January 20, 2017

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Review of the Day: Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene

Prince Ribbit By Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Peachtree Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-56145-761-8 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 1, 2017 There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about . . . well, the news. Specifically fake news. Articles and stories that look real when you find them in your in-box or […]

Boldly Venturing into “Space” with Tinybop | Touch and Go

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Space, the most recent addition to Tinybop’s “Explorer’s Library,” was released last month, and like the other titles in the series, exploration is the name of the game.

Book Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Publisher’s description Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can’t leave the house, but […]

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson | SLJ Review

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WATSON, Renée. Piecing Me Together. 272p. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781681191058.

Gr 7 Up –High school junior Jade is an “at-risk” student from a rough neighborhood in Portland, OR. She is also a talented collage artist, and she attends an elite private school on scholarship. More than anything, she wants to go on a study abroad week offered at her school to use her Spanish skills. Instead, she is given an invitation to join Woman to Woman, […]

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes | SLJ DVD Review

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The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes. 18 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2016. $38.99. ISBN 9781520049472.

K-Gr 4 –Award-winning author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh has taken a treasured Mexican folktale and rewritten it with spare, Aztec-inspired artwork in this story of Princess Itza, whose heart was won not by a prince but by a humble warrior. His only chance to marry the princess lies in victory against the enemy. That triumph, however, is useless, for upon his return, […]

Review: ‘King Baby,’ by Kate Beaton

King Baby By Kate Beaton Scholastic, Grades Pre-K to 5 Kate Beaton, best known for her side-splittingly snarky comics about moments in history or literature, branches off in a new direction with her children’s book King Baby. The drawing is simpler, she uses color, and its humor is gentler and more straightforward. This is appropriate […]

Download SLJ’s Sneak Peek Guide to Spring/Summer 2017 Titles

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Over 150 of the most hotly anticipated spring and summer titles, hand-picked by the SLJ editors. With info on ALA author signings and galley giveaways.

Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp | SLJ Review

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RAPP, Adam. Decelerate Blue. illus. by Mike Cavallaro. 208p. First Second. Feb. 2017. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781596431096.

Gr 10 Up –Welcome to a brave new world that is marketing-forward and tech-heavy. Culture has been reduced to snippets of perfectly packaged and abbreviated elements. It’s a world run by the Guarantee Committee (GC), and the inhabitants are “protected” and monitored to ensure that they are keeping everything short. Students at Hyper High no longer study the classics; instead, they take […]

SLJ’s January 2017 Popular Picks

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SLJ is ringing in the New Year with this January Popular Picks list! This month includes a story about a badger who realizes his obsession with cleanliness has gone too far; the return of Aaron Blabey’s “Bad Guys”; a stunning graphic novel about Artemis, the goddess of the hunt; and an autobiography by soccer star Carli Lloyd, recently voted FIFA’s Best Women’s Soccer Player.

This House, Once by Deborah Freedman | SLJ Review

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FREEDMAN, Deborah. This House, Once. illus. by Deborah Freedman. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481442848.

PreS-Gr 2 –In a story that’s more poetic than technical, select pieces of a home are highlighted to emphasize the idea that a house remembers. A domicile is constructed with natural elements that began as something much different. “This door was once a colossal oak tree about three hugs around and as high as the blue.” The images start simply, […]

Outside the Frame | New YA Fiction About Teen Artists

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In these recent titles, the world is a canvas for teen artists.

The Secret Life of the Red Fox by Laurence Pringle | SLJ Review

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PRINGLE, Laurence. The Secret Life of the Red Fox. illus. by Kate Garchinsky. 32p. further reading. glossary. Boyds Mills. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629792606.

Gr 1-4 –Beginning on a snowy afternoon in February and ending in early autumn, this book centers on a fox named Vixen as she explores her habitat, hunts, runs from danger, and starts a family. This intimate and personal view into Vixen’s life is chronicled through a beautifully cohesive relationship between text and illustration. […]

A List of Cages by Robin Roe | SLJ Review

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ROE, Robin. A List of Cages. 320p. ebook available. Disney-Hyperion. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484763803.

Gr 9 Up –Julian—shy, quiet, and nervous—has just entered high school, and it’s a nightmare. Kids pick on him for the children’s books that he keeps in his backpack; teachers berate him for not speaking up in class and for handing in near-illegible assignments because of his undiagnosed dyslexia. He hides away in the school theater at lunchtime just to get away from […]

Book Review: The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum

Publisher’s description James Meredith’s 1966 march in Mississippi began as one man’s peaceful protest for voter registration and became one of the South’s most important demonstrations of the civil rights movement. It brought together leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, who formed an unlikely alliance that resulted in the Black Power movement, […]

Book Review: Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley

Publisher’s description In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to […]

The Best Man by Richard Peck | SLJ Audio Review

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PECK, Richard. The Best Man. 4 CDs. 4:25 hrs. Listening Library. Sept. 2016. $30. ISBN 9780735288881. digital download.

Gr 4-6 –The latest from Newbery Medal–winning author Peck takes on important and timely topics—marriage, sexuality, manhood, nontraditional families—and alchemizes them into an affecting story full of warmth, acceptance, and understanding. Sixth grader Archer Magill narrates what he calls “A Tale of Two Weddings.” At the first, “a train wreck” of an event, Archer, age six, was the ring bearer and […]

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin | SLJ Review

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CHIN, Jason. Grand Canyon. illus. by Jason Chin. 56p. bibliog. diag. further reading. websites. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Feb. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781596439504.

Gr 3-5 –A breathtaking walk through multiple habitats and deep time. Beginning at the banks of the Colorado River, a child and her adult companion hike up the South Kaibab trail from 1.84 billion-year-old “basement rocks” past the layers of the Grand Canyon Supergroup, the Bright Angel Shale, and other major formations to the Kaibab […]

SLJ’s Starred Reviews | January 2017

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This month’s can’t-miss titles include Jason Chin’s stunning look at the Grand Canyon, George O’Connor’s graphic novel treatment of the goddess of the hunt, and a charming new chapter book from Laura Amy Schlitz.

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

Teens Review “Dreamland Burning,” New Fantasy, and More

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The Kitsap YA reviewers take on new thrillers and fantasy titles and Jennifer Latham’s Dreamland Burning, among other recent releases.

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith | SLJ Review

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SMITH, Lane. A Perfect Day. illus. by Lane Smith. 32p. Roaring Brook. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626725362.

PreS-Gr 1 –An enjoyable afternoon is upended by an unexpected visitor in this charming book by the beloved children’s writer and illustrator. It was the perfect day for young Bert, his cat basking in the sunshine, his dog frolicking in a plastic pool, a chickadee enjoying the birdseed—even a squirrel was relishing a corncob. Then a bear lumbers onto the scene […]