June 29, 2016

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You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang | SLJ Audio Review

You Are (Not) Small

Kang, Anna. You Are (Not) Small. 1 CD w tr book. 21 min. Weston Woods. Jan. 2016. $29.95. ISBN 9780545936644. 

PreS-Gr 1 –Winner of the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, this delightful book is joyfully performed by Christopher Weyant, Michael Crouch, and Emily Eiden. Two furry critters are having it out as they try to describe each other. The tall one says the other is small. The small one insists he isn’t small, the other is big. […]

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly | SLJ Audio Review

Land of the Forgotten Girls

KELLY, Erin Entrada. The Land of Forgotten Girls. ­­4 CDs. 5:02 hrs. HarperAudio. Mar. 2016. $49.99. ISBN 9781504696111. digital download.  

Gr 3-6 –Once upon a time, Soledad had two sisters and two loving parents. But tragedy can happen to anyone at any time, and suddenly, Sol and her younger sister, Ming, are transplanted to the other side of the world in a run-down apartment in Louisiana, abandoned by their desperate father and left in the (so-called) care […]

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo | SLJ Audio Review


DICAMILLO, Kate. Raymie Nightingale. ­­4 CDs 4:25 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $30. ISBN 9781101917435. digital download. 

Gr 4-7 –Before they became the Three Rancheros, the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition brought Raymie Clarke, Louisiana Elefante, and Beverly Tapinski together—each for wildly different reasons. Raymie is convinced that when her philandering father, who’s run off with the dental hygienist, sees a picture of her in the newspaper wearing the winning crown and sash, he will surely […]

Jackie Robinson | SLJ DVD Review

Jackie Robinson DVD

Jackie Robinson. 240 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. DVD $24.99. Blu-Ray $29.99. ISBN 9781627896184. 

Gr 6 Up –With its in-depth look at the ups and downs of Robinson’s life and career, this wonderful resource lends context to his significant accomplishments. He won acclaim for shattering baseball’s “color line” in 1947, but as this exemplary documentary makes clear, he fought racism throughout his life. An impressive range of commentators share their perspectives, from President Obama to teammates, sports writers, and […]

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd | SLJ AUDIO Review

The Key to Extraordinary

LLOYD, Natalie. . ­­4 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Scholastic. Feb. 2016. $29.99. ISBN 9780545910316. digital download. 

Gr 3-6 –Emma Casey, her brother Topher, and their Granny Blue call the Boneyard Café home. On weekends, Emma conducts tours of the haunted graveyard next door, while Topher warms visitors with his irresistible peach-lavender muffins and famous Boneyard Brew (aka hot chocolate). When their cozy haven is threatened by a greedy developer, Emma channels her late mother’s promise that the women in […]

Becoming Bulletproof | SLJ DVD Review

Becoming Bulletproof

Becoming Bulletproof. 82 min. Dist. by Tugg Educational. edu.tugg.com. 2014. $75. ISBN unvail.

Gr 9 Up –On the dusty streets of the film set of a Western town, two men face each other with steely gazes, fingers twitching on the trigger. Only one will be left standing. This behind-the-scenes documentary chronicles the making of this Western, Bulletproof Jackson, which features actors with and without disabilities, supported by the technical crew at the Zeno film camp. Actors such as the […]

The Mask You Live In | SLJ DVD Review

The Mask You Live In

The Mask You Live In. 92 min. Dist. by Virgil Films. 2016. $19.99. UPC 829567121429. 

Gr 9 Up –A selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom addresses the American idea of masculinity and its rejection of the feminine. Newsom suggests that men are taught from an early age to become hypermasculine, to lock down all emotions except anger, to use violence to solve problems, and that being a man is based on […]

Most Dangerous: ­Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin | SLJ Audio Review

Most Dangerous

SHEINKIN, Steve. Most Dangerous: ­Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. 7 CDs. 7:52 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $45. ISBN 9780553552775. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –Here Sheinkin tells the story of activist and military analyst Daniel Ellsberg and the famous Pentagon Papers, which were written while the United States was still fighting the war in Vietnam. The top-secret study revealed the many subterfuges used over the course of four presidencies to prolong the war […]

UnSlut: A Documentary Film | SLJ DVD Review

UnSlut A Documentary Film

UnSlut: A Documentary Film. 40 min. Tugg Edu. edu.tugg.com. 2016. $75. ISBN unavail. 

