October 19, 2016

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Hot New Graphic Novels Coming Soon


Thursday, October 27th, 2016, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Join Library Journal’s Graphic Novels columnist Thomas Batten, along with a panel of experts who will share their views on the hottest graphic novels hitting book shelves in the coming months. You’ll hear all about upcoming releases from DC, Dark Horse, Archie Comics, Diamond Books, Penguin Random House, and Viz Media, including Batman, Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Neil Gaiman’s “Troll Bridge”, and more!
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“Most Magical” Girls | New Fall Fantasy


In their new books, middle-grade luminaries Karen Cushman, Karen Foxlee, and Jennifer A. Nielsen bring new meaning to the words, “girl power.”

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk by Jan Thornhill | SLJ Review


THORNHILL, Jan. The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. illus. by Jan Thornhill. 44p. bibliog. further reading. maps. websites. Groundwood. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988655.

Gr 2-5 –The auk was a northern penguin that lived and thrived in the cold waters of the Atlantic. This great bird “weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a three-year-old,” but it had one flaw: the bird had tiny wings that were excellent for water but […]

Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard | SLJ Review


HUBBARD, Kirsten. Race the Night. 288p. ebook available. Disney-Hyperion. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484708347.

Gr 4-6 –The world has ended. All that’s left is the remote desert compound where 12-year-old Eider and four other children live under the stern rule of Teacher, whose tales of the cataclysm and dangers of the outside world keep the children isolated and afraid to question what they’ve been told. Eider’s growing sense of “something out there…something more” emboldens her to venture beyond […]

Finalists Announced for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Recap: The National Book Award Finalists

Here are the five finalists for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, with the corresponding SLJ reviews. Winners of the 67th annual NBAs will be revealed November 16.

The Cat from Hunger Mountain by Ed Young | SLJ Review


YOUNG, Ed. The Cat from Hunger Mountain. illus. by Ed Young. 32p. ebook available. Philomel. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399172786.

K-Gr 4 –Lord Cat lives well on his mountaintop, blessed with the finest of goods and plenty of rice to eat. He has servants to build him the best home and prepare and serve his delicious meals. There are also workers to tend his prolific rice paddies. Life is stable until, one year, drought hits and crops fail. […]

Mark of the Plague (Blackthorn Key: Book 2) by Kevin Sands | SLJ Review


SANDS, Kevin. Mark of the Plague. 544p. (Blackthorn Key: Bk. 2). S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481446747.

Gr 4-8 –This follow-up to The Blackthorn Key places readers right in the middle of the nastiest event the 1600s had to offer—the Black Plague. Not only are Christopher and his friends tasked with avoiding the deadly disease but they must also contend with the prophets, zealots, and frauds who seem to attach themselves to all tragic events. Sands’s […]

Teen Maker Space Outreach: Behind the Scenes With Karen Jensen


Highlights of a Teen Librarian Toolbox series with practical tips on how to make text-transfer speech bubbles, a photo booth, custom postcards, and more.

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami | SLJ Review


KRISHNASWAMI, Uma. Book Uncle and Me. illus. by Julianna Swaney. 152p. Groundwood. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781554988082; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781554988105.

Gr 2-4 –Nine-year-old Yasmin is a self described book-a-day reader. Every day after school she likes to stop by Book Uncle’s lending library on the corner by her apartment complex. Book Uncle has been on the corner as long as Yasmin can remember, and his motto of Right book for the right person for the right day” […]

Ape & Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm | SLJ Review


STURM, James. Ape & Armadillo Take Over the World. illus. by James Sturm. 40p. Toon. Sept. 2016. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781943145096.

Gr 1-4 –This graphic novel for younger readers is a funny romp into the fantastic world of two friends, an ape and an armadillo. Armadillo, who dons a red cape, wants to play a game of world domination, but his thoughtful friend Ape has another plan. Disappointed at being the sidekick, Ape makes the point that a solid […]

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman | SLJ Review


SIDMAN, Joyce. Before Morning. illus. by Beth Krommes. 48p. HMH. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780547979175.

K-Gr 2 –At dusk, a woman, child, and dog hurry out of the park and pass by a bakery, though the wool-capped girl clearly wants to stop. They enter their apartment, where Dad has dinner ready, and everyone looks happy except the girl, who’s staring dolefully at a cap that sits atop a small suitcase. In the next illustration, as the windows reflect […]

Teacup by Rebecca Young | SLJ Review


YOUNG, Rebecca. Teacup. illus. by Matt Ottley. 40p. Dial. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735227774.

PreS-Gr 3 –In this moving, allegorical tale, a young boy searches for a new homeland, taking with him only a book, bottle, blanket, and teacup full of earth from where he used to play. His solo sea journey is fraught with danger, and loneliness plagues him in the dark. The child finds comfort in the way the whales sing to one another, stirring memories […]

Pictures of the Week | Nandana Dev Sen at Books of Wonder


A reading, games, and a yummy cake were all part of the festivities at Books of Wonder on September 25 during the book launch of Nandana Dev Sen’s Kangaroo Kisses.

Caregiving Youth: Resources and a YA Booklist


In 1.3 million U.S. households, caregiving children support family members due to illness, disability, substance abuse, or other factors. These books and resources can help them.

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos | SLJ Review


Sherlock Holmes lovers, CSI: Miami aficionados, and forensic science students will all be drawn to this rather gruesome yet highly entertaining and fact-packed history.

Henry & Leo by Pamela Zagarenski | SLJ Review


The stunning, sumptuous artwork and familiar themes make this a serene and satisfying bedtime story for young children, with just the right amount of dramatic tension

Makerspaces 2.0: Don’t Just Build a Makerspace; Create a Makerhub


Wednesday, October 26th, 2016, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
In this webinar, expert maker librarians, David Saunders and Susan Polos, tell all about how they built their library makerspaces and their tips for engaging students in creativity and invention day after day. Join in the conversation as they look to the next future of makerspaces.
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MI Teens Raise Suicide Awareness in Library Project


Using paint and duct tape, teens upcycled old library phones to create displays that boost suicide prevention awareness and spread the message: You Matter.

Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown | SLJ Review


BROWN, Box. Tetris: The Games People Play. illus. by Box Brown. 253p. First Second. Oct. 2016. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781626723153.

Gr 9 Up –Brown immerses readers in the complicated origins of one of the world’s most popular video games, Tetris. Its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, was a computer scientist who became obsessed with how games and puzzles affected human psychology. Before long, Pajitnov became caught up in a prototype he’d designed based on a childhood game and shared it with […]

Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet | SLJ Review


SWEET, Melissa. Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White. illus. by Melissa Sweet. 176p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. photos. HMH. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544319592. POP

Gr 3-7 –Throughout his life, E.B. White (1899–1985) divided his time between New York City and Belgrade Lakes in Maine. He drew inspiration for his books from the bucolic setting near author Sweet’s own home and studio. Readers and writers will relate to stories of White’s childhood—he was “scrawny” and “fearful” […]