July 26, 2016

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Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari | SLJ Review

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

Gianferrari, Maria. Coyote Moon. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 32p. further reading. websites. Roaring Brook. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626720411. 

K-Gr 2 –A captivating and atmospheric title about a mother coyote on the hunt through a suburban landscape. Readers join the coyote as she leaves her pups in the den and travels through a neighborhood, a golf course, and a lakeside—all in pursuit of a mouse, a flock of geese, a rabbit, and, finally, one unfortunate […]

SLJ’s July 2016 Popular Picks


This month’s Popular Picks features favorite authors such as Kelly DiPucchio, Kekla Magoon, and Dav Pilkey.

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

Los Pollitos | Touch and Go


In conjunction with the publication of Susie Jarmillo’s flap-filled book, Los Pollitos/Little Chickies, Encantos Media Studio has released an app loaded with activities related to the traditional song.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova | SLJ Review

YA-HS-Corvado-Labyrinth Lost

CÓrdova, Zoraida. Labyrinth Lost. 336p. (Brooklyn Brujas: Bk. 1). ebook available. Sourcebooks/Fire. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492620945. POP 

Gr 9 Up –Alejandra Mortiz comes from a long line of powerful brujas (witches), although she has unsuccessfully tried to hide her powers from her family. They dismiss her disinterest as typical teenage behavior and continue to have high expectations of her and her abilities. At her Deathday celebration, a special ceremony where she is expected to […]

Oyler | SLJ DVD Review


Oyler. 56 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2015. $89. ISBN unavail. 

Gr 9 Up –A chronicle of a year at Oyler School, located in Cincinnati’s most economically challenged neighborhood. Committed staff, led by principal Craig Hockenberry, have created a preschool to grade 12 facility that has become a community center, serving three meals daily and equipped with a free medical clinic open until 10 p.m. Hockenberry takes a personal approach to helping students succeed, and he can be […]

Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur | SLJ Review

Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur

LaFleur, Suzanne. Beautiful Blue World. 224p. ebook available. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385743006; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375990892. 

Gr 5-8 –The country of Sofarende is at war. Mathilde and Megs, both 12, are best friends. When the military begins recruiting children for the war effort, their school holds an examination for students ages 12 to 14. Those who pass the test will be sent somewhere to help with the war effort. In […]

Moo by Sharon Creech | SLJ Review

Moo by Sharon Creech

Creech, Sharon. Moo. 288p. HarperCollins. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062415240. 

Gr 3-6 –Creech offers a memorable family story featuring an especially difficult cow. When Reena, 12, and her brother Luke, seven, move with their parents to Maine from the noisy bustle of New York City, lots of adjustments are required. The siblings appreciate each other and generally get along. The citified family is thrust into small-town life, and things get awkward when Reena’s parents force […]

Review of the Day – A Toucan Can: Can You? by Danny Adlerman and Friends

A Toucan Can, Can You? By Danny Adlerman Illustrated by Lindsay Barrett George, Megan Halsey, Ashley Wolff, Demi, Ralph Masiello, Wendy Anderson Halperin, Kevin Kammeraad, Pat Cummings, Dar (Hosta), Leeza Hernandez, Christee Curran-Bauer, Kim Adlerman, and Symone Banks Music by Jim Babjak The Kids at Our House Children’s Books $19.95 ISBN: 9781942390008 Ages 3-6 On […]

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner | SLJ Review

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

Garner, Paula. Phantom Limbs. 368p. ebook available. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763682057. 

Gr 8 Up –This debut novel is a story of loss, love, and friendship, about a teenager coming to terms with the past and dealing with repressed memories that are resurfacing. Otis Mueller, 16, an introverted swimmer at Willow Grove High School, is thrown for a loop when Meg, his all but forgotten first love and former next-door neighbor, sends him a […]

Big Voice | SLJ DVD Review

Big Voice.

Big Voice. 53 min. and 83 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2015. $89. ISBN unavail.

