May 2, 2016

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Book Review: The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith (368 pages) About the Book In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault. Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change […]

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison | SLJ Review

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison

Levy, Dana Alison. The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island. 272p. ebook available. Delacorte. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553521306; lib. ed. $18.99. ISBN 9780553521313. 

Gr 4-6 –The Fletcher family—four adopted boys, two dads, two cats, and one dog—are off to their annual summer visit to Rock Island. This year the Fletchers’ beloved lighthouse is closed and has been threatened with demolition. While seeking answers to the lighthouse problem, Sam joins a theater company, Eli faces his […]

A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers and Other Badass Girls edited by Jessica Spotswood | SLJ Review

tyranny of petticoats

Spotswood, Jessica, ed. A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers and Other Badass Girls. 368p. Candlewick. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763678487. 

Gr 9 Up –Fifteen notable YA authors come together to write enthralling short historical narratives starring ambitious young women. The contributors include Leslye Walton, Marie Lu, Beth Revis, Elizabeth Wein, Kekla Magoon, and Robin Talley. The stories are arranged chronologically—from British North America in 1710 to Chicago in 1968—and address several eras […]

Book Review: Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community by Robin Stevenson

Publisher’s description For LGBTQ people and their supporters, Pride events are an opportunity to honor the past, protest injustice, and celebrate a diverse and vibrant community. The high point of Pride, the Pride Parade, is spectacular and colorful. But there is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did […]

Opera Notes: Apps | Touch and Go

xxx© DADA Company Edutainment S.L. 2015

“Introducing opera to a child can be daunting,” comments SLJ reviewer Pam Schembri. Two apps from DADA Company give it a try.

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray | SLJ Review

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray

Murray, Alison. Hare and Tortoise. illus. by Alison Murray. 32p. Candlewick. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763687212. 

PreS-Gr 1 –A delightful and witty retelling of the traditional Aesop fable. The story remains true to the original, while adding in wonderfully quirky descriptions of the main characters. In doing so, Murray makes the well-known animals that much more lovable. It is impossible not to smile at Tortoise’s catchphrase, “I may be slow, but watch me go,” as […]

Movie Reviews: The Bard in Newtown; A Kid Chess Champion | 2016 Tribeca Film Festival


Of more than a dozen films previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival, two works in particular stand out for teen and young adult viewers and as potential additions to media collections.

Chasing It | SLJ DVD Review

Chasing It  by Dreamscape

Chasing It. 46 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2015. $19.99. (PPR) $199.99. UPC 857063005769. 

Gr 9 Up –Addicts, a grieving father, and a medical doctor describe in detail the power of heroin over youth from all socioeconomic brackets. Dr. Marc Fishman, from Mountain Manor Treatment Center and associate professor at John Hopkins Medicine, explains how the first experience with heroin is unlike any previous feeling and that users are destined to chase that euphoria, which can never be duplicated. He […]

Review of the Day: Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune By Pamela S. Turner Illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge $16.95 ISBN: 9781580895842 Ages 10 and up On shelves now When you read enough children’s books published in a single year, folks tend to believe that you’ve an ability to spot trends in the general literature. Trend-spotting is […]

“American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers” | Professional Shelf


In American Girls, Nancy Jo Sales explores the impact of social-networking sites, dating apps, and Internet use on teenage sexuality, gender roles, and behavior—online and off.

Political Thrillers, Flirty Romances, and Complex Sci-Fi | YA Series Update


The following are some of the latest installments in popular YA series. The highlighted choices include some classic romances, science fiction, dystopians, horror, a modern-day take on Shakespeare, and political thrillers that teens won’t want to miss.

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

The Mummy Makers of Egypt by Tamara Bower | SLJ Review

The Mummy Makers of Egypt by Tamara Bower

Bower, Tamara. The Mummy Makers of Egypt. illus. by Tamara Bower. 40p. maps. Seven Stories. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781609806002. Pop 

Gr 4-6 –Award-winning author and illustrator Bower reveals the process of Egyptian embalming in a colorful and informative manner. The narrative follows the death and embalming of Yuya, an official of the royal court whose tomb was discovered in 1905 near the Valley of the Kings. The text begins with the historical context of embalming […]

Book Review: Original Fake by Kirstin Cronn-Mills with art by E. Eero Johnson

Thanks to Penguin generously donating some ARCs for Kirstin’s recent visit to my library, I have two extra to raffle off. You can enter via the Rafflecopter, by (re)tweeting this review, or by following me on Twitter (@CiteSomething). Contest runs 4/19 to 4/21. US entries only, please.  Publisher’s description In this Banksy-inspired illustrated novel, an escalating […]

Book Review: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi

Publisher’s Book Description Having passed her test in Book One, Sunshine’s Luiseach powers are now fully awakened: for months now, Sunshine has felt spirits everywhere: heard voices, felt emotions – intense and sometimes overwhelming. She tries to ignore them, but it is impossible. Hoping to get her powers under control – and hoping for answers […]

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill | SLJ Review


O’Neill, Louise. Asking for It. 304p. ebook available. Quercus. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681445373. 

Gr 10 Up –Proud, gorgeous, vain—at 18, Emma O’Donovan is the “It” girl of her small Irish town. She dreams of passing her leaving exams in a year, going to college, marrying a rich man who can finally buy her what she deserves, and living happily ever after. Then she takes a pill from a boy at a party. Emma wakes […]

A Longtime Publisher Casts Its Print Content in a New Light | Reference Online


Kids Discover presents an online version of the material from its popular magazines, supplemented by strong visual and interactive features.

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

Mowgli, Mischief, and Music | “The Jungle Book” Movie Review

Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley)  in The Jungle Book (All photos: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Disney’s new version of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic returns to the murky and mysterious Indian jungle.

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins | SLJ Review

PB_Perkins_Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. illus. by Lynne Rae Perkins. 32p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062373458. 

K-Gr 4 –As the book begins, sequential panels depict a ginger-haired boy having a horrible day; the next set shows a police officer taking a lost Labrador retriever to an animal shelter. When Frank gets Lucky, their mutual joy in learning about each other quickly transfers to other arenas. The dog is particularly interested in […]

Book Review: My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin

Publisher’s description Football hero. Ninja freestyler. It’s seventh grade. Anything is possible. All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are […]

“Elmo’s World” Revisited | Touch and Go


Devoted fans of television are often willing to watch reruns of their favorite shows, and that goes for young enthusiasts as well as adults. In Elmo’s World and You, Sesame Street remixes some segments from its television show (and related products) to create this app.