August 28, 2016

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Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann | SLJ Review

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Kuhlmann, Torben. Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon. illus. by Torben Kuhlmann. 128p. NorthSouth. Sept. 2016. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780735842625. 

Gr 2-6 –Uniquely similar in artistic design and writing style to Kuhlmann’s Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse, this title relates the story of another clever mouse’s fascination with the moon, which, his telescope shows him, is actually “a giant ball of stone”—not the big ball of cheese that his friends […]

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu | SLJ Review

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Mathieu, Jennifer. Afterward. 320p. ebook available. Roaring Brook. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722385. 

Gr 9 Up –Kidnapped 11-year-old Dylan Anderson has been found after a harrowing four days; along with him is Ethan Jorgensen, 15, who has been missing four years—from the same neighborhood. Caroline, Dylan’s 16-year-old sister, is desperate to help her brother with autism work through his trauma, but he only seems to be getting worse. She wishes her parents would see that […]

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore | SLJ Review

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

McLemore, Anna-Marie. When the Moon Was Ours. 288p. ebook available. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250058669. 

Gr 9 Up –Love bests every opponent in this surreal exploration of familial bonds and sexual identity. Teens Sam and Miel have been best friends for years, ever since Miel appeared, sodden and terrified, amid the flooded ground around an overturned water tower. As their friendship unfolds into romance, long-repressed secrets and rumors clamor for air. Sam […]

Storyworlds: Nature by Thomas Hegbrook | SLJ Review

Storyworlds Nature by Thomas Hegbrook

Hegbrook, Thomas. Storyworlds: Nature. illus. by Thomas Hegbrook. 64p. Tiger Tales/360 Degrees. Sept. 2016. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781944530013. 

PreS-Gr 2 –Simple narratives about animals and nature unfold through artwork in this refreshingly open-ended work. The book begins with an invitation: “Every picture tells a story. What do you think that story is?” One hundred wordless illustrations are presented for children to examine, interpret, and discuss. From a snake shedding its skin to a baby koala climbing […]

Adam Gidwitz’s Illuminating Medieval Adventure | Under the Covers

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Gidwitz, author of the popular “Tale Dark and Grimm” series, discusses his latest work, an ambitious and well-crafted historical adventure set in medieval France.

Sunker’s Deep by Lian Tanner | SLJ Review

Sunker’s Deep by Lian Tanner

Tanner, Lian. Sunker’s Deep. 304p. (The Icebreaker Trilogy: Bk. 2). Feiwel & Friends. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250052179. 

Gr 5-8 –Three crises get the action started quickly in this second installment of Tanner’s “Icebreaker” trilogy. There’s mutiny aboard the Oyster, which strands returning characters Petrel, Fin, Krill, and the captain in hostile territory controlled by a radical sect of Anti-Machinists. The friends’ only chance to get back to their ship lies with Sharkey, young captain […]

Hear No Evil | Listen In

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Sharon Grover and Liz Hannegan consider whether listening to challenged books is a different experience than consuming in print

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

Creatures of Light | SLJ DVD Review

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Creatures of Light. (NOVA). 54 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627894739. 

Gr 5 Up –Fireflies are dazzling; few land animals glow as they do. In the oceans, lighting up from within (bioluminescence) or by reflecting light (biofluorescence) is almost matter of fact—about 90 percent of ocean life glows. As this delightful program explains, marine biologists are trying to better understand these displays, since the science behind illumination can be used to track cancer, discover pollution, and perhaps […]

Family Ties, Black Beauty Celebrated in New Self-Published Titles | Indie Voices

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Librarian Amy Martin highlights a strong new crop of self-published children’s books, including a middle grade family drama and several picture books about black hair.

Mason Crest Embeds Key Historical Videos in Nonfiction Series

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The clips, accessed via QR codes, cover a range of experiences, from a moment in history, to a monumental speech or news coverage of a historical event.

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart | SLJ Audio Review

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Gephart, Donna. Lily and Dunkin. 7 CDs. 8 hrs. 48 min. Listening Library. May 2016. $45. ISBN 9780451481962. digital download. 

Gr 5-8 –Lily and Dunkin have a chance meeting just before entering eighth grade and sense an immediate connection; both harbor deep secrets. Gephart expertly weaves the characters’ separate but similar struggles with school, family, and society with concurrent narratives. Lily was assigned male at birth but has always felt she is a girl; she’s pressuring her family to […]

Libraries Are Not Neutral | Opinion

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The Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground have a clear position: Librarianship is not a neutral profession, and libraries are not neutral spaces.

Create Buzz Around Reading with a Pop-Up Library

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Here’s how a PA high school librarian enticed reluctant library users with a mobile, curated selection of high-interest titles.

Skunked! by Jacqueline Kelly | SLJ Review

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Kelly, Jacqueline. Skunked! illus. by Teagan White & Jennifer Meyer. 112p. (Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet). Holt. Oct. 2016. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781627798686.

Gr 2-4 –Award-winning author Kelly introduces the “Calpurnia Tate” series to a younger audience. The year is 1901, and Calpurnia lives in a big white house in Texas with her mother, father, grandfather, and six brothers. Living with so many brothers can bring excitement and, at times, trouble. High jinks ensue when Cal’s younger […]

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson | SLJ Review

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Anderson, Laurie Halse. Ashes. 272p. (The Seeds of America Trilogy: Bk. 3). appendix. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781416961468. 

Gr 7 Up –The final book in the trilogy finds escaped slaves Isabel and Curzon three years into their grueling search for Isabel’s little sister Ruth and deeply divided in their beliefs of who is fighting for their freedom: the Patriots or the British. In 1781, the American Revolution rages […]

Pictures of the Week | Bank Street Literary Salon

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A look at the Pratt Institute / Bank Street College of Education exhibit, “The Picture Book Re-imagined,” in New York City.

Nothing but Trouble by Jacqueline Davies | SLJ Review

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Davies, Jacqueline. Nothing but Trouble. 320p. (Nothing but Trouble: Bk. 1). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062369888. 

Gr 5-8 –Maggie’s friendship with Allie and Emily is not the only thing coming to an end. This is the last year Odawahoka Middle School will be in existence, and this year’s sixth grade is the final class. Classrooms have been shuttered, programs have been suspended, and labs have been locked up tight. As Maggie’s old […]

How Canada Publishes So Many Diverse Children’s Books

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With Groundwood Books’s Bologna win, the Canadian publishing industry’s reputation for quality and diversity is getting tough to beat.

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

SLJ’s August Popular Picks

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The latest from Nicola Yoon; Dan Santat’s newest early reader, part of Mo Willems’s “Elephant and Piggie Like Reading” series; and the DVD version of Finding Winnie.

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

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II by Alan Gratz | SLJ Review

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Gratz, Alan. Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II. 320p. ebook available. Scholastic. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545880169. POP 

Gr 7 Up –Michael O’Shaunessey may be the son of the Irish ambassador to Germany, but in 1943, with his flawless German and easy intelligence, he represents the perfect Hitler Youth, ambitiously climbing the organization’s ranks. Michael is living a lie; he despises the Nazis and all they represent. He enlisted in the Hitler Youth […]