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September 19, 2014

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SLJ Reviews

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Move Over, Waldo | SLJ Spotlight

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Two foldout picture books rejuvenate the “seek and find” style for young readers.

Introducing SLJ Reviews Sneak Peek: A First Look at Hot Titles

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Welcome to the inaugural SLJ Reviews Sneak Peek, a monthly web-exclusive feature that will showcase reviews for highly anticipated books in advance of our upcoming print issue.

On the Road

On the Road

All We Had is a road trip novel that follows a mother and daughter from Los Angeles to the East Coast. In Lucky Us, a family moves from Ohio to Hollywood, then back East to New York. There are two main appeal elements in these road novels. All We Had exemplifies the first–grappling to survive and [...]

Ken Burns, Curated | Touch and Go

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Ken Burns has been busy. The award-winning filmmaker’s seven-part television series, ‘The Roosevelts,’ premiered on PBS this week, and ‘Ken Burns’ the app, featuring hours of curated clips from his documentaries was just released.

Fabulous Debuts, Dark Fantasies, and Haunting Tales | What’s Hot in YA

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Annie Cardi and Dawn O’Porter’s debut novels deal with tough stuff and Brenna Yovanoff and Cat Winters return with spooky works that are sure to give teens nightmares. From surreal fiction to pulled-from-the-headlines nonfiction, the following titles will hook young adults and have them asking for more.

An inspirational woman’s life in review in “Sally Ride”| Audio Pick

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Sherr,, Lynn. Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space. 11 CDs. 13:30 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2014. $44.99. ISBN 9781494503406. 2 MP3-CDs.
Gr 9 Up–Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, impressive had earned a newly minted doctorate in physics from Stanford when she applied for the space program, beating out a thousand applicants for the job. Her focus was on her work and that dedication led to all of her successes. Published originally for the adult market, this [...]

A Whole Lotta Secrets

A Whole Lotta Secrets

Today we begin with a psychological mystery then highlight two thrillers, one suspense-filled, another action-packed. I am excited to recommend Tana French’s new Dublin Murder Squad novel to teen readers. I have enjoyed French’s novels since her 2007 debut, In the Woods. She is among the finest literary crime novelists writing today, and in The [...]

Rock On! | SLJ Spotlight

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Three illustrated biographies give insight into rock ‘n’ roll legends.

Unreviewed but not Forgotten

Unreviewed but not Forgotten

“Hey Mark” (a hypothetical reader asks) “how do you choose what you review around here?” Unfortunately, chance and timing play a big role. There are of course hundreds of books every year that could be reviewed on this blog that we simply never hear about or never get a copy of. But what about books [...]

Teens Review ‘Second Thoughts’, ‘The Spiritglass Charade’, and ‘Of Scars and Stardust’

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There’s no sign of series fiction for young adults fading away, and as librarians, we know that getting teens hooked into a series is a sure way to guarantee we’ll see them again soon. Teen reviewers tackle the second installments of series by Colleen Gleason and Cara Bertrand and a debut novel by Andrea Hannah.

Fresh Ideas for iPad Maker Programming | Touch and Go

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Looking for fall programming inspiration? Consider these ideas from the authors of ‘The Maker Cookbook: Recipes for Children’s and ‘Tween Library Programs.’

“Growing Up Green” takes learning outside the classroom | DVD Pick

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Growing Up Green. 27 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2013. School: $79. Public: $39. ISBN unavail.
Gr 9 Up–Award-winning filmmaker Bob Gliner’s new documentary focuses on the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) in Michigan, a statewide initiative that centers on school reform through the students’ environment. Urban and rural students of all ages learn and practice science and environmental knowledge and skills. In doing so, they make connections to their physical surroundings, history, and community, while developing solutions and even [...]

Court Intrigue

Court Intrigue

Whence our fascination with royalty? Back in my high school American History classes, I used to joke that ever since winning the Revolution, Americans have been trying their hardest to make the President into a king–a joke I find less and less funny as we are treated to ever-expanding executive power and a seemingly inevitable [...]

Bibliophile’s Delight: Books that Celebrate Creative Writing, Book Lovers, and Libraries

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Introduce and nurture independent writing, generate enthusiasm for books and reading, and the support language arts curriculum standards with these new picture books.

Real-life Heroes, Unspeakable Tragedies—and Kittens | Hi-Interest Nonfiction for Children and Teens

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Unusual topics and funky facts about our world pepper this selection of high-interest nonfiction titles for students.

‘Building a Better Teacher’ | Professional Shelf

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What’s missing in our attempts to improve our nation’s schools? In her thought-provoking, new book Elizabeth Green argues that it is teacher training programs.

Using Nintendo Streetpass in your Library

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Nintendo’s Streetpass as a form of outreach targets gamers directly and encourages connections to the library in an unconventional way.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Exotic Global Settings

Exotic Global Settings

The Caribbean, Tasmania, Afghanistan… Sense of place and culture dominate today’s books, two novels and one collection of poetry. Tiphanie Yanique is a native of St. Thomas who now divides her time between the Virgin Islands and Brooklyn. I enjoyed learning (from the author’s website) that both her mother and grandmother were librarians in the Virgin [...]

September Starred Reviews

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Get the inside scoop behind the whale who inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, take a walk on the wild side with The Accidental Highwayman, and blast off with Sally Ride, in the September stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Ancient Mysteries and Outer Space | Multimedia Reviews, September 2014

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Among the DVDs, the possible location of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are discovered, and in audiobooks, Deborah’s Wiles’s Revolution and Lynn Sherr’s Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space reach for (and get) a star.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.