March 23, 2017

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Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan | SLJ Review

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KAPLAN, A.E. Grendel’s Guide to Love and War. 320p. ebook available. Knopf. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399555541.

Gr 8 Up –When the Rothgars move in next door, high schooler Tom Grendel’s summer takes a turn into uncharted territory that proves often terrible, definitely weird, and occasionally wonderful beyond words. He has struggled with the death of his mother and his father’s post-traumatic stress disorder for years; the appearance of the Rothgars, anti–manic pixie dream girl Willow, and inveterate […]

Review: ‘Fire Force’ Vol. 1

Fire Force, vol. 1 Writer/artist: Atsushi Okubo Kodansha Comics; $10.99 How exactly does one follow a super-successful manga series like Soul Eater? Well, with a spin-off series, like Soul Eater Not. And, once you’ve finished with the spin-off series, how do you follow that? Well, if you are Soul Eater creator Atsushi Okuba, you would […]

Review: ‘Fire Force’ Vol. 1

Fire Force, vol. 1 Writer/artist: Atsushi Okubo Kodansha Comics; $10.99 How exactly does one follow a super-successful manga series like Soul Eater? Well, with a spin-off series, like Soul Eater Not. And, once you’ve finished with the spin-off series, how do you follow that? Well, if you are Soul Eater creator Atsushi Okuba, you would […]

Book Review: Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank

Publisher’s description Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the […]

Books on Film: Watch the Captain Underpants Trailer

The Captain is coming to theaters on June 2nd and here’s the first trailer for the film. Seems like the spirit of the books is intact. Or, if you prefer, you can watch someone watching the trailer. Youtube is a strange place.

Beck by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff | SLJ Review

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PEET, Mal with Meg Rosoff. Beck. 272p. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763678425.

Gr 9 Up –This final novel from the deceased Peet, completed by Rosoff, is a not-quite-YA, not-quite-adult historical fiction story of hardship after hardship. Beck is a Liverpudlian orphan, the son of a white prostitute and an African sailor. Through no choice of his own, Beck is shipped off to Canada with several other orphans to work with the Catholic Brothers. After enduring physical and […]

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | SLJ Audio Review

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MEYER , Marissa. Heartless . 12 CDs. 14:34 hrs. Macmillan Audio. Nov. 2016. $39.99. ISBN 9781427267948. digital download.

Gr 8 Up –In this dark imagining of the origin of the Queen of Hearts, Lady Catherine starts out with the dream of owning a bakery with her maid, Mary Ann. Cath’s baking skills land her the heart of the King of Hearts, but she is drawn to the mysterious court joker, Jest. As Cath begins to give her heart to […]

Speed of Life by Carol Weston | SLJ Review

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WESTON, Carol. Speed of Life. 352p. ­ebook available. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492654490.

Gr 7-10 –It’s January, and eighth grader Sofia’s mother has now been dead for nine months. Disturbed that her dad has started dating so soon, Sofia, who is half Spanish, writes to Fifteen magazine’s “Dear Kate” for advice. Kate’s thoughtful response soon has Sofia writing back multiple times, asking many of the questions that a normal teen would ask her mom—if she still had […]

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner | SLJ Audio Review

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TURNER, Pamela S. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune. 4 CDs. 4:51 hrs. Recorded Books. Oct. 2016. $46.75. ISBN 9781501936265.

Gr 7 Up –Combining action, history, and excellent descriptions, this book shares the story of Yoshitsune, a most unlikely samurai. Spared after his father attacked a rival, Yoshitsune was raised by monks and later received instruction in the way of the samurai. Yoshitsune pledged his loyalty to his half brother Yoritomo and performed many heroic feats. Unfortunately, […]

Teens Review Survival YA, Margaret Stohl’s Latest, and More

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From a compelling tale set during Hurricane Katrina to contemporary novels about overcoming grief and reality TV, these new works inspire high praise from the Kitsap teen reviewers.

Review: ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ Vol. 1

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, vol. 1 Writer/artist: Akira Himekawa Viz Media; $9.99 Rated T for Teen The big news regarding the world of Hyrule is the release of the new Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for the new Nintendo Switch game system. This month also sees the release of the […]

Quick Book Review: The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend

Basic Synopsis: A teen conceived through IVF goes in search of answers about her past and finds herself examining what it means to be a family. Karen’s Quick Thoughts: So this book was fun, heartwarming and enjoyable. It covered a topic I have never seen discussed in YA – kids conceived by donor sperm. 5 […]

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | SLJ Review

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LEE, Mackenzi. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. 528p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062382801. POP

Gr 9 Up –A trio of high-born, determined, and wildly charismatic teenagers get more than they bargained for in this rollicking 18th-century Grand Tour of the Continent gone awry. Endearing rake Lord Henry Montague (or Monty) and his biracial best friend (and unrequited love), the infinitely patient Percy, leave England to drop Monty’s fiercely intelligent sister Felicity […]

New Reference Works on Economics, Dogs, Vietnam, & More

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This month’s reference reviews include a guide to dog breeds, a look at the Vietnam War’s role in pop culture, and more.

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

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld | SLJ Review

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WESTERFELD, Scott. Spill Zone. illus. by Alex Puvilland. 224p. First Second. May 2017. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781596439368.

Gr 10 Up –It’s a mystery why three years ago Poughkeepsie suddenly broke the boundaries of reality, giving life to demonic wolves and sentient twisters, or why its human inhabitants now hang suspended in the air like puppets. It wasn’t aliens, it wasn’t a nuclear attack, and the military isn’t talking. That isn’t Addison’s mystery to solve; all she has to do […]

Review of the Day: The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, ill. Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist By Cynthia Levinson Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-0070-1 Ages 6-10 On shelves now Today I’d like to begin with a small talk about diversity. Not diversity of people necessarily, but diversity […]

Spiral: Four Apps in One!

I recently discovered an incredibly versatile participation tool.  Spiral is a free suite of  four powerful apps that promote classroom engagement and collaboration.  It makes so much of what we already do so much easier and it is a must-have tool for 1:1 settings.  Students may login to lessons using Google, Facebook, Clever or Edmodo. […]

9 Refugee Stories for Kids and Teens

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These nine titles—from picture books to YA—explore the many dangers, factors, and effects that refugees and immigrants face every day.

The Best Bear in All the World by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis & Kate Saunders | SLJ Audio Review

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BRIGHT, Paul, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, & Kate Saunders. The Best Bear in All the World. 2 CDs. 1:37 hrs. Listening Library. Oct. 2016. $22. ISBN 9780735287655. digital download

Gr 2-5 – Four seasons bring new adventures and curiosities to Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and friends. From Eeyore seeing another donkey to Piglet and Pooh meeting a dragon, the tales will delight, inspire, and encourage imagination. Narrator Martin Jarvis’s voice is ideal for bringing to life each of the Hundred […]

3 “STEM”-ulating Biographies

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These recent titles tackle complex STEM topics suitable for any classroom.