina Characters

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Middle grade author Angela Cervantes talks about her inspirations, her research process, and how she crafts authentic—and very funny—Latina characters.

Little, Brown Trots Out Fresh Faces and Themes at Fall 2016 Preview

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Here a debut, there a debut, everywhere a debut! The Little Brown Fall 2016 Preview showcased a promising crop of first-timers, with standouts for middle grade and YA readers alike.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True by Ryan North | SLJ Review

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2

North, Ryan. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True. illus. by Erica Henderson. 120p. (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). Marvel. Dec. 2015. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780785197034. 

Gr 6 Up –In this latest adventure, college student Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, saves a group of hostages, including her cat-loving roommate, Nancy, from robot dinosaurs. She encourages a mutated hippo with a fiery temper to become a demolition worker instead of robbing banks, and she […]

Children in Crisis: Libraries Respond

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An initiative to brighten the lives of young refugees from Central America is gaining tremendous ground, while hopes are high to expand the lifeline to Syrian refugees in Europe.

Gale Kids InfoBits: A Reference Wonderland | Reference Online

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Gale provides a trove of material for a wide variety of elementary-aged users.

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

The Robber Hotzenplotz by Otfried Preusseler | SLJ Review

The Robber Hotzenplotz

Preussler, Otfried. The Robber Hotzenplotz. tr. from German by Anthea Bell. illus. by F.J. Tripp. 120p. New York Review. May 2016. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781590179611.

Gr 2-5 –When the infamous robber Hotzenplotz makes off with Grandmother’s coffee mill, clever Kasperl and his best friend Seppel must use all their cunning, along with a little help from the frog-fairy Amaryllis, to retrieve the mill and bring the rapscallion to justice. This new translation of this work, originally […]

12 Tween Titles to Add to Your Summer Reading Lists

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Middle school librarian Amanda Buschmann recommends a dozen titles sure to round out any summer reading list. Add your own recommendations in the comments!

How Fan Fiction Mentors Can Change Lives

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Researchers who interviewed fan fiction writers revealed how mentorship in the fanfic community can improve young people’s writing—and their outlook.

And I Darken by Kiersten White | SLJ Review

And I Darken

White, Kiersten. And I Darken. 496p. ebook available. Delacorte. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553522310; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780553522327. POP 

Gr 10 Up –The first in a trilogy from best-selling author White, this historical adventure set in the mid-15th century tells the story of Lada and Radu, the children of Vlad Dracul, prince of Wallachia (modern-day Romania). Shouldered with the inescapable curse of being female and the unrelenting burden of her beautiful, sensitive, and physically […]

DK Publishing to Up-and-Coming Coders: Start from Scratch

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This Saturday, May 14 is Scratch Day, a time to embrace all things coding. You can start by checking out a bevy of new books on the subject.

Three Digital Dynamos, Now in the National Spotlight, Tell All

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Engaging kids with the latest of tech? It’s all in a day’s work for these PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program winners.

The Secrets of Solace by Jaleigh Johnson | SLJ Review

The Secrets of Solace

Johnson, Jaleigh. The Secrets of Solace. 288p. (World of Solace: Bk. 2). ebook available. Delacorte. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385376488. 

Gr 4-8 –Archivist apprentice Lina lives in the future world of Solace, learning to analyze the curious treasures that fall from the sky in the scrap towns on the borders. Under the absentminded guidance of Councilwoman Zara, the lonely orphaned Lina has become isolated from her fellow apprentices, spending her time eavesdropping on secret conversations […]