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February 11, 2016

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Book Review: The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

Publisher’s description At once honest and touching, Claire Needell’s debut novel is a moving look at date rape and its aftermath, at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart. The gap between the Russell sisters—Jan, Erika, and Melanie—widens as each day passes. Then, […]

Threatened: The Controversial Struggle of the Southern Sea Otter | SLJ DVD Review

Threatened The Controversial Struggle of the Southern Sea Otter

Threatened: The Controversial Struggle of the Southern Sea Otter. 41 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2013 released in 2015. Price $59. ISBN unavail.

Gr 7 Up –This insightful documentary provides information on the history of the southern sea otter’s journey back from the brink of extinction and presents both sides of the repercussions of the restoration of a protected sea otter zone. Environmentalists and their supporters argue that the otters have existed for thousands of years, are a […]

Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff | SLJ Review

Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling

Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. illus. by Tony Cliff. 272p. ebook available. First Second. Mar. 2016. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781626721555.

Gr 6 Up –Delilah Dirk has a chip on her shoulder. Of late, she lashes out at anyone who wounds her pride or name, even when the danger is great. As in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (First Second, 2012), her faithful friend Selim acts as the voice of reason, but stopping […]

Hitting Shelves Now: 22 Great Middle Grade Titles Publishing This Month

000Catch a Cheat

Brand new middle grade titles from Sara Pennypacker, Varian Johnson, Kirby Larson, the elusive Pseudonymous Bosch, and more come out this month.

Review: ‘Flop To The Top’

Flop to the Top Writer/artists: Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing Toon Books; $12.95 How To Be Happy cartoonist Eleanor Davis returns for a second Toon Books comic for kids, following her 2008 Stinky, and this time she’s joined by Set To Sea cartoonist Drew Weing. Their collaboration is a quick, cute story about a self-obsessed, […]

MakerSpace: Green Screen Photo Booth, app review and tips and tricks

As part of our MakerSpace, I decided that I wanted to set up a Green Screen Photo Booth, though the truth is that I know nothing about doing green screen photos. So I an by trying out a variety of apps on our iPad stations. Apps investigated include: Green Screen by Do Ink ($2.99) Green […]

Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy | SLJ Review

Macy, Sue. Miss Mary Reporting The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

Macy, Sue. Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber. illus. by C.F. Payne. 40p. chron. ebook available. filmog. further reading. glossary. notes. websites. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481401203. 

Gr 2-4 –A heartfelt, informative, and thoroughly engaging picture book biography about groundbreaking sports reporter Mary Garber (1916–2008). Garber became a sportswriter at a time when there were few women in the field, when women were not welcome in […]

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket by Deborah Hopkinson | SLJ Review

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Bandit’s Tale The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket. 304p. ebook available. photos. Knopf. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385754996; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385755009.

Gr 4-7 –As this lively, fast-paced novel attests, the streets of late 19th-century New York City were especially cruel to young immigrants trying to improve their chances of upward mobility. Eleven-year-old Rocco, newly arrived in New York after a misunderstanding caused by an obstinate donkey, is sold to a […]

The Typewriter by Bill Thomson | SLJ Review

Thomson, Bill. The Typewriter

Thomson, Bill. The Typewriter illus. by Bill Thomson. 40p. Amazon/Two Lions. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781477849750. 

PreS-Gr 3 –Three friends ride their bikes to a deserted carousel on a wintry day; a lone monarch butterfly suggests whimsy despite the snow banks and heavy coats. Though the attraction is closed for the season, they find a mysterious black box covered in white letters atop a ride-on bumblebee. The children—a white boy, black girl, and Asian boy—marvel […]

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older | SLJ Audio Review

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowshaper

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowshaper. 6 CDs. 7:21 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2015. $29.99. ISBN 9780545921220.

