February 5, 2016

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A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story | SLJ DVD Review

A Brave Heart The Lizzie Velasquez Story

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. 78 min. Spanish subtitles. Dist. by Tugg. 2015. DVD and Blu-ray $95. $375 PPR. ISBN unavail.

Gr 6 Up –Lizzie Velasquez, born with a rare condition that prevents her from gaining weight, among other symptoms, was bullied as a child because of her ailment, but with the support of her family was able to grow into her teen years with few psychological issues. She even became a middle school cheerleader. Then […]

Otters Love to Play by Jonathan London | SLJ Review

Otters Love to Play by Jonathan London

London, Jonathan. Otters Love to Play. illus. by Meilo So. 32p. index. Candlewick. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763669133.

K-Gr 2 –The story of an action-filled year in the life of a North American river otter family begins with the selection of an abandoned beaver den by the mother and the spring birth of her babies. Solely responsible for the young, she nurses them until they are ready to leave the den and go outside, where […]

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier as told to Michelle Cuevas | SLJ Audio Review

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend A Memoir by Jacques Papier

CUEVAS, Michelle. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier. 3 CDs. 3:03 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $27. ISBN 9781101925751. digital download.

Gr 3-6 –Jacques Papier is going through an existential crisis: nobody seems to acknowledge his presence, not even his own parents, and he begins to doubt that anyone can even see him. The exception is his twin sister, Fleur, his constant companion and advocate. While brooding over his predicament at the park one […]

Teens Review Veronica Rossi’s “Riders,” Sci-Fi, and More

teen reviews starflight

A teen reviewer gives a glowing review to Veronica Rossi’s latest series opener, and another young adult swoons over Melissa Landers’s Starflight.

Book Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

Publisher’s description In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past. Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim […]

Coloring Books Make the Leap to Digital | Touch and Go


With the release of Millie Marotta’s Coloring Adventure,/em> for the iPad, it appears the coloring book trend has successfully made the leap to digital.

I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora | SLJ Review


ISADORA, Rachel. I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!). illus. by Rachel Isadora. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Jan. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399160493.

PreS-Gr 1 –Isadora provides a sensory tour of early childhood, exploring common sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. Each “chapter” consists of a number of simple declarative sentences matched with colorful ink and watercolor vignettes to capture what the children are experiencing or have learned not to try. […]

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow | SLJ Audio Review


BOW, Erin. The Scorpion Rules. 8 CDs. 10:30 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2015. $29.99. ISBN 9781442391604.

Gr 9 Up –Four centuries in the future, the UN’s leading artificial intelligence has put an end to large-scale wars by requiring all world leaders to surrender one of their children as a hostage to peace. The children live in isolated preceptures and are educated to be future heads of state, all the while knowing that if their countries go to war, […]

Review: ‘The Adventures of Supergirl #1′

The Adventures of Supergirl #1 Writer: Sterling Gates Artist: Bengal DC, $0.99 (digital) Rated 12+ DC has had something of a Supergirl problem for a while now. Not with the new TV show of that title airing on CBS, or, at least, not exactly. Everyone seems to love the show itself, which has proven to […]

Strong Bodies, Healthy Minds: Rosen Teen Health & Wellness | Reference Online


Whether seeking information for reports or for personal reasons, users will find a trove of material with Rosen Teen Health &Wellness.

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

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith | SLJ Review

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Smith, Amber. The Way I Used to Be. 384p. ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481449359. 

Gr 9 Up –Eden is a quiet band nerd and a freshman when her brother’s best friend, Kevin, rapes her. Eden’s entire life is changed from that moment. Life no longer makes sense. She believes Kevin’s threats and doesn’t tell anyone what happened. The next four years of her life are shaped by […]

Bloom by Doreen Cronin | SLJ Review


Cronin, Doreen. Bloom. illus. by David Small. 40p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442406209.

K-Gr 3 –Though her outward appearance is chock-full of dirt, the fairy Bloom is delightfully talented. Underappreciated and misunderstood, she retreats into the wilderness. Without Bloom’s magical touch, her kingdom falls into disarray, “held together by duct tape, glue, and peasants.” Though the king and then the queen search for answers to fix their kingdom (“I am […]

Review of the Day: The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

The Airport Book By Lisa Brown A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook, an imprint of Macmillan $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-091-6 Ages 4-7 On shelves May 10th. Look, I don’t wanna brag but I’m what you might call a going-to-the-airport picture book connoisseur. I’ve seen them all. From out-of-date fare like Byron Barton’s Airport to the uniquely […]


If you are in an iPad school, you’ll want to take a look at BookWidgets. BookWidgets is a super easy (no programming required) way to create interactive elements to share with learners on their iPads. A widget library presents more than thirty customizable options and a wizard talks the user through widget building.  Among the […]

The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Bogart | SLJ Review

Groundwood Logos Spine

BogarT, Jo Ellen. The White Cat and the Monk. illus. by Sydney Smith. 28p. Groundwood. Mar. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554987801.

Gr 1-5 –On a dark night, a white cat enters an abbey, his lithe form slinking down the stone hallways until he spies a warm yellow light spilling out from under a doorway. Here, after several pages of wordless graphic novel–like panels, readers meet the titular monk, who welcomes the feline into his chambers as […]

Code of Honor by Alan Gratz | SLJ Audio Review

Code of Honor by Alan Gratz

Gratz, Alan. Code of Honor. 6 CDs. 7:09 hrs. Scholastic Audiobooks. 2015. $34.99. ISBN 9780545881524.

Gr 8 Up –Seventeen-year-old Kamran Smith is a typical American high school student. He plays football, has a girlfriend and friends, plans to attend West Point after he graduates, and has an older brother he idolizes, Darius, a U.S. Army Ranger. But when Darius is captured in Afghanistan and is then seen on television appearing to work alongside terrorists, Kamran and his […]

Book Review: The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of School Library Journal. FEDERLE, Tim. The Great American Whatever. 288p. […]

Book Review: The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

Publisher’s description When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn’t be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they […]

Wuwu & Co. | Touch and Go


At first glance, Merete Pryds Helle’s Wuwu &Co. appears to be one of those apps in which a soothing narrator reads a story. But when readers are told to “pick up the book,” a new level of interactivity is revealed.

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | SLJ Review

The Steep and thorny way cat winters

Winters, Cat. The Steep and Thorny Way. 352p. Abrams/Amulet. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419719158. 

Gr 8 Up –There’s something rotten in 1920s Oregon in this Hamlet-inspired tale of a biracial girl seeking the truth about her African American father’s death. When the drunk driver who killed her father is released, Hanalee starts to look more closely at her small town and the folks who live there. She uncovers prejudice, injustice, and serious crimes from some […]