Gr 6 Up –Jeffe Huls loves music and his job as Santa Monica High School’s choral director. This exceptional documentary chronicles a school year as he uses all of his skills to pull the music out of students who are also dealing with their own teen issues. After finally being able to select a 32-person madrigal choir (a longtime dream), he finds that […]

Application for the ALA/ALSC representative to USBBY

This is so neat that I wish I could apply for it myself.  I cannot, but if you’re a member of ALSC, you could (you lucky thing).     The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is seeking a personal member interested in representing ALA/ALSC on the United States Board on Books for Young […]

Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin | SLJ Review

Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin

Godwin, Laura. Owl Sees Owl. illus. by Rob Dunlavey. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553497823. 

PreS-Gr 1 –“Soar/Glide/Swoop/Swoosh.” A young owlet leaves his nest one night for a solo adventure—and, by the light of the moon, sees his reflection in the water. “Owl/Sees/Owl.” Startled, he makes his way back home, where he finds safety in the comfort of his nest. “Sister/Brother/Mama/Home.” With only a few words per page, this poetic picture book […]

Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac | SLJ Review

Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac

Bruchac, Joseph. Talking Leaves. 272p. Dial. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803735088. 

Gr 4-7 –Bruchac has crafted a tale of depth and universal humanity in this fictionalized account of Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee syllabary, and his son, Jesse. Struggling with gossip and whispers about his father, Jesse must decide whether to embrace the vision his father has for his people or to distance himself even further from his heritage. With an authentic voice, Bruchac […]

Review: ‘Birdsong’

Birdsong Writer/artist: James Sturm Toon Books; $12.95 Level One Cartoonist James Sturm’s contribution to Toon Books’ line of comics for kids of all ages is, in fact, not a comic book at all. It is related to the medium though, and is Sturm’s attempt to introduce young readers to the Japanese “paper theater,” an important […]

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey | SLJ Review

CHAP-GN-Pilkey-Dog Man

Pilkey, Dav. Dog Man. illus. by Dav Pilkey. 240p. (Dog Man: Bk. 1). Scholastic/Graphix. Sept. 2016. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780545581608. POP 

Gr 1-4 –Part canine, part human, Dog Man is a crime-fighting sensation. He fights crime, sniffs out wrongdoing, and battles his doglike tendencies. His nemesis is Petey, a cat who cooks up devilish plans in his secret lab. The pages are filled with bold lines and colorful artwork that has a childlike feel and will […]

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis | SLJ Review

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

McGinnis, Mindy. The Female of the Species. 352p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062320896.  

Gr 9 Up –McGinnis presents readers with a darkly captivating look at the lives of small-town teens seeking escape through drinking, drugs, and sex. Alex Craft prefers to be untouchable, thinking of herself as a caged and dangerous wolf who should not be allowed around others for the sake of their own safety. Following the grisly […]

Melissa Grey’s “The Shadow Hour,” the Latest Sci-Fi, and More | YA Series Update


The following are some of the latest installments in recommended YA series, including some interesting takes on sci-fi, a little bit of romance, and one series that defies explanation and that teens won’t want to miss.

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

Book Review: Whatever.: Or How Junior Year Became Totally F$@cked by S.J. Goslee

Publisher’s description  It’s like the apocalypse came, only instead of nuclear bombs and zombies, Mike gets school participation, gay thoughts, and mother-effin’ cheerleaders. Junior year is about to start. Here’s what Mike Tate knows: His friends are awesome and their crappy garage band is a great excuse to drink cheap beer. Rook Wallace is the […]

Midwestern Investigative Report: NerdCampMI 2016 – Day One

There are advantages to living in New York City. Good museums. Lots of books and readers.  The sweet morning aroma of hot garbage on the street to greet you at the break of day. Consumed in such a heady aroma it can be easy to forget that there are disadvantages to the city as well. […]

App Review: Pokemon Go

This weekend my timeline flooded with posts about Pokemon Go. Then on Sunday afternoon, The Teen came home from a friend’s house declaring they had walked 3 miles trying to catch Pokemons. So I decided I needed to figure out what this Pokemon Go is because my teens are definitely into it. Pokemon Go is […]