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October 30, 2014

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October Starred Reviews

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Travel to an English boarding school with wild tomboy Will in Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, learn how Roget determined The Right Word, and listen to The Girls in the Band with the October stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

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

Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

I thought readers here might be interested to know, if they hadn’t heard already, that Malala Yousafzai has just been named a co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is, of course, the author of I Am Malala–reviewed here back in December–which chronicles her struggle for education for girls in Pakistan, and eventual shooting [...]

Secret agents, robot chickens, and zombies | SLJ Spotlight

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These zany middle grade titles are perfect shelf bait for reluctant readers.

Teens Review War Books: Mythological, Historical, and Emotional

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Teens often feel like they are misunderstood and at war with the rest of the world. These fiction titles will give them some strategies for coping on and off the battlefield of adolescence.

Debut Author Marie-Helene Bertino Dishes the Writing Dirt with SLJTeen

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SLJ caught up with debut author Marie-Helene Bertino to discuss her 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, a multigenerational story perfect for mother/daughter book clubs.

Brian Cox’s ‘Wonders of Life’ | Touch and Go

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He refers to himself as a bit of an “academic ” and lucky for us that he is one. Brian Cox is also a highly engaging, enthusiastic teacher of all things science. In his latest immersive production, ‘Wonders of Life,’ he delves into the origins and mysteries of life on Earth.

Brush Up on Musicals, Cat Breeds, Sign Language, and More | Reference Reviews

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This month, we’ve got you covered no matter what you want to learn. Hoping to brush up on your cat breed knowledge? You’re covered. Want to take up American Sign Language? Look no further. And, Annie, get your ready reference—we’ve got your guide to musicals: stage, screen, and more.

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

An unlikely friendship blossoms in “If I Ever Get Out of Here”|Audio Pick

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Gansworth, Eric. If I Ever Get Out of Here. 9 CDs. 10:20 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $55. ISBN 9780553395464. digital download.
Gr 9 Up–The year is 1975. Lewis Blake, a slightly built teen from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, is enrolled in advanced classes at high school. Lewis suffers racist stereotyping and bullying from students and some teachers. When he meets George Haddonfield, the boys find common interests in music, especially the Beatles, but Lewis is wary of befriending someone off the [...]

A Dose of Family Drama | Adult Books 4 Teens

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With the holiday season approaching, we present a handful of picks that give a new spin to the definition of family and offer plenty of food for thought. The full versions of these reviews originally appeared on the Adult Books 4 Teens blog.

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

Ghostly Guinea Pigs, Time-Travelers, and Seelie Wars | Fiction Series Update

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These latest updates in ongoing series, these books encompass a wide variety of topics: a dark and haunting title about Vietnam from Chris Lynch, more drama from the world of the Seelies from Jane Yolen and son Adam Stemple, and time-traveling adventures with Mira.

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

Light Up the Shelves for Christmas and Hanukkah! | December Holidays

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Our team of reviewers in Los Angeles selected and evaluated 42 titles to help librarians make informed purchase decisions. Picture books, poetry, song adaptations, nonfiction, and short stories are among the offerings.

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

A Little Lumpen Novelita from Roberto Bolano

A Little Lumpen Novelita from Roberto Bolano

One of the greatest Latin American writers of the turn of the 21st Century, Roberto Bolaño has unfortunately only been known to English readers since his premature death, at the age of 50, to liver disease. His two most famous works here in America, 2666 and The Savage Detectives, are massive, complex novels filled with [...]

The Civil Rights Movement & More | Best of Apps & Enhanced Books

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Two apps on the Civil Right Movement and a pirate story headline our best-of-the-month column.

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

Take a Wild Ride Through the History of Children’s Lit, Revamp Your Storytelling Skills, and Brush Up on Collection Development | Professional Reading

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Check out Betsy Byrd’s much-anticipated Wild Things, a look at children’s literature through the ages. Hoping to enhance your storytimes? Try Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt’s STEP into Storytime.

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

A Virtuoso Performance: ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’ | Touch and Go

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A new app from Touch Press is always cause for celebration, and in ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,’ the developer, with the help of Deutsche Grammophon, has engineered a production that mirrors the groundbreaking work accomplished in its productions of ‘Beethoven’s 9th’ and the ‘Liszt Sonata in B Minor.’

Robot Chicken Invasions, Cartwheels Galore, and a Victorian Murder Mystery | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month’s picks for the middle school set will evoke a range of emotions. Whether you’re looking for the achingly poignant (Katherine Rundell’s Cartwheeling Through Thunderstorms, the tale of a spirited tomboy who finds herself orphaned) or the charmingly quirky (Alex McCall’s Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens or Julie Berry’s The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place), there’s something to please readers of all stripes.

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

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

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This month’s reviews include a vibrant assortment of cleverly engaging stories with gorgeous artwork. Look for books by award-winning illustrators Jon Klassen, Oliver Jeffers, Marie-Louise Gay, and Jim LaMarche, as well as some relative newcomers on the scene, such as Tom Clohosy Cole, Chris Haughton, August Hall, Steve Pilcher, and Ayano Imai.

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

Breathing New Life into Old Tales | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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There’s plenty to engage teen readers this month, from a creative retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s spine-tingling, gothic tale “The Fall of the House of Usher,” told from the perspective of Madeline Usher, as well as Audacity, Melanie Crowder’s look at Clara Lemlich, a 19th-century activist for workers rights.

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

Mythology Percy Jackson–Style, a Side-splitting Memoir, and Ghouls Galore | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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The intrepid Percy Jackson tries his hand at retelling Greek mythology, with hilarious results, while Paralympic ski racer Josh Sundquist pens a laugh-out-loud memoir of his dating life. And for those looking for some spooky selections, check out Kelly Milner’s Ghostly Evidence.

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

Magic and Mayhem: New Tales of the Supernatural | JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen

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Looking for some creepy reads to fluff up the Halloween reading display? These titles with a supernatural bent will pull in your teen readers with great covers, and terrific stories.