September 23, 2017

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Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older | SLJ Review

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowhouse Fall. 368p. (Shadowshaper Cypher: Bk. 2). Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545952828. POP

Gr 7 Up –Sierra and her crew of shadowshapers are back for another adventure in this sequel to Shadowshaper. A mysterious card deck appears and, with it, a conflict between Shadow House and The House of Light arises. Sierra must act quickly to figure out whom she can trust while learning what it means to be a leader. She also begins a relationship with […]

#NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy & Mary Beth Leatherdale | SLJ Review

CHARLEYBOY, Lisa & Mary Beth Leatherdale, eds. #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women. 112p. illus. photos. Annick. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781554519583; pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781554519576.

Gr 10 Up –According to the foreword, Charleyboy’s intent for this anthology is to provide a “space to not only write a love letter to all young Indigenous women trying to find their way, but also to help dispel those stereotypes so we can collectively move forward to a brighter future for all.” Charleyboy and Leatherdale have selected […]

Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say | SLJ Review

SAY, Allen. Silent Days, Silent Dreams. illus. by Allen Say. 64p. bibliog. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Oct. 2017. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780545927611.

Gr 3-7 –In this fascinating longform “imagined” biography about James Castle, author-illustrator Say plays with artistic and literary formats. Castle was born deaf and premature in Idaho, was considered to be autistic and dyslexic, and was abused and bullied for his inability to speak or read. He was discouraged from creating art by his parents and principal, and had his art supplies […]

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis | SLJ Review

KOSTAKIS, Will. The Sidekicks. 288p. Harlequin Teen. Oct. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780373212620. POP

Gr 9 Up –When Australian high school student Isaac dies, three fellow students who each considered him his closest friend battle for individual ways forward. While this is Kostakis’s American debut, his literary polish and deep understanding of teen storytelling is compelling and nuanced from the first page. Ryan, Scott, and Miles take turns recounting the months after Isaac’s death. Each viewpoint differs, as does each voice; it is through […]

10 Diverse YA Fantasy & Sci-Fi Titles | SLJ Spotlight

Ten new sci-fi and fantasy books featuring a diverse range of leading characters, including sequels to Traci Chee’s and Daniel José Older’s YA debuts.

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

No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim | SLJ Review

KIM, Aram. No Kimchi for Me! illus. by Aram Kim. 40p. Holiday House. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823437627.

PreS-Gr 2 –Their grandmother announces lunch featuring delicious Korean dishes while Yoomi and her brothers play. Yoomi enjoys grandma’s dried seaweed, soft egg omelets, and even the seasoned bean sprouts, but she does not like “stinky spicy kimchi!” Her older brothers, Jun and Yoon, won’t let her play with them because she’s too little; “big kids eat kimchi.” Despite trying various ways to mask […]

Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister | SLJ Review

HOFFMEISTER, Peter Brown. Too Shattered for Mending. 384p. Knopf. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553538052.

Gr 10 Up –Gavin “Little” McCardell is fighting to keep his world from unraveling. Little’s older brother JT is serving time in prison, and Rowan, JT’s girlfriend, is cozying up to Little. Little’s aunt and uncle oscillate between being neglectful and abusive toward his 10-year-old cousin Willa, prompting Little to try to at least keep both of them fed. Finally, when Little’s grandfather, “Big” McCardell, disappears without a […]

Danza! by Duncan Tonatiuh | SLJ Review

TONATIUH, Duncan. Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México. illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh. 32p. bibliog. glossary. index. Abrams. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781419725326.

Gr 3 Up –Amalia “Ami” Hernández (1917–2000) didn’t expect to break with tradition. It was assumed that perhaps she would become a schoolteacher like her mother. But when she saw dancers in a town square while on vacation with her family, she knew what she wanted to be. Her parents nurtured her love of dance, and she […]

Chatting with Dusti Bowling, Author of “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus”

Aven Green, who was born without arms, moves to a new state, makes a new friend, and uncovers a mystery. We chat with Bowling about her inspirations, how she worked with sensitivity readers to develop Aven, and her deep love for the Arizona desert.