Gr 7 Up –If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does it mean when paintings start morphing, shifting, and even weeping actual tears? For Sierra Santiago, who thought she would spend her summer making the mural of her dreams, these newly moving pictures are clear warnings that mere words can’t save the world as she knows it. While avoiding evil spirits and […]

Review: ‘Peter Pan’

Peter Pan Writer: Blake Hoena Artist: Fernando Cano Stone Arch Books; $6.95 For adults, who have spent most of their lives occasionally experiencing different presentations and interpretations of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan story in various media, the most interesting aspect of any new telling might simply be in seeing how its creators choose to depict […]

Review of the Day: The Sandwich Thief by Andre Marios

The Sandwich Thief By Andre Marois By Patrick Doyon Chronicle Books $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-4659-1 Ages 7-9 On shelves March 1st Injustice, that sweet universal quality, makes for great children’s books. Whether it’s a picture book or a young adult novel, if you can tap into a reader’s sense of unfairness you have yourself some children’s […]

Teens Review the Latest from Sarah Fine, David Lubar, and More

Lubar_Character Driven

The members of the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group have been busy. Check out what they think about David Lubar’s Character Driven, Sarah Fine’s latest fantasy, and Emily Skrutskie’s debut, The Abyss Surrounds Us.

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page | SLJ Review

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. Flying Frogs and Walking Fish

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move. illus. by Steve Jenkins. 40p. bibliog. HMH. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544630901.

K-Gr 3 –Every living creature requires a way to travel from one place to another, as showcased in this informative exploration of animal mobility. Jenkins and Page highlight a variety of animals, both familiar (frogs, dogs, and elephants) and unusual […]

Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, by teen reviewer Lexi

Our teen reviewer Lexi has been very busy reading lately. We’ll have a new review from her every Monday this month. Lady Midnight By Cassandra Clare, 657 pgs Releases March 8th from Margaret K. McElderry Books. 9781442468351 Summary In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. […]

Book: My Autobiography by John Agard | SLJ Audio Review

Agard, John. Book My Autobiography

Agard, John. Book: My Autobiography. 1 CD. 1:04 hrs. Brilliance. 2015. $16.99. ISBN 9781511323604.

Gr 4-8 –Here listeners are treated to an overview of the written word from oral traditions to ebooks, from the point of view of the book itself. As narrator of its own story, Book touches on multiple important topics in short, engaging chapters. With style and aplomb, it describes cuneiform and clay tablets, hieroglyphics and alphabets, papyrus and parchment, the invention of paper, […]

Nonfiction Monday: Dr. Seuss: The Great Doodler by Kate Klimo

Dr. Seuss: The Great Doodler By Kate Klimo Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher Random House Books ISBN: 9781101935514 $12.99 Grades K-2 Out January 26, 2016 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library There are plenty of picture book biographies out there. And plenty that fall in the chapter zone (of which the […]

A next chapter: Editions at Play

In a world where smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices, not surprisingly, an October 2015 Pew study found a sizable decline in e-book reader ownership. It’s possible that digital may not be the best container for all physical books. And it’s pretty clear that print and e-readers are not the perfect containers for emerging forms […]

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino | SLJ Review

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree. illus. by Gemma Merino. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807512982. 

PreS-Gr 2 –Tina is a cow with perfectly purple spots. Her three sisters have neat navy spots. Tina has “a thirst for discovery.” Her sisters do not, preferring instead to focus on procuring fresh and juicy grass, like good cows do. One day, while exploring the woods, Tina decides to try something new, and climbs […]

The Gnomist | SLJ DVD Review

The Gnomist. Dist. by Great Big Story.

The Gnomist. 17 min. Dist. by Great Big Story. Thegnomistfilm.com. Greatbigstory.com. 2015. Free streaming.

Gr 4 Up –Along a forest path in Overland Park, KS, colorful, miniature doors began mysteriously appearing in the hollows of trees, inviting the curiosity of passersby. Peeking inside the fairy homes, enchanted visitors find twig furniture, moving boxes, and even tiny jars of candy, creating the illusion that occupants live amid the trees. Here, in Firefly Forest, visitors young and old believe in fairies […]