December 9, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –While high school jock Rafe is okay with being gay, he’s tired of being the go-to LGBT celebrity in his supportive Colorado town.

Benny Doesn’t Like To Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott | SLJ Review

Toddler-Gr 1 –With sweet, colorful illustrations and straightforward text, this book explores acceptance and understanding between two young friends.

Because They Marched by Russell Freedman | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 7 Up –This is the powerful account of the events in 1965, in Selma, AL, that influenced a larger movement to win voting rights for black citizens across the country.

YALSA Announces 2018 Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalists

The shortlist for YALSA’s 2018 Excellence in Nonfiction Award has been revealed. Check out SLJ‘s reviews of the finalists.

The Farthest: Voyager in Space | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 6 Up –In the late 1960s, NASA scientists started work on the Voyager Program to send two space probes to photograph and study the little-known outer planets.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 8 Up –Porter takes the story of Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga, sets it in New York, and turns it on its chicken legs.

Two New Middle Grade Novels Explore Racism, Past and Present | SLJ Spotlight

Two powerful middle grade novels explore the tough yet crucial topic of racism.

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

You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –An online Scrabble game is more than a pastime, it’s a lifeline for middle schoolers Charlotte and Ben: both children are coping with heartache.

SLJ’s Reviews of YALSA’s 2018 Morris Award Finalists

YALSA has just announced the five finalists for the 2018 William C. Morris YA Debut Award, including SLJ Best Book The Hate U Give. Check out our reviews of the finalists.

Libba by Laura Veirs | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –As a child, Elizabeth Cotten, or Libba, heard a song everywhere she went, reverberating through the clear North Carolina air around her home.

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 5-8 –Twelve-year-old Wallace, whom everyone calls Lolly, resides in Harlem with his mother. His older brother’s recent gang-related murder has left Lolly with raw, unresolved emotions.

Escape from Syria by Samya Kullab | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –Amina is one of millions of people affected by the ongoing Syrian conflict. Following a vicious attack in their home neighborhood, the teen and her family struggle to find normalcy amid the political chaos.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –In a dystopian future, a young Métis boy, Frenchie, comes of age while fleeing capture.

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 3 –A picture book without words, but with images that speak volumes.

3 Rehashed and Reframed Fairy Tales | SLJ Spotlight

Three tales that put a fresh spin on traditional fairy tales.

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

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –The youth of the Birmingham civil rights movement take center stage in this historical picture book.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –Seventeen-year-old Minnow Bly is sentenced to juvenile detention for brutally assaulting a mentally disturbed man. Only 12 hours prior, her entire community had been burned to the ground and the Prophet, the leader of the cult to which her family belonged, had been murdered.

Facing Frederick by Tonya Bolden | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Bolden successfully demonstrates in this biography how monumental a figure Frederick Douglass is in U.S. history.

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman | SLJ Review

Gr 6 Up –Charlie, 13, is excited to embark on an all-girls Christian camp’s backpacking trip.

Middle Grade Novels Set in the Last Century | SLJ Spotlight

Four middle grade titles explore childhood in the 1900s.

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