Google+

November 25, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ

SLJ Multimedia Reviews

For all the latest SLJ reviews and more, subscribe to SLJ today and save 35%!

‘Katniss and Mouse’ Game in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1′| Film Review

TK

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.

A young sleuth solves mysteries in “Spy Catchers of Maple Hill”| Audio Pick

spycatchers

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 [...]

Rwandan women build their own business in “Sweet Dreams”| DVD Pick

sweetdreams

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 [...]

November Starred Reviews

SLJ1411w-STARs-CVs

Graphic Novels

Nonfiction

DVD

Audio

Music

Fiction

Alakija, Polly. Counting Chickens. illus. by Polly Alakija. 32p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804372.

PreS-Gr 2 –Tobi may have the finest hen in the village, but his friends’ animals are all having babies, while Tobi’s chicken only lays eggs. As days pass, Aduke’s four kittens, Dapo’s six piglets, and other animals grow [...]

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Bailey, Brave Girl, Leroy Ninker, and the Romanovs | Multimedia Reviews, November 2014

SLJ1411w-Multi-CVs-TN

Harry Bliss’s enthusiastic dog and Michelle Markel’s picture book biography of labor activist Clara Lemlich make their DVD debut. In audiobooks, Kate DiCamillo’s Leroy Ninker Saddles Up while becoming a cowboy and Candace Fleming traces The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Alaskan culture and human nature explored in “Ice Whale” | Audio Pick

icewhale

GEORGE, Jean Craighead. Ice Whale. 4 CDs. 4:30 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $46.75. ISBN 9781490630212. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 4-6–This magnificent story begins with Toozak‚ a Yup’ik Eskimo boy in Alaska, staring at a whaling ship with a red, white, and blue flag. When Toozak unknowingly leads the Yankee ships to the whales’ feeding grounds, the animals are slaughtered. For this, the village shaman declares Toozak’s family cursed until one of them can save the life of Siku, a young ice [...]

Teen learns important lessons through community service in “Havana Curveball”| DVD Pick

havanacurveball

Havana Curveball. 60 min. Dist. by PatchWorks Films. 2014. $89 (with PPR). $39.95 (no PPR). ISBN 3621179767.
Gr 5 Up–In this documentary, how can Cuba, baseball, a bar mitzvah, and a grandfather be connected into one fabulous story? For his upcoming bar mitzvah, Mica Schneider from California’s Bay Area decides to send baseball equipment to Cuba for his community service project. (He loves baseball.) His grandfather lived in the island nation as a child refugee from Nazi Germany, which led to [...]

Lawson reimagines Twain’s classic characters in “Becky Thatcher”| Audio Pick

actualtruthful

Lawson, Jessica. The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. 5 CDs. 5:59 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2014. $39.99. ISBN 9781629239385. 1 MP3-CD.
Gr 3-7–It’s 1860, and 11-year-old Becky Thatcher has just moved to St. Petersburg, Missouri. She’s looking for big-time adventure in this small town, and once she meets Sid Sawyer, it doesn’t take her long to find it. Pretty soon, she’s sneaking out after dark, stealing graveyard dirt at midnight, and keeping an eye out for dead cats to help [...]

Becky Thatcher, Baseball, and All That Jazz | Multimedia Reviews, October 2014

SLJ1410w-Multimedia-TN

The saga of all-women jazz orchestras and boys bonding over baseball feature in two starred DVD reviews. In addition, the secrets behind the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza and The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher are revealed in this month’s lineup.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Documentary explores female pioneers in the world of Jazz | DVD Pick

girlsintheband

The Girls in the Band. 88 min and 57 min. Dist. by Collective Eye Films. 2013. $99. UPC 823857178124.
Gr 6 Up–What was conspicuous about women jazz musicians in the big band era was their near absence. Those lucky enough to be asked to sit in with a band were not accepted by male peers and had short tenures. How women broke into the world of jazz, as revealed in this exceptional documentary, is poignant and disturbing. The resulting all-women orchestras [...]

October Starred Reviews

Stars_TN_Oct2014

Travel to an English boarding school with wild tomboy Will in Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, learn how Roget determined The Right Word, and listen to The Girls in the Band with the October stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

An unlikely friendship blossoms in “If I Ever Get Out of Here”|Audio Pick

IfIever

Gansworth, Eric. If I Ever Get Out of Here. 9 CDs. 10:20 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $55. ISBN 9780553395464. digital download.
Gr 9 Up–The year is 1975. Lewis Blake, a slightly built teen from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, is enrolled in advanced classes at high school. Lewis suffers racist stereotyping and bullying from students and some teachers. When he meets George Haddonfield, the boys find common interests in music, especially the Beatles, but Lewis is wary of befriending someone off the [...]

A Virtuoso Performance: ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’ | Touch and Go

EH_100114-TG-Vivaldi4

A new app from Touch Press is always cause for celebration, and in ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,’ the developer, with the help of Deutsche Grammophon, has engineered a production that mirrors the groundbreaking work accomplished in its productions of ‘Beethoven’s 9th’ and the ‘Liszt Sonata in B Minor.’

Documentary explores an unconventional classroom in ‘Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten’ | DVD Pick

in_strings

Young viewers will love learning about a nontraditional environment in Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten DVD.

An inspirational woman’s life in review in “Sally Ride”| Audio Pick

sallyride

Sherr, Lynn. Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space. 11 CDs. 13:30 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2014. $44.99. ISBN 9781494503406. 2 MP3-CDs.
Gr 9 Up–Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, impressive had earned a newly minted doctorate in physics from Stanford when she applied for the space program, beating out a thousand applicants for the job. Her focus was on her work and that dedication led to all of her successes. Published originally for the adult market, this [...]

“Growing Up Green” takes learning outside the classroom | DVD Pick

growing-up-green-4

Growing Up Green. 27 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2013. School: $79. Public: $39. ISBN unavail.
Gr 9 Up–Award-winning filmmaker Bob Gliner’s new documentary focuses on the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) in Michigan, a statewide initiative that centers on school reform through the students’ environment. Urban and rural students of all ages learn and practice science and environmental knowledge and skills. In doing so, they make connections to their physical surroundings, history, and community, while developing solutions and even [...]

Using Nintendo Streetpass in your Library

SLJ1409w_Multi-Gaming-TN

Nintendo’s Streetpass as a form of outreach targets gamers directly and encourages connections to the library in an unconventional way.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

September Starred Reviews

StarsModule_sept14

Get the inside scoop behind the whale who inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, take a walk on the wild side with The Accidental Highwayman, and blast off with Sally Ride, in the September stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Ancient Mysteries and Outer Space | Multimedia Reviews, September 2014

SLJ1409w_Multimedia-TN

Among the DVDs, the possible location of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are discovered, and in audiobooks, Deborah’s Wiles’s Revolution and Lynn Sherr’s Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space reach for (and get) a star.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

History comes to life in Wiles’s second “Sixties” installment|Audio Pick

revolution

Wiles, Deborah. Revolution. (The Sixties Trilogy: Bk. 2). 10 CDs. 12:10 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $50. ISBN 9780553395266. digital download.
Gr 5-8–At home, 12-year-old Sunny’s prickly relationships with her blended family trigger yearning for her absent mother. In town, the community faces SNCCs, COFOs and COREs, invaders from the North who’ve come to register black voters despite violent local opposition. Stacey Aswad perfectly conveys Sunny’s sassy young voice while Francois Battiste becomes Raymond, the African American boy who personifies the struggle [...]