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October 20, 2014

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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.

Asian Identity

Asian Identity

The Year She Left Us concerns the search for belonging and identity, both personal and cultural. Ari was abandoned in China as a baby, taken to an orphanage, then adopted by a Chinese American woman, Charlie, who raises her in San Francisco with the help of her sister and mother. Now Ari is 18 and [...]

Teens Review A.S. King’s Latest; Books with Physics, Ghosts, and Hollywood

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From feminism to physics, horror to Hollywood, there’s no lack of variety in YA publishing these days.

Parenting 101 | SLJ Spotlight

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Three great titles on the diverse aspects of parenting.

Spine-Tingling Stories for Older Readers

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Spellbinding, shocking, and satisfyingly spooky, creepy tales will rivet readers and raise goose bumps galore. They can also be shared in secondary classrooms to introduce and explore basic short story elements, discuss narrative voice, and analyze point of view.

The Stuff of Stars | New Picture Book Biographies

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New picture book bios by Barb Rosenstock, G. Neri, Jen Bryant, and others, lead this fall’s star studded lists.

Banned Books | Sparking Discussions with Students

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Encourage children and teens to read a banned or challenged book isplay of titles by Dav Pilkey, Louise Fitzhugh, Pura Belpré, Rainbow Rowell and other popular authors deemed “inappropriate” at one time or another.

Stolen Kisses | Romances to Tempt Teen Readers

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Conjuring up illicit but intoxicating chance meeting and burning passion, forbidden love is a tried-and-true trope that teens gravitate toward.

Support for Struggling Learners | Professional Shelf

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With solid advice and practical examples, two recent professional titles advocate student-centered approaches that support struggling learners as they gain confidence and increase proficiency.

The New News-O-Matic | Touch and Go

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News-O-Matic, a subscription app launched in June 2013 by Press4Kids, has recently undergone enhancements for its readers—and their educators.

The Spark and the Drive

The Spark and the Drive

Wayne Harrison’s The Spark and the Drive is one of my favorite debut novels of the year, and like so many debut novels it appears to have been based on the author’s life. Like his young narrator, Harrison worked as an auto mechanic in Waterbury, CT and he uses that background for all it’s worth, [...]

Documentary explores an unconventional classroom in ‘Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten’ | DVD Pick

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Young viewers will love learning about a nontraditional environment in Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten DVD.

Incredible Journeys: Through Space, Time, and Your Imagination | Nonfiction Preschool to Grade 4

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This month’s nonfiction for younger students highlights great, wondrous journeys, from a romp through the solar system in Sunny Scribens’s Space Song Rocket Ride to a jaunt through the mind of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Bimba Landman’s In Search of the Little Prince.

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

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Two ghost stories today, both more atmospheric than scary. We begin with the first adult novel from YA phenomenon Lauren Oliver. Before I Fall is one of my go-to recommendations, and was a huge hit with my high school bookgroup a couple years ago. And of course, there’s the Delirium trilogy, so I was quite [...]