September 30, 2016

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“Zoom” in on Animals and Biographies with Abdo | Reference Online


Looking for additional materials on animals and famous figures? Check out Abdo’s latest resource.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Coleccion Antiprincesas by Nadia Fink | SLJ Review


FINK, Nadia. Frida Kahlo para niñas y niños. Bk. 1. ISBN 9780997328004.

––––. Violeta Parra para niñas y niños. Bk. 2. ISBN 9780997328035.

––––. Juana Azurduy para niñas y niños. Bk. 3. ISBN 9780997328028.

ea vol: illus. by Pitu Saá. 26p. (Colección Antiprincesas). Books del Sur. May 2016. pap. $12.99.

Gr 3 Up –In this “antiprincess collection,” young readers will have a chance to investigate the lives of women who have not followed what their cultures would deem traditional […]

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson | SLJ Review


Stelson, Caren. Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story. 144p. bibliog. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. notes. photos. websites. Carolrhoda. Oct. 2016. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781467789035.

Gr 5-8 –Sachiko Yasui was just six years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown of Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945, she went from playing house with her friends to burying them. Yasui also lost a brother that day and would lose many more family […]

Review of the Day: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

They All Saw a Cat By Brendan Wenzel Chronicle Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-5013-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It’s funny. Unless you’re a teacher or librarian, a grown adult that does not work or live with children will come into very little contact with picture books. Then, one day, they produce a few kids and […]

From Antiquity to Zuckerberg | Nonfiction Series Update


This latest batch of series nonfiction for elementary and middle school students is an eclectic mix of art, STEM, history, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Book Review: Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of School Library Journal.   Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip […]

Otis and the Kittens by Loren Long | SLJ Review


LONG, Loren. Otis and the Kittens. illus. by Loren Long. 40p. Philomel. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399163982.

PreS-Gr 2 –Longtime fans and newbies alike will enjoy Otis the tractor’s latest adventure. It’s a particularly hot and dry summer in the valley. Otis and his animal friends work hard on the farm, but they still have time for their favorite game, tug-of-war. Their tugging skills save the day when Otis is trapped in a burning barn while rescuing a […]

In Plain Sight: A Game by Richard Jackson | SLJ Review


JACKSON, Richard. In Plain Sight: A Game. illus. by Jerry Pinkney. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722552.

PreS-Gr 2 –Sophie’s grandfather lives in her house, and while his mobility is restricted, his tender feelings for his granddaughter know no bounds. He waves her off to school from his second-floor window, and she comes to visit him every afternoon. Their daily routine includes the man asking for the child’s help in retrieving an everyday object […]

Book Review: The Forgetting Machine by Pete Hautman

Publisher’s description People all over Flinkwater are losing their memories—and it’s up to Ginger to figure out what’s going on—in this sequel to the “quirky, dryly funny” (Booklist) The Flinkwater Factor from National Book Award–winning author Pete Hautman. Absentmindedness in Flinkwater, a town overflowing with eccentric scientists and engineers, is nothing new. Recently, however, the […]

Smiling Skeletons and Ghouls Galore | Halloween Roundup


These Halloween titles from Sandra Boynton, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and others balance that often tricky line between fun and scary.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | SLJ Review


MEYER, Marissa. Heartless. 464p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Nov. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250044655. POP

Gr 8 Up –The author’s best fantasy yet. In her inspired reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s inimitable adventures in Wonderland, Meyer has explored the world that existed before Alice fell down the rabbit hole. All Lady Catherine wants to do is open her own bakery with the help of her maid. She has no wish to wear beautiful dresses or go to balls, and […]

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards | SLJ Review


EDWARDS, Michelle. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love. illus. by G. Brian Karas. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553497106.

PreS-Gr 2 –Mrs. Goldman is a knitter, and she uses her talents to show love and affection for everyone in her neighborhood by making them all hats. Sophia receives her first hat from Mrs. Goldman when she is a tiny baby, and she grows up to spend time helping Mrs. Goldman […]

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Audio Review


REYNOLDS, Jason. As Brave as You. 7 CDs. 7:02 hrs. S. & S. Audio. May 2016. $17.99. ISBN 9781508225089. digital download.

Gr 5-8 –Reynolds makes his middle grade debut with a multigenerational story featuring two Brooklyn brothers sent to stay temporarily with grandparents in rural Virginia. While their parents take some time to salvage their fraying relationship, 11-year-old Genie and his almost 14-year-old brother, Ernie, are expected to spend a month obeying their strict grandmother, surviving without cellular service […]

Vietnam: A History of the War by Russell Freedman | SLJ Review


FREEDMAN, Russell. Vietnam: A History of the War. 160p. bibliog. glossary. index. maps. notes. photos. Holiday House. Oct. 2016. Tr $20. ISBN 9780823436583; ebk. $20. ISBN 9780823437481.

Gr 6-8 –In his customary well-honed prose, Freedman presents a coherent overview of the Vietnam War. First he retraces Vietnam’s 2,000 year struggle to become and stay independent and how the United States went from ally to aggressor (a result of shifting from fighting colonialism to opposing communism after World War II). […]

Paul Klee, for Kids | Touch and Go


A beautifully designed app that introduces children to the dreamlike works of the 20th-century master.

Paranormal Pals | SLJ Spotlight


Most ghost stories are designed to send shivers up readers’ spines, but these three new books buck the trend, tackling a range of relatable themes via interactions with the not-so-scary recently deceased. There’s 13-year-old Andie, whose paranormal investigations help her grapple with loss; Baylor, a young teen who communes with his dead sister; and Ada, a goth girl who befriends a ghostly mouse. Engaging mystery, strong characters, and dashes of humor set these offerings apart from the typical ghoulish fare.

Tell It Slant | SLJ Spotlight


These works are a call for empathy and compassion and necessary reads for students engaged with our nation’s past, the refugee experience, and the power of self and nature.

On the Road, Again: New YA Road Trip Novels | SLJ Spotlight


Nothing signifies “coming of age” as well as a road trip. And as the protagonists in these YA novels prove, the twists and turns of highways and inevitable vehicle malfunctions are part and parcel of this rite of passage. From an Odyssey-like journey to an artist’s struggle to forge her own identity in the Jim Crow South, the following works highlight the ups and downs of adolescence and the winding adventures of the road.

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel | SLJ Review


WENZEL, Brendan. They All Saw a Cat. illus. by Brendan Wenzel. 44p. Chronicle. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452188058.

PreS-Gr 3 –This playful exploration of perspective presents its strolling subject through a range of animal lenses; the resulting views comprise a kaleidoscope of physical and psychological interpretations. A child pets a soft, smiling cat with cartoon eyes. The dog observes a scrawny, slinking creature dominated by a bell. Through the fishbowl, the cat is a blurry close-up. An expressionistic […]

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King | SLJ Review


KING, A.S. Still Life with Tornado. 304p. ebook available. Dutton. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101994887.

Gr 9 Up –At 16, Sarah is facing what she calls an “existential crisis,” questioning whether her life has meaning or value, an event fueled by an unfair art show, a cruel teacher, a toxic and abusive family, a missing brother, and the loss of her ability to draw. Sarah wanders through the streets of Philadelphia and meets her future self at age […]