Google+

October 30, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ

SLJ Reviews

For all the latest SLJ reviews and more, subscribe to SLJ today and save 35%!

Game On! Playful Apps for Children (and Adults) | Touch and Go

photo-177

Five spot-on game apps offer kids (and adults) hours of fun and challenges.

Displaced Persons

Displaced Persons

Derek McCulloch’s Gone to Amerikay was one of our favorite books of 2012. In fact, I even (incorrectly) predicted an Alex Award for it. So I was very excited to see that he was out with a new graphic novel, this time illustrated by Anthony Peruzzo. Like Gone to Amerikay, Displaced Persons has an epic [...]

Teen learns important lessons through community service in “Havana Curveball”| DVD Pick

havanacurveball

Havana Curveball. 60 min. Dist. by PatchWorks Films. 2014. $89 (with PPR). $39.95 (no PPR). ISBN 3621179767.
Gr 5 Up–In this documentary, how can Cuba, baseball, a bar mitzvah, and a grandfather be connected into one fabulous story? For his upcoming bar mitzvah, Mica Schneider from California’s Bay Area decides to send baseball equipment to Cuba for his community service project. (He loves baseball.) His grandfather lived in the island nation as a child refugee from Nazi Germany, which led to [...]

Rainey Royal

Rainey Royal

Dylan Landis offers a novel in 14 connected stories that spans 10 years, beginning with the title character, Rainey Royal at 14 years old. It is set in the 1970′s New York City of Landis’s own adolescence. This book explores teenage sexuality, and it can be dark. Rainey is abused by her father’s best friend, [...]

Curl up with these books about bears | SLJ Spotlight

EH_141028_Bears

Four children’s titles explore the wacky lives of bears.

The Final Book in the Southern Reach Trilogy

The Final Book in the Southern Reach Trilogy

You can’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve been raving about Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy all year, and promising a review of the final volume. So here it is. VanderMeer once again takes readers into the heart of his mysterious Area X (after merely skirting around it through the middle volume in the trilogy), [...]

Hot New Titles by Angleberger, Stiefvater, and Yancey | SLJ Sneak Peek

SneakPeak_thumb125SQ

SLJ editors offer a preview of several hot titles reviewed in the upcoming November issue, including Tom Angleberger’s latest laugh-out-loud entry in the “Origami Yoda” series and Barry Lyga’s thrilling and blood-drenched conclusion to the “I Hunt Killers” trilogy.

Put a Little Spook On Your iPad | Apps for the Halloween Season

ghosts cover

Two iPad apps will put your middle grade students in the Halloween mood.

Lawson reimagines Twain’s classic characters in “Becky Thatcher”| Audio Pick

actualtruthful

Lawson, Jessica. The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. 5 CDs. 5:59 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2014. $39.99. ISBN 9781629239385. 1 MP3-CD.
Gr 3-7–It’s 1860, and 11-year-old Becky Thatcher has just moved to St. Petersburg, Missouri. She’s looking for big-time adventure in this small town, and once she meets Sid Sawyer, it doesn’t take her long to find it. Pretty soon, she’s sneaking out after dark, stealing graveyard dirt at midnight, and keeping an eye out for dead cats to help [...]

Halloween Reading

Halloween Reading

The days grow shorter. The evenings grow darker. You’re trying to figure out a costume to wear to school next Friday. In the spirit of the season, we review three new novels for those seeking a thrill this Halloween. Edgar Cantero’s first book in English, The Supernatural Enhancements, is a secret society mystery/haunted house gothic [...]

A Look Back and a Look Forward | Reference Online Databases

SLJ1410w-ReferenceOnline-TN

Recent online databases from Rosen and World Book introduce readers to the exciting world of science and the realm of reading, respectively.

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

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Today I review two books that have the potential to be wildly popular with teens–and wildly challenging for school librarians. Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham are media forces, women who excel in professions dominated by men. They both succeed through the sheer force of their personalities, and to some extent through their willingness to say [...]

#WeNeedDiverseBooks: Realistic fiction with diverse protagonists | SLJ Spotlight

Diamond Boy

Three teen titles highlight diverse protagonists whose stories are not often told.

Becky Thatcher, Baseball, and All That Jazz | Multimedia Reviews, October 2014

SLJ1410w-Multimedia-TN

The saga of all-women jazz orchestras and boys bonding over baseball feature in two starred DVD reviews. In addition, the secrets behind the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza and The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher are revealed in this month’s lineup.

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

Documentary explores female pioneers in the world of Jazz | DVD Pick

girlsintheband

The Girls in the Band. 88 min and 57 min. Dist. by Kino Lorber Edu. 2013. $99. UPC 823857178124.
Gr 6 Up–What was conspicuous about women jazz musicians in the big band era was their near absence. Those lucky enough to be asked to sit in with a band were not accepted by male peers and had short tenures. How women broke into the world of jazz, as revealed in this exceptional documentary, is poignant and disturbing. The resulting all-women orchestras [...]

Hollywood Starlets, Charming Con Men, & Lethal Assassins | What’s Hot in YA

Sundquist_We should hang out

From Ally Condie’s /Atlantia to Jason Reynolds’s The Boy in the Black Suit, these latest books for teens will inspire, infuriate, and tug at the hearstrings (and nerves) of readers.

Poetry from the Streets

Poetry from the Streets

For teen in my community, in Vallejo, CA, mentioning Tupac Shakur is pretty much guaranteed to give you some credibility, and his book of poetry, The Rose That Grew from Concrete is one of our most read (and lost) poetry collections. So when I saw that David Tomas Martinez’s debut collection, Hustle, not only name-checks [...]

Relevancy Trumps All for Reluctant Readers | YA Underground

runawaythoughts

Juvenile services librarian Amy Cheney posits that the winning recipe for books that entice reluctant readers includes a great cover, lots of action (real action!), relevancy, and an easy to read page layout.

Transitioning to Chapter Books | Series Standbys

ej

What are your favorite series titles for children making their first forays into chapter books? We’ve listed a few of ours.

Separating a City—and Families

goingover

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Beth Kephart’s compelling YA novel ‘Going Over’ offers a story of the human impact of the barrier, which separated not just the city, but friends and families on either side.