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September 22, 2014

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June Starred Reviews

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From a dystopian adventure set in Hawaii to a surreal, graphic-novel-inspired picture book to a deep exploration of one history’s most infamous families, the June Stars offer excellent examples of the best in fiction, nonfiction, and media for children and teens.

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

A Promising Young Basketball Star Learns to Live “Off the Rez” | DVD Pick

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Off the Rez. 86 min. Dist. by Cinema Guild. 2012, released in 2014. $99.95. ISBN 0781506220.
Gr 7 Up–High school basketball star Shoni Schimmel, a household name in Native communities throughout North America, has reached the apex of her sport, which is deftly documented in this film. Oregon’s Umatilla Indian Reservation is Shoni’s home before her mother, Ceci, accepts a high school coaching job in Portland, hundreds of miles away. Starting her junior year there, Shoni, her six siblings and mother [...]

Teens Review Latest from Neon Trees, Hunter Hayes, and FIFA World Cup

PopPsychology

Neon Trees’s latest release, Pop Psychology, demonstrates growing command of both sound and lyrics. Wunderkind Hunter Hayes brings a new level of class to the often cliched world of country western music. Can’t make the trip to Rio for the 2014 World Cup soccer games? Not a problem—FIFA’s 2014 World Cup Brazil will take you there for a fraction of the cost.

Following the Rhythm of ‘Josephine’ | Audio Pick

josephine

Powell, Patricia Hruby. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. 1 CD. 1 hr. Recorded Books. 2014. $15.75. ISBN 9781470383862. digital download.
Gr 2-5–Born into the slums of St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker had dance in her soul. From an early age, she was happiest when performing in front of an appreciative audience. Because of her race, she was often relegated to dressing the dancers, but Josephine worked hard and learned all the dance moves, just in case. When she [...]

Actor Jeremy Irons Exposes Earth’s Pollution in Eco-Doc ‘Trashed’ |DVD Pick

trashed

Trashed. 97 min. Dist. by Green Planet Films. 2013. Schools $129, public libraries $69. ISBN unavail.
Gr 7-12–In this grim and shocking eco-documentary, actor Jeremy Irons travels the world investigating the monumental waste produced by our consumer-oriented lifestyles. Irons—calm, sometimes concerned, but with touches of lightness—is well suited presenting the harsh facts he offers. Some of the aftereffects of rampant waste are trash mountains seeping toxic waste into the Mediterranean, dying turtles and barren whales, plastic debris polluting the oceans, children [...]

Teens Review ‘Shatter Me’, ‘MLB 14: The Show’, ‘Mario Golf: World Tour’

Shatter Me

Dub-step violin? You have got to give Lindsey Stirling’s album Shatter Me a listen. Like baseball and golf but would rather play indoors than out? MLB 14: The Show and Mario Golf: World Tour to the rescue!

Science is celebrated in ‘Great Men and Women in the History of Medicine’ | Audio Pick

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Angus, David. Great Men and Women in the History of Medicine. 2 CDs. 2:30 hrs. Naxos Audio. 2013. $17.98. ISBN 9781843796909. digital download.
Gr 4-7–Anyone who thinks that the history of treating disease and injury is destined to be a boring listen will be remarkably impressed with this presentation. Beginning with Hippocrates in Ancient Greece followed by the work of the Roman Galen, this title chronicles the incredible developments in medicine through the centuries with astounding details and entertaining facts interspersed [...]

Roald Dahl’s Offbeat Tale ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ Delights and Intrigues | DVD Pick

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Fantastic Mr. Fox. DVD and Blu-ray. 87 min. Dist. by the Criterion Collection. 2009, this edition 2014. $39.95. ISBN 9781604657883.
Gr 4 Up–Mr. Fox is the cleverest fox around. In his youth, he was a master chicken thief. When he and his wife are trapped during a chicken heist, she reveals that she is pregnant and demands that Mr. Fox change his ways and stop taking risks. He does as his wife asks, but after several years he finds himself unsatisfied. [...]

May Starred Reviews

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Tracy Holczer’s tender exploration of grief, Matthias Picard’s eye-popping 3-D underwater adventure, and Stephanie Kuehn’s unputdownable thriller top our list of stellar titles reviewed in the May issue.

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

Marvel Superhero Blowout: Captain America, Spiderman, and the X-men | Media Mania

Xmen No More Humans

This spring has brought a bumper crop of big-budget films about the adventures of shield-flinging, skyscraper-swinging, mutation-mastering heroes. Supercharge your holdings and movie tie-in book displays by including this selection of preludes, adaptations, story sources and inspirations, and suggested reads about popular Marvel characters.

Caillou, Josephine Baker, and Music Galore | Multimedia Reviews

Fantastic Mr. Fox
©2014 by the Criterion Collection

Reviews of DVDs and audiobook for kids of every age, plus a roundup of children’s music

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

Teens Review ‘Divergent’ Soundtrack, Shakira, and “Plants vs. Zombies” | Music and Games

Divergent soundtrack

Teens who went crazy for the “Divergent” series and film adaptation will want the soundtrack on autoplay. Think it would be hard for Shakira to surprise you? Her 10th studio album will. Need help keeping the zombies off your lawn? Sign up for Garden Warfare, the latest in the “Plants vs. Zombies” game franchise.

A Young Saudi Arabian Girl Refuses to Conform in Wadjda | DVD Pick

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This nuanced, achingly poignant, and sensitive story of a rebellious girl navigating the difficult terrain of a repressive culture will invite comparisons to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis.

Children Brave Monsters Both Real and Imagined in ‘How To Catch a Bogle’ | Audio Pick

howtocatchabogle

This action-packed story about dangerous, child-eating monsters in Victorian England comes alive through well-paced, dramatically voiced narration.

Lincoln@Gettysburg Examines the Role of Telegraph During Lincoln’s Presidency | DVD Pick

Lincoln DVD

History classes studying the Civil War can utilize this outstanding film for a fresh look at a well-worn topic and to contemplate how Lincoln would have used Twitter or other social media.

Teens Review the Latest from The Fray, Foster the People, Donkey Kong | Music and Games

Donkey Kong Tropcial Freeze

Donkey Kong goes way north with Tropical Freeze, while The Fray and Foster the People continue the climb to the top of the charts with their latest albums, Helios and Supermodel.

Courageous African American WWII Sailors Profiled in The Port Chicago 50 | Audio Pick

Port Chicago 50 Audio

This powerful book that tells the story of brave men who fought the entrenched system of segregation found within the U.S. military during World War II takes on ever greater depth in audio.

Lincoln, Bogles, and the Port Chicago 50 | Multimedia Reviews

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DVDs and audiobooks for preschool through high school

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

April Starred Reviews

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From an ode to an innovative jazz musician to an unreliable narrator-driven YA novel, check out the book and multimedia titles that made SLJ’s April list of stellar offererings.

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

Pick of the Day: Fortunately, the Milk | Audio

Fortunately, the Milk

Hilarious, captivating, and just plain fun, this is a production not to miss.