January 16, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –Eighteen-year-old Marin is paralyzed with grief. Following the unexpected death of the beloved grandfather who raised her, Marin flees California to New York and college, abandoning her support system.

Snowy Owl Invasion! by Sandra Markle | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –In 2013, snowy owls made an unusual trip south, but that detour is only part of the story acclaimed science writer Markle shares in her latest book.

They She He Me by Matthew Smith-Gonzalez & Maya Gonzalez | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 4 –The authors have succeeded in creating a gorgeous and much-needed picture book about pronouns and gender fluidity.

Holy Street Sign! Bronx Road Named for Batman Creator Bill Finger

Batman fans, city officials, students, and others gathered to celebrate the dedication of Bill Finger Way.

Kate, Who Tamed The Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –Young Kate helps tame the wind that disrupts the life of a man living atop a steep hill by planting a stand of aspen trees.

5 Tips for Twitter Author Chats

After a snafu with a Skype author visit, a U.K. high school librarian improvised a Twitter author chat instead. Since then, they’ve tweeted with more than 30 authors.

School’s First Day of School | SLJ DVD Review

K-Gr 2 –School has just been built and he is looking good. However, now that it’s the first day of school, he’s a bit nervous. What’s going to happen?

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –Under the tutelage of her stepfather, artist Jacob Marrel, young teen Maria Sibylla Merian developed her artistic talent and found ways to combine it with her interest and careful observation of caterpillars, moths, and butterflies.

Move Over, Scholastic: Follett Launches Book Fairs

As Scholastic fields complaints about merchandising included in book fair materials, Follett builds its own book fair program.

A School Library’s Free Bookstore Turbocharges Reading

At the St. Croix Elementary School in rural Wisconsin, students earn Book Bucks by meeting academic goals and spend them on gently used items.

Looking at U.S. History Through a Different Lens | Nonfiction Notions

When librarian Jennifer Wharton began weeding the 900s section of the children’s library, she discovered that her history and biography sections were in dire need of updating. She took it as an opportunity to seek out books that offered different—and much needed—perspectives.

When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –A compelling, character-driven, and imaginative novel. The Vasquez children have a gaping hole in their hearts; but the summer after their father leaves them, they are visited by Luz (an alien), and the hole is filled.

Cooking with Chapter Books

These five food-themed chapter books are perfect inspiration to get kids engaged in kitchen-based learning.

Thinking BIG with Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Five new picture books explore “big” characters; what the small ones lack in size, they make up for in heart!

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

Finding the Words to Talk About Abuse: Tony Abbott on “The Summer of Owen Todd”

Abbott discusses his latest book and the need for fiction that addresses the all-too-often ignored subject of child sexual abuse.

Loving Vs. Virginia | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 8 Up –This year marks the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down laws barring interracial marriage.

Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren | SLJ Review

Gr 7-10 –Fans of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time will devour this debut author’s adventurous new fantasy.

I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –A small, plump gray cat, mouth downturned and green eyes cast upward at a row of tall animal legs lined up behind him, is a fine indication of things to come in this humorous introduction to the larger cat family.

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –This novel centering the girl who would become the wife of Malcolm X and accomplish much on her own after his assassination reminds readers that even legendary figures are real people.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –An immigration story spanning three generations of women is told in moving ways through multiple perspectives.