February 14, 2016

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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 […]

All Aboard DADA Trains | Touch and Go

DADA trains

Chances are that if you know any children, you know some that are fascinated with trains. Here’s an interactive app that will put them behind the control panels.

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 […]

Spellbound | Captivating Read-Alouds


Looking for a read-aloud that will entertain, enthrall, intrigue, and elucidate?

Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang | SLJ Review

Lang, Heather. Fearless Flyer Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

LANG, Heather. Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine. illus. by Raúl Colón. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. websites. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916506.

Gr 1-3 –A decade before Amelia Earhart entered the public’s consciousness, Ruth Law (1887–1970) was performing stunts at aerial shows. By 1916, she “longed to fly to get somewhere…somewhere far away.” Emphasizing Law’s competitive and risk-taking nature, Lang builds suspense with comparisons and questions. Victor Carlstrom had recently set the record […]

This Is the Story of You by Beth Kephart | SLJ Review

This is the Story of You Kephart

KEPHART, Beth. This Is the Story of You. 264p. ebook available. Chronicle. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452142845.

Gr 7 Up –For Mira and her friends, living on a small island off the New Jersey coast means tourists all summer, a small school and close friends, and wild weather as a way of life. When the forecasters warn of a storm, no one is overly concerned and life continues, albeit with an eye on the weather. Mira, worried about […]

Tiny Ozobot Gets Kids into Block-based Programming | Test Drive


School Library Journal reviews Ozobot, the golf-ball size robot designed to draw kids into learning programming.

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

Infographic: Librarians Embrace Tech Instruction


Need help making the case for librarians as technology leaders? This handy infographic, based on School Library Journal’s recent technology survey, is free to download and share.

Small Tech, Big Impact: Designing My Maker Space


How one public librarian researched, budgeted, and created the best maker space for her customers over the course of six months.

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

Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner | SLJ Review

Castner, K.D. Daughters of Ruin

Castner, K.D. Daughters of Ruin. 336p. ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481455411.

Gr 7 Up –Rhea has three sisters, all of them queens of different kingdoms under her father’s regency: tough Cadis, diplomatic Iren, and wild Suki. As the girls grow to adulthood, the politics of their positions become increasingly complex. When the castle is overthrown in a night of violence, their training kicks in and their lives […]

Thunderboy Jr. by Sherman Alexie | SLJ Review


Alexie, Sherman. Thunderboy Jr. illus. by Yuyi Morales. 40p. Little, Brown. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316013727.

K-Gr 4 –An enchanting and humorous picture book about a little boy frustrated with his name. Readers are drawn into the story narrated by Little Thunder, who is named after his father, Big Thunder. He works through his angst at the indignity of the name, presenting his case like a seasoned lawyer as he goes in search of a […]

Sprucing Up My School Library for Less than $600


Taking inspiration from the thrifty library design hashtag #macgyverlibrarianship, a high school librarian freshened up her space on a tight budget. Check out what she did and how much she spent.

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach | SLJ Review

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

Wallach, Tommy. Thanks for the Trouble. 288p. S. & S. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481418805.

Gr 9 Up –After his father tragically died before his eyes five years prior, Parker Santé was left mute. Angry and a bit lost, he spends most of his days alone. He frequently ditches school to hang out in random hotels where he writes in his journal and steals from unsuspecting hotel guests. On one of these typical days, he […]

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown | SLJ Review

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Brown, Peter. The Wild Robot. illus. by Peter Brown. 288p. Little, Brown. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316381994; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316382014.

Gr 3-5 –The crate containing ROZZUM unit 7134 wasn’t meant to be shipwrecked on an island. Roz is baffled by the wildness of the environment, but her robot brain is programmed to learn and master tasks. She camouflages herself as clumps of seaweed, meadow flowers, and fallen logs to quietly observe and learn from […]

Sprout Pro by HP Does Triple Duty in Classrooms


New product offering from HP may have potential for streamlining tech education in schools.