Gr 9 Up –This film, directed by Emily Lindin, the founder of the UnSlut Project (unslutproject.com), tells the story of six women who were “slut-shamed” and bullied in middle or high school, including Rehtaeh Parsons, a Canadian teen who committed suicide after being gang-raped and then labeled a slut by her classmates. Slut-shaming implies that a girl or woman should feel guilty or inferior because of […]

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork | SLJ Audio Review

STORK, Francisco. The Memory of Light

Stork, Francisco, X. The Memory of Light. 8 CDs. 9:19 hrs. Scholastic Audiobooks. 2016. $39.99. ISBN 9780545910934. 
Gr 7 Up –Vicky Cruz never expected to wake up. She planned her suicide attempt so nobody would find her until well after the pills did their job, but she was saved by her family’s housekeeper’s cat and woke up in Lakeview Hospital. There, she meets three other teens who also have mental illness. Mona copes with losing custody of her child […]

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee | SLJ Audio Review

Maybe A Fox

Appelt, Kathi & Alison McGhee. Maybe a Fox. 4 CDs. 3:30 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781442394353. digital download.  

Gr 4-6 –Eleven-year-old Jules and her 12-year-old sister Sylvie are very close and dependent on each other, especially since their mother died when they were very young. So when Sylvie suddenly disappears and is presumed dead, Jules and her father are left to cope with her absence and their lives “after Sylvie.” At the […]

Mama’s Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat | SLJ Audio Review

Mama's Nightingale

Danticat, Edwidge. Mama’s Nightingale. 1 CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2015. $15.75. ISBN 9781501911156. digital download.

PreS-Gr 2 –Danticat’s first book for children is the bittersweet story, bookended by a lilting guitar and accordion waltz, of a family fractured by United States immigration law. For three months, Saya and her father have trudged through their days, doing what they can to stay connected with Saya’s mother, an undocumented immigrant—including weekly visits to the detention center where she’s […]

The Peanuts Movie | SLJ DVD Review

The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie. 88 min. Dist. by Twentieth Century Fox. 2016. DVD, Blu-ray, digital HD $39.99. UPC 024543992691. 

K-Gr 4 –The Peanuts gang has returned in this delightful full-length feature, cowritten by Charles Schulz’s son and grandson. All of the classic elements of a Schulz story line are contained here. Surrounded by the usual cast of characters, Charlie Brown tries, often with no success, to get to know the new student in class, the Little Red-Haired girl. Woven in […]

American Ace by Marilyn Nelson | SLJ Audio Review

American Ace by Marilyn Nelson

Nelson, Marilyn. American Ace. 2 CDs. 1:22 hrs. Listening Library. 2016. $20. ISBN 9780147525772. digital download.  

Gr 4-6 –When Connor’s grandmother dies, she leaves his father a ring, a pair of pilot’s wings, and a letter explaining that the man who raised Connor’s father was not his biological father. With his father paralyzed by depression, Connor takes the two mementoes and the few details available to him and traces his new lineage to the U.S. Air Force, […]

Movie Reviews: The Bard in Newtown; A Kid Chess Champion | 2016 Tribeca Film Festival


Of more than a dozen films previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival, two works in particular stand out for teen and young adult viewers and as potential additions to media collections.

Chasing It | SLJ DVD Review

Chasing It  by Dreamscape

Chasing It. 46 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2015. $19.99. (PPR) $199.99. UPC 857063005769. 

Gr 9 Up –Addicts, a grieving father, and a medical doctor describe in detail the power of heroin over youth from all socioeconomic brackets. Dr. Marc Fishman, from Mountain Manor Treatment Center and associate professor at John Hopkins Medicine, explains how the first experience with heroin is unlike any previous feeling and that users are destined to chase that euphoria, which can never be duplicated. He […]

Mowgli, Mischief, and Music | “The Jungle Book” Movie Review

Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley)  in The Jungle Book (All photos: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Disney’s new version of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic returns to the murky and mysterious Indian jungle.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | SLJ Audio Review

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

BRACKEN, Alexandra. Passenger. 11 CDs. 13:35 hrs. Brilliance. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781511361149. 

Gr 9 Up –Etta Spencer plans to be a professional violinist, not knowing the big secret her mother has kept from her—Etta and her mother are the last survivors of a time-traveling family. Cyrus Ironwood believes that Etta is the only person who can find the valuable object he seeks. And so he sends her traveling through space and time to land on a ship. Nicholas […]

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys | SLJ Audio Review

salt to the sea

SEPETYS, RUTA. Salt to the Sea. 7 CDs. 8:50 hrs. Listening Library. 2016. $45. ISBN 9780147525437. digital download. 

Gr 9 Up – While the Titanic and Lusitania are both well-documented disasters, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known 1945 sinking by Soviet torpedoes of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety. The ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers—the intended capacity was approximately 1,800—and […]

The Best of Big Blue Live | SLJ DVD Review

DVD_The Best of Big Blue Live

The Best of Big Blue Live. (BBC Earth). 56 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627895163.  

Gr 6 Up –The geography, history, and ecology of Monterey Bay, CA, are presented in this excellent program detailing the significance of the bay’s location and the many species that live within its waters. For a brief period each year, thousands arrive in the bay to rest and feed during epic ocean migrations to comprise the largest gathering of sea mammals […]