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November 25, 2014

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Book/Multimedia Review Stars | September 2013

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About words and writing.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Book Review: Graphic Novels | July 2013

Graphic Novels Book Covers

Matt Phelan on Buster Keaton.

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List | July 2013

Image from, The day the crayons Quit (Daywalt)

Drew Daywalt on crayons, graphic novels by Gene Luen Yang, and much more…

Spring Graphic Novels: From Science to Superheroes

How to Fake a Moon Landing

Nothing is quite as it seems in this spring’s graphic novels, from the bad science in Darryl Cunningham’s How to Fake a Moon Landing to the reality-show superheroes in Tiger & Bunny. But there are some familiar faces as well, with a new Star Trek story, a graphic-novel version of Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, and the return of the classic Disney game manga Kingdom Hearts. There’s plenty here to keep readers sprawled in their hammocks all summer long.

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List | May 2013

Odd Duck (Castellucci). ©2013 by Sara Varon

May, a month of “ducky” stars.

Fiction Series Update | May 2013

Book Covers

The latest installments in intriguing adventures, gripping sci-fi, and more.

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List: March 2013

The Highway Rat (Donaldson) ©2013 by Axel Scheffler.

Check out SLJ’s Stars list. From Julia Donaldson’s “The Highway Rat” to Gail Carriger’s “Etiquette & Espionage.” There’s something for everyone.

Book Review: Graphic Novels | March 2013

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Check out the three stars, plus many other reviews, in March’s graphic-novel section.

Pick of the Day: Peanut

blue cover with single peanut in center

HALLIDAY, Ayun. Peanut. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 216p. Random/Schwartz and Wade. Jan. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86590-9; PLB $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96590-6.
Gr 7 Up
–Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder [...]

Book Review Graphic Novels: January 2013

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 HALLIDAY , Ayun. Peanut. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 216p. Random/Schwartz and Wade. Jan. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86590-9; PLB $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96590-6.

Gr 7 Up–Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder [...]

Pick of the Day: The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel

The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel

DUPRAU, Jeanne. The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel. adapted by Dallas Middaugh. illus. by Niklas Asker. 144p. Random. 2012. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86821-4; PLB $21.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96821-1; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86793-4; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97910-0. LC 2011051619.
Gr 5-8
–Lina and Doon have spent their entire lives surrounded by darkness. Lina is an optimist and a dreamer who just knows there is something beyond the city of her birth. Doon is much more practical. He knows that if he can [...]

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List: November 2012

Colorful Dreamer (PARKER) ©2010 by Holly Berry

Colorful Dreamer (PARKER) ©2010 by Holly Berry

Preschool to Grade 4

BERK , Ari. Nightsong. illus. by Loren Long. S & S. p. 70.

COLE , Henry. Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. illus. by author. Scholastic. Nov. 2012. p. 70.

DALY , Niki. The Herd Boy. illus. by author. Eerdmans. p. 71.

GORDON , Domenica More. Archie. illus. by author. Bloomsbury. Nov. 2012. p. 76. [...]

Book Review Graphic Novels: November 2012

DEUTSCH, Barry. How Mirka Met a Meteorite. Bk. 2. illus. by author. 128p. (Hereville Series). Abrams/Amulet. Nov. 2012. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0398-0.
Gr 4-7–Meteorite picks up right where How Mirka Got Her Sword (Abrams, 2010) leaves off. When Mirka, an 11-year-old Orthodox Jew, goes to retrieve her sword from the troll, he inadvertently summons a meteorite. Fortunately, she is able to prevent the destruction of Hereville with the help of the witch. Unfortunately, the witch turns the meteorite into [...]

Fall Graphic Novels Take a Walk on the Dark Side

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Vampires, zombies, robot policemen—this fall’s graphic novels don’t shy away from the dark side. You’ll find plenty of humor as well, to lighten things up.

Pick of the Day: A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return

Graphic novel cover of a Middle Eastern family

ABIRACHED, Zeina. A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return. tr. from French by Edward Gauvin. illus. by author. 192p. diags. maps. CIP. Lerner/Graphic Universe. Sept. 2012. PLB $29.27. ISBN 978-0-7613-8568-4; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-57505-941-9; ebook $21.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-0047-4. LC 201103891.
Gr 5 Up–Zeina and her younger brother are growing up in Beirut, where civil war is a part of daily life. To protect against strikes and sniper fire, the family’s living space has been reduced to the relative [...]

September 2012 Reviews: Stars List

Interior Image from, Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! (Marsalis)

Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! (Marsalis)©2012 Illustration by Paul Rogers

Preschool to Grade 4

FERRIS, Jerri Chase. Noah Webster & His Words. illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2012. p. 129.

HOPKINSON, Deborah. Annie and Helen. illus. by Raul Colón. Random/Schwartz & Wade Bks. Sept. 2012. p. 130.

HATKE, Ben. Legends of Zita the Spacegirl. illus. by author. First Second. Sept. 2012. p. 171.

KLASSEN, Jon. This Is Not My Hat. [...]

September 2012 Reviews: Graphic Novels

ABIRACHED , Zeina. A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return. tr. from French by Edward Gauvin. illus. by author. 192p. diags. maps. CIP. Lerner/Graphic Universe. Sept. 2012. PLB $29.27. ISBN 978-0-7613-8568-4; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-57505-941-9; ebook $21.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-0047-4. LC 201103891.
Gr 5 Up–Zeina and her younger brother are growing up in Beirut, where civil war is a part of daily life. To protect against strikes and sniper fire, the family’s living space has [...]

Watch and Read-Spotlight on Media Tie-ins: Batman: Movie Reads for Teens

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Despite the awful tragedy that occurred in Aurora, CO on the movie’s opening night, fans continue to flock to theaters to see The Dark Knight Rises. Suggest these tantalizing titles to YA lovers of Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking film trilogy.

Graphic Novels: July 2012

Elementary and Middle School

Ayuko. The Earl and the Fairy. Vol. 1 . illus. by author. 182p. Viz Media. 2012. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4215-4168-6.
Gr 7 Up–This book has the look and feel of a true manga title, complete with two battling men and a flustered female who wishes she were stronger. Lydia is wide-eyed and innocent, described as having hair the color of “rust,” while Huxley and Edgar are smoldering, with long bangs and serious eyes. Edgar [...]

Vacation Time: Take a Break with Graphic Novels | On the Radar, Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild

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Your teens have spent the year slogging through European history, sociology, chemistry, and classic books all year. Before they completely forget what it’s like to read for fun, get a graphic novel in their hands. These titles range from strangely humorous to uncomfortably serious, and there’s a reader out there for every one of them, guaranteed.