Four nonfiction titles take an innovative approach to ecology.
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Today, we review two books that examine the environmental destruction of small towns, and the ensuing fallout in the community at large. In Rene Steinke’s Friendswood, the eponymous town has been the victim of chemical leaks from a nearby oil refinery. Most of the town seems ready to move on once the EPA has cleared […]
Two recently released apps from Kids Discover featuring colorful visuals, 360-degree views of artifacts, and birds-eye perspectives of sites, offer students journeys back in time to ancient civilizations.
Descent is my favorite book of 2015 so far, and one I expect to see on best lists come next winter. Why? Tim Johnston combines edge-of-your-seat suspense with family drama, tragedy, and an unforgettable setting. The characters are real, which is what makes their fates so suspenseful, of course. And it is incredibly well-written. There are […]
Animal Misfits. (Nature.) 53 min. Dist. by PBS. 2014. $19.99. ISBN 9781627891714.
Gr 5 Up–This program describes how and why certain animals have evolved in such unconventional ways, including pandas, nonmeat-eating carnivores, flightless parrots, fish that walk on their fins, and even the eerie-looking stalk-eyed fly. The sloth maintains its leisurely lifestyle because the plants it eats take a long time to digest and don’t provide much energy. To protect itself from swift predators, the sloth blends in with the environment, […]
From a hilarious chapter book set in space to an imaginative origin story for Alice and Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts, the following works featured in SLJ’s February 2015 issue will entertain and pique the interest of voracious and emergent readers. Check out the latest sneak peek of reviews appearing in the next print issue.
From a new work by renowned author Cornelia Funke to a sweet book by John Himmelman, these wonderful selections by the editors at Junior Library Guild will appeal to emerging readers.
MARK: The 2015 Alex Awards–recognizing “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults”–will be named during the Youth Media Awards on February 2. In our annual quest to pretend we know what we’re talking about, today Angela and I are going to make some guesses about what we think might have […]
At Launch Kids, a full day devoted to children’s publishing at the Digital Book World Conference, Warren Buckleitner, editor and founder of “Children’s Technology Review,” noted that after a few years of invention and originality, app innovation had begun to level off. There are always exceptions, of course, and Tinybop is one.
The tagline plastered on the back of Fred Venturini’s debut novel–”Every superhero needs to start somewhere”–may draw in readers, but it may mislead them as well. It is true that the novel’s protagonist, Dale Sampson, has a superheroic ability to regenerate his limbs, but the novel is much less of an origin story than it […]
SMITH, Andrew. Winger. 8 CDs. 9:52 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $52.97. ISBN 9781491507926.
Gr 9 Up–Ryan Dean West is the smartest student in the junior class at Pine Mountain boarding school, a starter on the rugby team, and two years younger than the rest of his classmates. He is also hopelessly in love with his best friend, Annie, who sees him as just a little kid. When Ryan Dean moves into Opportunity Hall, the dorm for misbehaving students (owing to an […]
Highly illustrated novels, out-of-the-ordinary narratives, and titles with female leads and fascinating world-building are just some of the YA books that are on SLJ editors’ radar. See what else is trending in teen lit.
Here we have a new kind of apocalypse, one in which humans are at war with ants, joined later by cats, dogs, and more. Just what is going on?? Robert Repino’s debut lands somewhere between Animal Farm and those B-movie sci-fi thrillers with giant, mutated insects. Give this to teens looking for something different. Maybe Grasshopper Jungle fans […]
When I read Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, I loved it (and reviewed positively)–funny, charming, sweet, with something real to say about humanity. But I had some doubts about it’s teen appeal, which was the only reason I didn’t give it a starred review. So I was pleasantly surprised when one of our other reviewers […]
Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that this frisky and good-natured take on Michael Bond’s beloved bear was produced by David Heyman of the “Harry Potter” film series. Both adaptations plant a big wet kiss on bustling, inclusive London.
The release of Dawn Publications’s “The Prairie that Nature Built” a new app based on Marybeth Lorbiecki’s the book of the same title (2014), continues the publisher’s strong commitment to environmental education.
Science continues to surface in contemporary fiction, and titles with magical settings still hold their edge. Scott McCloud’s impactful graphic novel The Sculptor examines one man’s countdown through his last 200 days alive.
All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State. 82 min. Dist. by the Cinema Guild. 2014. $99.95. ISBN 0781515017.
Gr 9 Up–Adults, particularly Texans, may have at least a passing familiarity with Ann Richards, but this affable documentary could introduce teenage viewers to this firecracker of Texas politics, who passed away in 2000. It uses archival footage, family photos, and campaign coverage to showcase her talent and abundant humor in scripted speeches and off-the-cuff remarks. Her early adult life […]
These recently released special editions are can’t-miss versions of some spectacular works that should occupy a place in every collection.
This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.