April 30, 2017

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Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition! by Barbara Parks | SLJ Audio Review

PARKS, Barbara. Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition! 2 CDs. 77 min. Listening Library. Jan. 2017. $20. ISBN 9780147523440. digital download.

Gr 1-3 –This fabulous 15-song production is centered on four previous stories—First Grader (at Last!), Boss of Lunch, One-Man Band, and Top Secret Personal Beeswax—and features the songs from Junie B. Jones, the Musical. In First Grader (at Last!), listeners discover that first grade can be a scary place, but it also offers new beginnings. The irrepressible […]

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein | SLJ Review

WEIN, Elizabeth. The Pearl Thief. 336p. Disney-Hyperion. May 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781484717165.

Gr 8 Up –In this prequel to Code Name Verity, set in 1938, Julia Beaufort-Stewart, 15, returns home from school in Paris for summer break to unhappy changes. The family’s house and land have been sold and are being converted into a school. Julie, finding no one at home to welcome her, heads to the river. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the […]

Review: Ellie in Concert by Mike Wu

Ellie in Concert
By Mike Wu
Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781484712382
$16.99
Grades K-2
Out Now
Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

What Do a Bat and Kangaroo Have in Common? | Find Out in Tinybop’s “Mammals”

A new tool to engage kids in the sciences that’s informative, interactive, and easy to navigate.

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta | SLJ Review

UWIRINGIYIMANA, Sandra with Abigail Pesta. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child. 304p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. May 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062470140.

Gr 7 Up –The greatest storytellers connect with readers through universal truths, and Uwiringiyimana tells her own profound story with clarity and honesty. After a heart-pounding cliff-hanger opening, Uwiringiyimana goes back in time to revisit her childhood in Uvira, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although occasionally interrupted by bouts of […]

A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent by Anne Rockwell | SLJ Audio Review

ROCKWELL, Anne. A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent. 1 CD. 14 min. Dreamscape. Jan. 2017. $14.99. ISBN 9781520066172.

Gr 2-5 – The true story of James Lafayette, a Revolutionary double agent, will captivate and anger young listeners as they learn about the incredible dangers that James, an American enslaved person, took while trying to secure America’s freedom from the British and earning his own from his masters. At great danger to […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#51)

  Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Utter nonsense. There were maybe 2 truly funny parts; the rest ridiculous, pointless, NONSENSE. Some of it was so entirely stupid that I have to wonder if the translation was correct. There was no plot, just–again–NONSENSE. Click here […]

Review of the Day: My Valley by Charles Ponti

My Valley By Charles Ponti Translated by Alyson Waters Elsewhere Editions (an imprint of Archipelago Books) $24.00 ISBN: 978-0914671626 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. I’ve written a lot about the state of translated children’s books in America lately. It is what it is. Generally speaking, Americans can be a bit cagey when it comes to […]

SLJ’s April 2017 Popular Picks

The latest thriller from Cristin Terrill, a feminist primer for little ones, and a heartfelt memoir by a BuzzFeed editor.

4 Novels on the Trials and Tribulations of Middle School

The following novels feature characters smack-dab in the middle of those tumultuous middle school years.

Eco-conscious Poetry Books for Earth Day

Just in time for April, here are two titles that are perfect for both National Poetry Month and Earth Day–related lessons.

2 YA Tales of Some Not-so-Witchy Witches

Teen witch books aren’t all “hocus pocus” and “eye of newt.”

5 Picture Books Celebrating Dads (and Granddads)

5 warm and tender titles with male-focused parent-and-child interactions that celebrate the special bonds between father (or grandfather) and child

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce | SLJ Review

COTTRELL BOYCE, Frank. Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth. 336p. HarperCollins/Walden Pond. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062643629.

Gr 4-7 –Prez Mellows is a list expert. He’s been making lists for years on sticky notes to help his granddad remember important life facts, such as “Prez is your grandson” and “Do not go out without trousers.” His lists help save the planet when a space-traveling alien, Sputnik, shows up on Earth and enlists Prez’s help to come up with […]

Review: ‘Disney Beauty and The Beast’

Disney Beauty and The Beast: The Beast’s Tale and Disney Beauty and The Beast: Belle’s Tale Writer: Mallory Reaves Artists: Studio Dice Tokyopop; $10.99 All Ages I was initially pretty perplexed as to why Disney was bothering to make live-action remakes of some of its classic animated films, particularly those like The Jungle Book and […]

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin | SLJ Review

FULTON, Sybrina & Tracy Martin. Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin. 352p. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2017. Tr $26. ISBN 9780812997231.

Four years after Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, was killed walking home by George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood watch coordinator with a gun, the teen’s mother and father, in alternating chapters, share the devastating experience of losing a son to senseless violence: “We tell it in hope for healing, for bridging the divide that separates […]

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market by Michelle Schaub | SLJ Review

SCHAUB, Michelle. Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market. illus. by Amy Huntington. 32p. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781580895477.

Gr 3-5 –A multiethnic crowd of people saunter through a farmers’ market, investigating produce, accompanied by cheerful poetry. Does the “smell of a melon give clues you can use”? Are free-range eggs truly “eggs-traordinary,” and is honey really “liquid-gold alchemy”? Along with this delectable sampling of sweet corn and the search for gooseberries are a list of […]

Review: ‘Anonymous Noise’

Anonymous Noise, Vol. 1 Writer/artist: Ryoko Fukuyama Viz; $9.99 Rated T for Teen Nino Arisugawa has a great voice—and lousy luck with friends. As a child, she shared her love of singing with her next door neighbor Momo…until he suddenly disappeared, his family having skipped town without even giving her a chance to say goodbye. […]

The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson | SLJ Review

DONALDSON, Julia. The Giant Jumperee. illus. by Helen Oxenbury. 32p. Dial. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735227972.

Toddler-PreS –When Rabbit hears a booming voice coming from his burrow, from someone who claims to be the Giant Jumperee, he’s terrified. Cat, Bear, and Elephant each attempt to investigate but are sent running by the unseen occupant. Luckily, Mama Frog puts things right and reveals that the Giant Jumperee isn’t nearly as terrifying as he sounds. Though the ending will be […]

App Review: Enlight

For months now I have been wanting to talk to you about a photo app called Enlight, the only problem is – I can’t figure out how to use it very well. This may sound like a dig at the app but it’s not, it’s an admission of my own lack of skills. The truth […]