October 5, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Diversity explored and celebrated in “Same, Same but Different” | Audio Pick


KOSTECKI-SHAW, Jenny Sue. Same, Same but Different. 1 CD. 6 min. Weston Woods. 2015. $12.95. ISBN 9780545842426.
K-Gr 2–When Elliott draws a picture of his world in art class, his teacher sends it across the globe to another classroom and a beautiful story is born. Elliott from America and Kailash from India have very different lives, but through their letters and drawings they see how much they have in common. Kostecki-Shaw teaches listeners about the beauty of diversity and sends the […]

Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson | SLJ Review


NELSON, S.D. Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People. illus. by S.D. Nelson. 64p. bibliog. chron. index. maps. notes. photos. Abrams. Nov. 2015. RTE $19.95. ISBN 9781419707315. LC 2014045761.
Gr 4-6–Sitting Bull witnessed great changes in the lives of Native Americans during his lifetime (1831–90). Nelson, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas, presents Sitting Bull’s life as an entry point into that period of history. A detailed time line and author’s note reflect […]

Review: ‘Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth’

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth Writer/artist: Judd Winick Random House; $14 Judd Winick’s entry into the comics field was something of an explosion, no doubt propelled by his celebrity as a cast member on one of the earliest seasons of one of the earliest reality TV shows, MTV’s The Real World. […]

The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos | SLJ Review


Gantos’s latest fictionalized novel based on his own childhood explores tween Jack’s obsession with the bad kid next door.

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs | SLJ Review


SLJ reviews the latest installment in Ransom Riggs’s YA crossover series, “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.”

Book Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Publisher’s description: Critically acclaimed memoirist Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice, takes an unflinching look at what happens to a small town when some of its residents commit a terrible crime. This honest, authentic debut novel—inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case—will resonate with readers who’ve ever walked that razor-thin line between guilt […]

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett | SLJ Review


SLJ reviews Terry Pratchett’s last novel, a cleverly crafted fantasy starring the intrepid teen witch, Tiffany Aching.

Much-Anticipated Titles from Judy Blume, Ernest Cline, and More | Adult Books 4 Teens


In today’s column, I introduce you to eight books by favorite authors. Whose favorite? Well, teens, for one. Also: the Alex committee, AB4T columnists, and the world at large. These are some much-anticipated releases by authors we are always excited to see come out with new work. In an attempt to get through all eight, I’m going to try to pair them up to make sense of them. We’ll see how I do.

The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith | SLJ Review


SMITH, Sherri L. The Toymaker’s Apprentice. 400p. Putnam. Oct. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399252952.
Gr 4-6–Part Nutcracker with a dash of Pinocchio, this middle grade debut by YA author Smith is an absorbing tale of adventure, invention, family loyalty, and sly humor. Stefan Drosselmeyer and his father, a master toymaker, are in their home in Nuremberg grieving the recent loss of Stefan’s mother. Enter flamboyant cousin Christian Drosselmeyer, who involves them in a perilous quest. Christian, the master clockmaker for the […]

Review Imelda & the Goblin King by Briony May Smith

Imelda & the Goblin King By Briony May Smith Flying Eye Books ISBN: 9781909263659 $17.95 Grades PreK-2 Out October 20, 2015 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library There has maybe never been a time in human history when we are more focused on “new”. I’m guilty of it. It seems like with all […]

Mama’s Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat | SLJ Review


DANTICAT, Edwidge. Mama’s Nightingale. illus. by Leslie Staub. 32p. Dial. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525428091. LC 2014039868.
Gr 2-5–Brightly colored folk art with a Caribbean flair offsets the sadness of a little girl whose Haitian mother has been sent away to a prison for undocumented immigrants. Every night, Saya’s father writes letters to the judges, their mayor and congresswoman, and newspapers and television stations, but no one ever writes back. During their weekly visits to the detention center, Saya’s mother […]

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh | SLJ Review


TONATIUH, Duncan. Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh. 40p. bibliog. glossary. index. websites. Abrams. 2015. RTE $18.95. ISBN 9781419716478. LC 2014042319.
Gr 3-6–Tonatiuh’s latest delves into the life of artist and social commentator extraordinaire José Guadalupe Posada, best known for his literary calaveras, brief and amusing rhyming poems about skeletons dressed in clothes, going about their daily business. The beautifully expressive Day of the Dead–inspired illustrations on heavy paper pages sport borders of […]

The Bard Gets Bawdier “Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be” | Touch and Go


Studying parody or William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in class? Looking for retelling of a classic with an unusual twist? Don’t miss “Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be,” now in digital.

Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo | SLJ Review


MORPURGO, Michael. Listen to the Moon. 352p. Feiwel & Friends. Oct. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250042040.
Gr 5 Up–The place: the Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall, England. The time: May 1915, during the bleak early days of World War I when German U-boats patrol the seas and sink British ships. While fishing near a deserted island, Alfie Wheatcroft and his father hear a child crying and discover a sick, traumatized, speechless girl. “Lucy” is all she can say, and […]

Book Review: Breakaway by Kat Spears

Publisher’s description: When Jason Marshall’s younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates–Mario, Jordie, and Chick–to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who’s not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a […]

Scientists and engineers explore climate change in “Antarctic Edge” | DVD Pick


Antarctic Edge: 70° South. 72 min. Dist. by First Run Features. 2015. $24.95. UPC 720229916639.
Gr 9 Up–This documentary follows oceanographer Oscar Schofield and a team of scientists from many disciplines on a three-month expedition to Antarctica. Their research vessel becomes an independent community in the remote, harsh wilderness as they study the myriad effects of global warming on the continent and its life-forms. Particular attention is given to the melting of sea ice, which is an important habitat for penguins. […]

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern | SLJ Review


MCGOVERN, Cammie. A Step Toward Falling. 384p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Harper. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062271136.
Gr 9 Up–Emily knew when she saw Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being assaulted under the bleachers she needed to intervene, but she froze, and now she’s doing community service and trying to figure out how to live with herself. Belinda is attempting to determine how to go forward after rescuing herself. Told in alternating sections of Emily’s and Belinda’s voices, this book explores […]

Review: ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ 3-in-1 Volume 1

Yu-Gi-Oh! became popular in US due to the cartoon and trading card game, but it started out as a manga. It was brought over here by Viz Media as part of the debut of Shonen Jump manga magazine and was one of the anchor titles. Yu-Gi-Oh! emphasizes the importance of friendship while also indulging in […]

It’s Your World by Chelsea Clinton | SLJ Review


SLJ reviews Chelsea Clinton’s new nonfiction book for kids and teens.

Dibujado por Enriqueta/Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers | SLJ Review


LINIERS. Escrito y Dibujado por Enriqueta. ISBN 9781935179917.
––––. Written and Drawn by Henrietta. ISBN 9781935179900.
ea vol: illus. by Liniers. 64p. (TOON Books). Toon Graphics. Sept. 2015. Tr. $12.95.
Gr 2-4–Henrietta is a young girl who has just received a new box of colored pencils, which she describes as “owning a piece of the rainbow.” And that is exactly how this book is illustrated, with bright, thickly applied colors in childlike drawings that reinforce the mood and action of the text. Liniers […]