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September 18, 2014

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Classic Tales for the iPad | Best of Apps & Enhanced Books

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These timeless stories from Aesop and Prokofiev will be appreciated by a range of readers and listeners at home and in the classroom.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Well-Traveled Reader | SLJ Spotlight

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Readers can take a trip without moving an inch in these novels with vibrant, far away settings.

Before They Were Famous: Young Carl Sagan, Golda Meir, and Alice Waters | Nonfiction Preschool to Grade 4

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This month, SLJ highlights some picture books about famous figures—before they made it big. Barbara Krasner details Golda Meir’s first stab at leadership, Stephanie Roth Sisson offers a glimpse of Carl Sagan’s childhood dreams about the stars, and Jacqueline Briggs examines foodie Alice Waters, starting with the early years.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Transgender Teen Memoir, a Guide to Puberty, and Guys vs. Girls | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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The latest nonfiction for older readers spotlights gender and bodies, from a frank and original look at puberty to a memoir by a transgender teen.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

History comes to life in Wiles’s second “Sixties” installment|Audio Pick

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Wiles, Deborah. Revolution. (The Sixties Trilogy: Bk. 2). 10 CDs. 12:10 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $50. ISBN 9780553395266. digital download.
Gr 5-8–At home, 12-year-old Sunny’s prickly relationships with her blended family trigger yearning for her absent mother. In town, the community faces SNCCs, COFOs and COREs, invaders from the North who’ve come to register black voters despite violent local opposition. Stacey Aswad perfectly conveys Sunny’s sassy young voice while Francois Battiste becomes Raymond, the African American boy who personifies the struggle [...]

Explore Art: Nonfiction Titles for Teens

This is Warhol

“Media Mania” gets unplugged to feature exciting new books that spotlight the oldest form of mass communication: art. Ranging in topic from magnetic and multifaceted biographies of art world giants, these handsomely illustrated offerings invite teens into an intriguing and thought-provoking world.

New Books from Three Popular Authors

New Books from Three Popular Authors

Rainbow Rowell’s many, many teen readers are definitely not the target audience for her summer novel, Landline, but no matter. Rowell’s signature clever dialogue and snappy one-liners are in generous supply as one women tries to save her marriage. And while a failing marriage is not a favorite literary topic among teens, this novel also takes [...]

Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month, authors sensitively and perceptively portray both the bright and dark sides of family life, including award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata’s Half a World Away, a poignant look at adoption, the last installment in the “Joey Pigza” series, and Neil Gaiman’s innovative retelling of the “Hansel and Gretel” tale.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

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This issue is chock-full of new selections from classic picture-book artists, such as John Burningham, Anthony Browne, Denise Fleming, Bob Graham, and Chris Van Allsburg, as well as selections from some newcomers to the burgeoning field.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Latest from Heavy-Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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Looking for the next YA blockbuster? This month’s reviews feature titles by teen author staples in a variety of genres, from realistic fiction (Paolo Bacigalupi and Frank Portman) to fantasy (Marie Lu and Julie Kagawa) and somewhere in between (A. S. King and Jandy Nelson).

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Teens Review ‘Mary’, ‘Of Monsters and Madness’, and More

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Is creepy back in vogue? Our teen reviewers have turned up titles with an eerie element: the ghost of Bloody Mary, an addict set on revenge, and a riff on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Playing With the Narrative | SLJ Spotlight

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These teen fiction titles stretch the limits with twists on the traditional narrative.

Kill My Mother: A New Graphic Novel From Jules Feiffer

Kill My Mother: A New Graphic Novel From Jules Feiffer

A brief account of my acquaintance with the work of Jules Feiffer: I first became aware of Jules Feiffer through his phenomenal, and phenomenally funny, picture book Bark, George (1999). I didn’t know anything about the book or the author–I think my wife brought it home to read to the kids–but I immediately fell in [...]

The Invisible Circle

The Invisible Circle

For the last nine months, I’ve been on a mission to get you all to read the great French mystery novelist Paul Halter (posts here and here) and today I’m back with another of his books. As I pointed out in that first post, his books are translated and published by a tiny house called [...]

The March Goes On | Touch and Go

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As we mark the 51st anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, two first-rate compelling resources on that day and the Civil Rights era now have iPad iterations. Both are essential classroom resources and both are free.

Fabulous Debuts

Fabulous Debuts

It’s the end of August, and we still have quite a few reviews of summer books to share with you. So don’t let this somewhat clumsy grouping at all diminish your regard for the following three debut novels. I start with 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas because, well, great title! And it really does [...]

‘If I Stay’ Needs a Pulse | Film Review

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The screen adaptation of Gayle Forman’s ‘If I Stay,’ which hit screens on August 22, is a watered-down version of the hit YA book. The characters on film lack the focus and edge of the book’s incarnations.

A Mystery Unravels | Touch and Go

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Prepare to spend time with this app. On opening it you’ll find yourself in a labyrinth and a mystery, and it’s up to you to decide how the story unfolds.

Novels in Verse, Literary Street Lit, and High-Interest Nonfiction | What’s Hot in YA

How it Went Down Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is especially timely with recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and just the right title for young adults grappling with streaming headlines. And, a new book from the queen of verse novels, Ellen Hopkins, will entice fans of the format. The following fiction and nonfiction titles for teens will be perfect for late-summer reading and back-to-school shelf-browsing.

On the Cusp

On the Cusp

High school is behind you, but you’re not quite an independent adult. Today’s reviews cover one book of essays and stories written during–and one graphic novel memoir written about–the college years. Marina Keegan was a talented writer who died days after graduating from Yale. She had lined up a position as an editorial assistant at The [...]