July 26, 2016

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The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade | SLJ Review

The Music in George’s Head George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade

Slade, Suzanne. The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue. illus. by Stacy Innerst. 48p. bibliog. chron. Calkins Creek. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781629790992. 

K-Gr 4 –Slade teams up with Innerst for this pleasant picture book biography of composer George Gershwin, with a focus on Gershwin’s introduction to music as a child and the various influences that led to his unique musical style. The culmination of the story is the creation and […]

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry | SLJ Audio Review

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Berry, Julie. The Passion of Dolssa. 10 CDs. 11:43 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $60. ISBN 9780147525819. digital download. 

Gr 7 Up –This magnificent tale is set in post-Crusades 13th-century France. A pious young noblewoman blessed with the gift of healing, Dolssa de Stigata is judged a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church and sentenced to burn at the stake. Forced to watch her beloved mother burn first, Dolssa is surprised when someone cuts the ropes binding […]

28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. | SLJ Audio Review

28 Days Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr.

Smith, Charles R., Jr. 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World. 1 CD w/Tr book. 68:45 min. Live Oak. Jan. 2016. $31.95. ISBN 9781430120247. 

Gr 2-5 –Each of the 28 entries in this excellent work, written to be used during Black History Month, highlights the achievements of an African American man or woman, or the details of a court decision or historical event, the effects of which are still felt today. Vibrant poetry begins many of […]

Creative Play with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” | Touch and Go

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Young children have an opportunity to experiment with colors, textures, and shapes when they produce art in an app inspired by Eric Carle’s iconic picture books.

Book Review: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

Publisher’s description When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true… Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the […]

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina | SLJ Review

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Medina, Juana. Juana and Lucas. illus. by Juana Medina. 96p. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763672089. 

Gr 2-4 –Juana lives in Bogotá, Colombia, with her dog Lucas. She loves brussels sprouts, drawing, and especially the comic book superhero Astroman. She most definitely does not like learning “the English.” When her teacher says learning English is going to be a “ton of fun,” Juana knows that it will really be “nada de fun.” Her abuelo, or […]

Nonfiction Xpress Reviews | August 2016

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Getting up close and personal with gorillas, Leonardo da Vinci, and sharks.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Picture Books Xpress Reviews | August 2016

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Bilingual adventures for Spanish and Cree readers; two new outings with Katie Woo; a Stone Age puppy tale.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Graphic Novels Xpress Reviews | August 2016

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Wordless storytelling; something for Cartoon Network fans; and a snowy alter ego.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

YA Xpress Reviews | August 2016

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Sadie Robertson and Cindy Coloma Get Real; Ocean’s 11 for the YA set; and Caribbean myth and legend.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Middle Grade Xpress Reviews | August 2016

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A new selection for “Wimpy Kid” fans; adventure on the high seas; and historical fiction set in czarist Russia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Nonfiction Monday: The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring by Gilbert Ford

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation By Gilbert Ford Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) ISBN: 9781481450652 $17.99 Grades K-3 Out September 13, 2016 *Best New Book* If you think about it, there are some comparisons to be drawn between the Slinky and picture books […]

The Best Man by Richard Peck | SLJ Review

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Peck, Richard. The Best Man. 240p. Dial. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803738393. 

Gr 4-6 –The inimitable Peck frames his latest novel with weddings. Opening with a flashback to a hilariously disastrous wedding when Archer Magill was in first grade, the book closes with a significantly more staid one that occurs when he is in sixth grade. Most of the story, though, takes place between these two events, during Archer’s fifth grade year. A military-based student […]

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas | SLJ Review

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

Cuevas, Michelle. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. illus. by Erin E. Stead. 40p. Dial. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803738683.  

K-Gr 2 –A man who lives at the seashore has a unique—but lonely—job. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles spends his days watching the waves for a glint of glass and delivering messages near and far. His only companions are an orange tabby cat and a cow. Befitting the slightly melancholy tone, Cuevas’s text is appropriately […]

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin | SLJ Audio Review

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

GARVIN, Jeff. Symptoms of Being Human. ­­7 CDs. 7:47 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2016. $21.99. ISBN 9780062447258. digital download. 

Gr 9 Up –“The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?” Keep wondering: Riley Cavanaugh isn’t answering. Riley is gender-fluid, information only Riley’s psychiatrist is privy to while Riley’s conservative congressman father and teacher mother remain clueless. Between medications and therapy, Riley is struggling to just live life. […]

Teens Review Twisty Plots and Summer Romances

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From a murderous plot to a modern twist on You’ve Got Mail, the latest books covered by the Kitsap YA group are titles perfect for reading by the poolside or on much-needed beach days.

Review of the Day: The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow

The Mighty Odds By Amy Ignatow Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $15.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1271-5 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 13th If you could have one weird superpower, what would it be? Not a normal one, mind you. We’re not doing a flight vs. invisibility discussion here. The power would have to be […]

SLJ’s Starred Reviews | July 2016

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From Aaron Becker’s lush conclusion to his “Journey” picture book series to librarian Mindy McGinnis’s YA blockbuster The Female of the Species, there’s something for every reader in July’s list of starred titles.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of School Library Journal.   TALLEY, Robin. As I Descended. 384p. […]

Where, Oh Where, Is Rosie’s Chick? by Pat Hutchins | SLJ Review

Where, Oh Where, Is Rosie’s Chick by Pat Hutchins

Hutchins, Pat. Where, Oh Where, Is Rosie’s Chick? illus. by Pat Hutchins. 32p. S. & S. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481460712. 

PreS-Gr 1 –When Rosie the hen finally hatches an egg, she cannot find her baby chick. She looks everywhere, and all the while, her chick is looking for her—sort of. Baby chick is still wearing half of his shell over his head and walking around blindly. Rosie does not even recognize him, but an […]