An inside look at how the SLJ book review editors chose the 70 Best Books of 2014. View a slideshow of our favorite titles and download a printable version of the list.
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Natalie Haynes’s debut novel is a fascinating mix of Haynes’s diverse interests and talents. A stand-up comedian, television panelist, journalist, and author of a nonfiction book on the Greek classics, Haynes brings all these sources to bear in creating a complex and satisfying narrative. As our reviewer notes, the novel is structured, as a traditional [...]
The hit “Hunger Games” film series has become more assured in its latest installment, with Katniss Everdeen returning as a teen embracing the role of rebel leader and engaging in a lethal game of “Katniss and Mouse” with President Rose.
The ebook journey has been circuitous for high school teacher librarian Krista Brakhage. Some of the collection she purchased three years ago “disappeared,” prompting her to search for a new ebook purchasing model that works for her budget, students, and staff.
From an anthology of writings by LGBTQ teens to R.L Stine’s newest entry in the “Fear Street” saga, the latest books for teens are sure to pique readers’ interest and keep them coming back for more.
Blakemore, Megan Frazer. The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill. 7 CDs. 8 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $45. ISBN 9781490627595. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 4-6–The year is 1953, and fifth grader Hazel Kaplansky is a girl in search of a mystery. When rumors begin flying that the Russians are operating a spy ring right in her small New England town, Hazel knows she is the girl for the case. She’s the smartest, most relentless person she knows, and she’s ready to put [...]
As a (and often the only) member of the indie rock band The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle is responsible for some of the most literate music of the 2000s and early 2010s. This year he turned to the in-no-way-guaranteed-to-succeed extension of that literate nature: a novel. But succeed it does, and I’m not the only [...]
Valerie Geary‘s debut novel is a family drama, coming-of-age, psychological murder mystery that builds to thriller pitch. Two sisters deal with unusual family dynamics, and put themselves at risk to clear their father’s name. It seems fitting that one of the authors who has blurbed the novel is Lisa O’Donnell, who won an Alex Award for The Death [...]
Check out the high praise from teen reviewers for titles by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Marcus Sedgwick, and more. Read on to find out what some of YA’s hottest authors are delivering to shelves this fall and winter.
On Monday, Angela mentioned that we haven’t had as many nonfiction titles as we’d like this year, and offered up Dr. Mutter’s Marvels for consideration. Today, we’ve got another nonfiction title, this time a memoir, and a novel based on a real person. The memoir is Cea Sunrise Person’s North of Normal, and Person’s first [...]
‘Mosasaurus’ is the latest app from Oceanhouse Media based on Smithsonian ‘Prehistoric Pals’ print series. This “mighty ruler of the sea” grew to 55 feet in length and weighed 20 tons.
Sweet Dreams. 56 min. Dist. by Liro Films. Sweetdreamsrwanda.com. 2014. Schools $195. 1 year streaming rights $150. Three years streaming rights $350. ISBN unavail.
Gr 9 Up–A devastating civil war in the 1990s between Hutus and Tutsis left Rwanda in an emotional and political spasm, with more than 800,000 murdered. The surviving families experienced nationwide trauma, but perhaps the unifying force of traditional drumming could help them heal. Drumming had been the exclusive domain of men until Kiki Katese created a [...]
Fantasy writing for children has a long and storied history, populated with all manner of heroic quests, forgotten prophecies, and strange magic. Despite its near-century of popularity, there is no sign of flagging enthusiasm for this much-beloved genre.
We’ve suffered from a dearth of adult nonfiction for teens this year, but today I am thrilled to bring you a great recommendation. In fact, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels shares some of the very best qualities of Mary Roach’s iconic Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, especially a gross-out curiosity factor and great story-telling. Add a larger-than-life subject and [...]
I have to say I expected more World War I books this year, considering it is the Centennial of that war. We did have the fabulous poetry collection/graphic novel Above the Dreamless Dead. But other than that we haven’t seen a huge push for books about the Great War. One book under review today takes [...]
Looking for an app that offers a language-arts lesson ? The Happy Dandelion’s ‘UnStealer’ fits that bill, but does it succeed as story?
This month, we highlight databases for both the oldest and the youngest patrons. While Sparticl brings together the best science material on the Web, World Book’s Early World of Learning focuses on users making their first forays into reading.
This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.