December 9, 2016

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What Will Grow? by Jennifer Ward | SLJ Review

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WARD, Jennifer. What Will Grow? illus. by Susie Ghahremani. 40p. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681190303.

PreS –This bucolic companion to Ward’s What Will Hatch? captures the magic and excitement of planting a garden and waiting for it to bloom. In simple rhyming couplets, Ward highlights seeds of all shapes and sizes, including sunflower seeds (“Stripy black./Crunchy snack.”) and dandelion seeds (“Fluffy, white./Taking flight.”). Each short verse is followed by the question, “What will grow?” The sunflowers and […]

“Sign with Robert” Series | SLJ DVD Review

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Sign with Robert: Academic Signs. ISBN 888295392556.

Sign with Robert: Babies and Children. ISBN 888295392501.

Sign with Robert: Business, Numbers and Time. ISBN 888295392570.

Sign with Robert: Deaf Culture. ISBN 888295392518.

Sign with Robert: Family, School, Entertainment and Sports. ISBN 888295392341.

Sign with Robert: Grab Bag—Idioms, Songs and Stories. ISBN 888295392341.

Sign with Robert: Home and Travel. ISBN 888295392532.

Sign with Robert: Receptive Skills and Fun with Sign. ISBN 888295392587.

Sign with Robert: Sign Language Practice. ISBN 888295392525.

Sign […]

Top 10 DVDs | 2016

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Kent Turner, SLJ’s DVD editor, hand-picked these top-shelf productions that offer educational—as well as entertainment—value.

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

Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter | SLJ Review

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CARTER, Caela. Forever, or a Long, Long Time. 320p. HarperCollins. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062385680.

Gr 5-7 –Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger brother, Julian, have lived in so many foster homes that they have no memories of growing up and no history. They believe not only that they were never babies but also that they were never even born. This startling notion hooks readers from the first chapter: What happened to the siblings before they were adopted by […]

Life on Mars by Jon Agee | SLJ Review

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AGEE, Jon. Life on Mars. illus. by Jon Agee. 32p. Dial. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399538520.

PreS-Gr 2 –A young astronaut lands on the red planet and, despite detractors, is determined to find a sign of life there. In his hand is a package, tied with a red ribbon, that holds a chocolate cupcake, a gift to any extraterrestrial he might run into. But as the boy walks about the dark, cold, and rocky landscape, he begins to […]

Wonders 2017: McGraw-Hill’s K–6 ELA Program | SLJ Review

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Packed with new features, the updated English Language Arts program includes a student interface where teachers can assign independent work.

Ardusat Space Kit: A Launching Pad for Imagination | SLJ Review

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With this kit—and a generous budget—your students can create code that will be sent into orbit, collecting data from a satellite.

Top 10 Apps | 2016

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Daryl Grabarek, SLJ’s resident app guru, curates a stellar list of the best educational and story apps produced in the past year.

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

Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb | SLJ Audio Review

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BASCOMB, Neal. Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. 5 CDs. 6:13 hrs. Recorded Books. Apr. 2016. $34.99. ISBN 9780545944021. digital download.

Gr 8 Up –This richly detailed nonfiction account of Norwegians who spied for the British and organized resistance against the Nazis unfolds like a spy thriller. Bascomb includes a good deal of science regarding the heavy water and uranium needed to create the atom bomb. Though the narrative is a bit difficult to follow in the […]

Top 10 Tech | 2016

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Our picks highlight leading tech trends, with an eye toward the future.

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

2016 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. (Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) Best Appearance of Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri in a Picture Book: Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco A complete win for the chef. Not only does he show up toward the end […]

Top 10 Latinx | 2016

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Libro por libro contributors Lucia Acosta, Ruth Quiroa, and Tim Wadham select superlative titles about the Latinx experience.

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

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour | SLJ Review

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LACOUR, Nina. We Are Okay. 240p. Dutton. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525425892. POP

Gr 8 Up –Her first semester of college behind her, Marin stays alone in the dorms over break, even with the threat of a snowstorm looming, rather than return to San Francisco, where bad memories lurk. Her best friend Mabel comes to stay with her, and over the next few days, Marin contemplates the events of last spring and summer and deals with her complicated […]

Review: ‘Hilda and The Stone Forest’

Hilda and The Stone Forest By Luke Pearson Flying Eye Books; $19.95 If you have any interest at all in comics, especially those well suited for kids, then chances are you are already quite familiar with cartoonist Luke Pearson’s Hilda character, star of a series of graphic novels. And even if you haven’t read them […]

Discovery Education Makes E-Textbooks Easy | Reference Online

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Looking to make the digital shift to e-textbooks? Discovery Education’s “Techbook” series is the perfect place to start.

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

PhotoScan for no-glare, super easy archiving of your old pics!

Okay, this one may not be for school, but it sure is handy and I will use it to death. I just discovered Google Photo’s new PhotoScan app.  If, like me, you’ve got thousands of family photos in albums in your basement or attic, this may be the perfect holiday activity for the gang. The […]

The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen, retold by JooHee Yoon | SLJ Review

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ANDERSEN, Hans Christian. The Steadfast Tin Soldier. retold and illus. by JooHee Yoon. 64p. Enchanted Lion. Nov. 2016. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9781592702022.

Gr 2-4 –The steadfast tin soldier has only one leg. There was not enough tin to fill the mold, but this soldier can stand just as well as the others. The soldier falls for a beautiful paper ballerina in the child’s playroom and catches the wrath of a frightening jack-in-the-box troll. This tale has love, envy, adventure, […]

The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond | SLJ Review

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DESMOND, Jenni. The Polar Bear. illus. by Jenni Desmond. 48p. Enchanted Lion. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781592702008.

Gr 1-4 –From the author/illustrator of The Blue Whale comes another enchanting and informative title about a threatened species. With a touch of metafictional flair, a young girl pulls this very book down from the shelf to read about polar bears and is immediately immersed in their fascinating world. She learns about their habitat, physical characteristics and adaptations, and feeding and […]

Top 10 Music | 2016

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Must-have albums from 2016, destined to get toes tapping, selected by ClefNotes columnist, Veronica DeFazio.

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

Behold the Power of Reading; Or, how my 8-year-old was inspired to start her own #TrashTuesdays

Last Saturday, Thing 2 turned 8. For her birthday, a friend sent her the following three books: Monday night, The Teen, Thing 2 and I curled up and bed and read them together. We cried as we read Malala’s story. We were inspired as we read about Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. One thing that […]