March 21, 2017

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Walk with Me by Jairo Buitrago | SLJ Review

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BUITRAGO, Jairo. Walk with Me. tr. from Spanish by Elisa Amado. illus. by Rafael Yockteng. 32p. Groundwood. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988570.

Gr 1-4 –A girl invites an imaginary lion, a metaphor for her missing father, to accompany her on her long walk home. Along the way, she must pick up her baby brother from child care and purchase groceries, and when they arrive home, she prepares dinner before her mother returns from the factory. The illustrations are […]

Book Review: Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

Publisher’s description Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare. Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging […]

Book Review: BRACED by Alyson Gerber

The first time I ever had to wear my backbrace in public, I threw up. That’s what I remember the most. We were going to one of my brother’s baseball games and I was anxious that everyone would be able to tell that I was wearing it. So I barfed, as one does. The second […]

Have Struggling or Reluctant Readers? These Hi-Lo Titles Will Keep Them Engaged

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These new titles and series featuring high-interest subject matter with a low reading level (“Hi-Lo” books) are ideal for hooking reluctant or struggling middle grade and teen readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Time To Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech by Shana Corey | SLJ Review

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COREY, Shana. A Time To Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 48p. bibliog. further reading. notes. photos. NorthSouth. Apr. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780735842755.

Gr 3-5 –On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave an eloquent speech in which he made a plea for civil rights for African Americans. He was lauded for his blunt but sincere appeal to ensure equality for all Americans. Corey begins with biographical information on Kennedy, including his […]

Come On in, America: The United States in World War I by Linda Osborne | SLJ Review

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OSBORNE, Linda Barrett. Come On in, America: The United States in World War I. 176p. bibliog. index. photos. reprods. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419723780.

Gr 9 Up –What begins as an overview of U.S. involvement in World War I expands into how the Great War impacted the lives of Americans at home and on the battlefield. Osborne effectively juxtaposes issues such as censorship, propaganda, prejudice, discrimination, and violence that arose in the United States against the democratic […]

Review of the Day: Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, ill. Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse By Laurel Snyder Illustrated by Emily Hughes Chronicle Books $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-3153-5 Ages 6-9 On shelves April 11th Only the jaded should write reviews of children’s books. Oh, it makes sense! Think about it. Children’s books are where the saccharine and overblown and overbearing go to die. Things that wouldn’t cut it […]

I Voted? | SLJ DVD Review

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I Voted? 77 min. Dist. by Tugg Educational. 2016. $75. ISBN unavail.

Gr 9 Up –Jason Grant Smith, a young independent filmmaker, asks, “Are we the country we think we are?” in this timely, provocative, and important exploration of America’s voting procedures. His initial interest in the unlikely primary victory of an unknown candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina morphs into a general investigation of current voting systems, which are likely to be vulnerable to error and […]

That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares | SLJ Review

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MIYARES, Daniel. That Neighbor Kid. illus. by Daniel Miyares. 32p. ebook available. S. & S. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481449793.

PreS-Gr 2 –The illustrations tell the story in this subtle, heartwarming, nearly wordless picture book. The tale opens with a moving van parked in front of a house, and readers see a boy sitting beneath a huge tree in his new yard, engrossed in a book called Living in Trees. His neighbor, a girl, timidly watches him, first […]

Book Review: Secrets and Sequences: Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes, a guest post by Callum (age 10)

If you follow me on Twitter (@CiteSomething), then you’re familiar with my extremely entertaining 10-year-old son, Callum. He’s a big fan of graphic novels and recently has started pulling books out of my TBR pile. It’s fun to get book mail and have so much of it either appeal now to him or know it […]

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown | SLJ Audio Review

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BROWN, Skila. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party. 3 CDs. 3:51 hrs. Brilliance. Oct. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781522656296. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –For 19-year-old Mary Ann Graves, and her family, the journey from Illinois to California in 1846 meant an arduous walk through mountains and deserts, alongside livestock and wagons. Following Graves’s actual reports, the chapters of this novel, which is based on actual events, relate the party’s day-to-day struggles […]

Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder | SLJ Review

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CROWDER, Melanie. Three Pennies. 192p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481471879.

Gr 4-6 –Eleven-year-old Marin knows how to stay under the radar. Having been in the foster system since she was four, she knows a thing or two about getting by and has just three rules for survival. The third rule is the most important: “Never, under any circumstances, tell anyone that you’re waiting for your mother to come back for you.” Marin travels […]

Incarcerating US | SLJ DVD Review

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Incarcerating US. 84 min. Dist. by Bullfrog Films. 2015. $350 (PPR). Rental $95. ISBN 1941545629.

Gr 9 Up –A brutal and honest look inside the U.S. prison system. Colorful graphics help viewers visualize alarming statistics. For example, the federal prison population rose from 36,000 in 1985 to 200,000 today. Five grams of drugs, the amount equal to a sweetener packet, can get someone a five-year sentence. Additionally, judges, under the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, have little room for compassion. […]

Catching Up: 30 Recent YA Series Entries

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YA librarian Lindsey Tomsu rounds up recent YA series entries that teens won’t want to miss, from X-Files prequels to superhero sequels.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith | SLJ Review

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SMITH, Danna. The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 40p. further reading. index. websites. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763679927.

K-Gr 3 –A serene journey through a medieval landscape with a falconer and his daughter. Each spread features a four-line stanza that describes an aspect of falconry and ends with “the castle”: “This is the glove with scratches and flaws/which protects Father’s hand from razor-sharp claws/that grasp with ease and hold […]

Review: ‘Jughead’ Vol. 2

Jughead, vol. 2 Writers: Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North Artist: Derek Charm Archie Comics; $17.99 Rated Teen The first collected volume of the new Jughead comic proved to be a perfect companion title to the new Archie comic, discarding the romance and teen drama to focus exclusively on the jokes and gags, as befits a […]

SLJ’s March 2017 Popular Picks

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Spring is around the corner, and with it comes SLJ’s March Popular Picks!

Flip Flap Pets | Touch and Go

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Axel Scheffler and a flip book all in one? What could be more fun?

The Story of Cats | SLJ DVD Review

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The Story of Cats. (Nature). 106 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627898751. Blu-ray $29.99. UPC 0841887030472.

Gr 5 Up –This engaging film offers an incredible amount of information. The focus is on the most widespread of all carnivores, cats, found all over the world, even in our homes. The 37 different species of cats today live in every climate, and the program chronicles the evolution of the first breed of cats known to have existed 11 million […]

Pig & Goose and the First Day of Spring by Rebecca Bond | SLJ Review

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BOND, Rebecca. Pig & Goose and the First Day of Spring. illus. by Rebecca Bond. 48p. ebook available. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2017. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781580895941.

PreS-Gr 2 –This delightful transitional reader, dedicated to Arnold Lobel, celebrates the joy of new friendship. In the first chapter, Pig fixes herself a picnic on a beautiful day. The small white dot she spies turns out to be Goose, who lands right beside her. When Pig admires her new acquaintance’s flying skills, Goose […]