Hurricane Relief for Libraries; Be a Rebel and Tweet; Grants for Autism Inclusion | News Bites

Ways to help hard-hit libraries recover after Hurricane Harvey and to win literary swag and stand up for reading—and more.

Jazzy Ash, the Mighty Mighty Pants, & Lucky Diaz | ClefNotes

Reviews of 16 albums for children

When I Was a Turkey by Joe Hutto | SLJ Review

HUTTO, Joe with Brenda Z. Guiberson. When I Was a Turkey: Based on the PBS Documentary My Life as a Turkey. illus. by Joe Hutto. 192p. bibliog. glossary. photos. Holt. Nov. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781627793858.

Gr 5-8 –Based on an Emmy Award–winning documentary of the same name, this describes the two years the naturalist and author spent as a wild turkey mother. Having been given two clutches of wild turkey eggs rescued from Florida’s flatwoods, Hutto incubated the eggs and made sure […]

Getting Tweens To Think (and Act) Globally | Nonfiction Notions

These six nonfiction titles illuminate global challenges and offer readers meaningful ways to make a difference in their world.

How Educators Can Respond to Mental Health Concerns Raised by “13 Reasons Why” | In the Classroom

For ELA teacher Valerie Sawicki Bellomo, the controversy over the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why presented a challenge and an opportunity to support students’ mental health.

The Speaker by Traci Chee | SLJ Review

CHEE, Traci. The Speaker. 512p. (Sea of Ink and Gold: Bk. 2). Putnam. Nov. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780399176784.

Gr 7 Up –This installment picks up where The Reader ended, with Sefia and Archer on the run from The Guard. Unsure about how to proceed, Sefia searches the Book and uncovers several jaw-dropping discoveries: Tanin is still alive and Archer is still believed to be the one to lead the impending Red War. In an effort to quell Archer’s nightmares and to stop the conflict, […]

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez | SLJ Review

SÁNCHEZ, Erika L. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. 352p. Knopf. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524700485.

Gr 10 Up –Fifteen-year-old outcast Julia Reyes longs to attend college in New York, in order to get away from the suffocating watch of her undocumented Mexican parents in Chicago. The unusual death of Julia’s older sister Olga—considered the perfect child by her family—only bolsters this desire, as her parents focus their attention even more strongly on their now only child. When Julia stumbles across unexpected […]

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson | SLJ Review

JAMIESON, Victoria. All’s Faire in Middle School. illus. by Victoria Jamieson. 248p. Dial. Sept. 2017. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780525429982.

Gr 4-8 –Helping her parents with their jobs at the Renaissance Faire is all 11-year-old homeschooler Imogene “Impy” Vega has ever known. While working with her family is fun, she wants to go to middle school and meet kids her own age. Unfortunately, sheltered Impy is ill-equipped for the realities of draconian teachers, frenemies, and boys. Her new challenges begin to wear her down, and […]

9 Bilingual and Latinx Books for Young Animal Lovers

This past year has seen a ­number of Latinx-themed works with animal characters. Fictional, informational, funny, ­serious, sweet, and thought-provoking, here are some of the best.

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

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley | SLJ Review

BRADLEY, Kimberly Brubaker. The War I Finally Won. 400p. Dial. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780525429203.

Gr 4-6 –Eleven-year-old Ada picks up her story shortly after The War That Saved My Life left off. She’s in the hospital, nervously awaiting the surgery that will fix her club foot, when Susan receives a letter from Lady Thornton that obviously upsets her. Turns out, Ada’s mother was killed in a bombing. Ada does not know how to feel about that, but, ever practical, she worries about where […]

After the Fall by Dan Santat | SLJ Review

Humpty Dumpty, a spindly-limbed pale egg, copes with anxiety after his “Great Fall.”