August 17, 2017

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Here Comes the Sun | Digital Resources for the Solar Eclipse

Gear up for a cosmic experience on August 21 with these easy-to-access, digital resources.

Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork | SLJ Review

STORK, Francisco X. Disappeared. 336p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780 545944472.

Gr 8 Up –Sara, a reporter at her Mexican hometown, writes a column in the local newspaper detailing numerous cases of abducted young girls in Cuidad Juárez, including her best friend Linda. When the young woman receives a coded email message hinting at her friend’s whereabouts and captors, she investigates further and discovers how deeply the corruption and criminality runs in her city. Her brother, Emiliano, lives […]

Book Review: You Don’t Know Me but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Publisher’s description Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time. There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about. Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother […]

Anchor: for painless podcasts

If you’ve been reluctant to attempt podcasting for yourself or for your students, Anchor, just might be your solution. Available free at either the App Store or Google Play or at Anchor.fm, Anchor makes podcasting from your phone or iPad or Chromebook a breeze. It also makes podcasting a social media event.  And there’s virtually no learning curve […]

Windows by Julia Denos | SLJ Review

DENOS, Julia. Windows. illus. by E.B. Goodale. 32p. Candlewick. Oct. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763690359.

PreS-Gr 1 –In this story, a boy of color dons a red hoodie, leashes his eager dog, and ventures out into the twilight, where the windows are “blinking awake as the lights turn on inside: a neighborhood of paper lanterns.” Readers get to peer in at the small, diverse figures making dinner, throwing a party, dancing, even stretching tin cans on a string between houses to talk on […]

Back-to-School Roundup | Reviews

Twenty-four titles to introduce newcomers to the school experience and to welcome back returning scholars.

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

Review: ‘Star Scouts’

Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence First Second, $14.99 Ages 8-12 Avani doesn’t get along with the other girls in the Flower Scouts troop in her new neighborhood. They only want to talk about boys and makeup, while she’s interested in rodeo, which means they put her down with country wisecracks. Then Avani is abducted by […]

Middle Grade Titles on Surviving and Thriving | SLJ Spotlight

Three new middle-grade titles feature protagonists overcoming illness and physical challenges.

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

44 Terrific Titles | August 2017

August’s stars feature Molly Idle’s “Flora” adventures, an illustrated biography of the legendary Arturo Schomburg, and audiobooks of two popular YA titles.

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

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | SLJ Audio Review

THOMAS, Angie. The Hate U Give. 9 CDs. 11:40 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2017. $39.99. ISBN 9781470827137. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Starr has learned to adapt her personality to fit two worlds. “Garden Heights Starr” helps her ex-gangbanger father in his neighborhood grocery. “Williamson Starr” has a white boyfriend, and is one of the few black students at a tony prep school in an exclusive part of town. When gunshots ring out at a Garden Heights party, Starr and her friend Khalil leave. […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#57)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I suppose it’s possible that this book could have been even more depressing, but I can’t think of a way. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . . One Star Review […]

The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson | SLJ Review

SWANSON, Matthew. The Real McCoys. illus. by Robbi Behr. 336p. Imprint. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250098528.

Gr 3-5 –A lot can happen in one day when you’re the world’s greatest fourth grade detective. Moxie McCoy aims to find both her school’s stolen mascot and a new best friend while surviving multiple trips to the principal’s office. Moxie’s biggest surprise of the day? A new appreciation of her “boring as a butter knife” younger brother Milton, who reveals detective skills of his own. […]

Odd & True by Cat Winters | SLJ Review

WINTERS, Cat. Odd & True. 368p. Abrams/Amulet. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419723100.

Gr 9 Up –Trudchen, a polio survivor who reads tea leaves, is the younger sister to Odette, and both are Maria’s daughters. All through Tru’s youth, Od would fill her head with magical, fantastical stories to fill the dark times. After a two-year absence, Od returns looking haunted and accompanied by a case full of mysterious weapons that she promises will help kill monsters. Soon, the siblings whisk away on […]

Review: ‘Ten Thousand Years in Hell’

Ten Thousand Years in Hell Writer/Artist: Maurice Tillieux Fantagraphics; $19.99 The title story in Ten Thousand Years in Hell, a new collection of a pair of Gil Jordan, Private Detective stories from the early 1960s, takes its title from a courtroom scene. Jordan and his comic relief sidekick Crackerjack are before a tribunal in a […]

Book Review: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

Publisher’s description As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. But when Janie Lee confesses to […]

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton | SLJ Review

BARTON, Chris. Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion. illus. by Victo Ngai. 36p. chron. further reading. photos. Millbrook. Sept. 2017. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781512410143.

Gr 2-5 –During World War I, the British were in danger of starving because so many German U-boats were sinking American and British supply ships. Eventually, Norman Wilkinson, a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lieutenant-commander, had the idea to paint boats in such a manner as to confuse the German submarine captains, and the concept […]

The King’s Ears | Touch and Go

A lively retelling of a Slavic folktale about a king who keeps firing barbers because he’s ashamed of the secret they discover while cutting his hair: he has goat ears.

Review of the Day: What’s My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston, ill. Tim Mack

What’s My Superpower? By Aviaq Johnston Illustrated by Tim Mack Inhabit Media $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-77227-140-9 Ages 4-7 On shelves August 4th I credit Booger Beard. I will explain. While many children’s librarians will tell you that they have strived to make their book collections diverse and inclusive, they have always been hampered by what was […]

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore | SLJ Review

CASHORE, Kristin. Jane, Unlimited. 464p. Penguin/Kathy Dawson Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803741492.

Gr 9 Up –Before her Aunt Magnolia died in a blizzard in Antarctica, she made Jane promise to accept any invitation she might receive to visit Tu Reviens. When her high school tutor, Kiran, extends an invitation to her family’s annual spring gala at Tu Reviens, Jane knows she has to accept even though she is still deep in mourning for the aunt who had raised her. But the […]

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s by Patrick McDonnell | SLJ Review

MCDONNELL, Patrick. The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way). illus. by Patrick McDonnell. 48p. Little, Brown. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316502467.

PreS-Gr 1 –McDonnell’s abecedarian tale takes a small scarlet cat on a breathtaking adventure. The clever tale—wordless except for two signs and one warning shout—begins when the feline notices his home’s front door standing open and takes to the hills. He almost immediately comes upon a gape-mouthed Alligator, a climbing Bear, and an agitated […]