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February 7, 2016

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A next chapter: Editions at Play

In a world where smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices, not surprisingly, an October 2015 Pew study found a sizable decline in e-book reader ownership. It’s possible that digital may not be the best container for all physical books. And it’s pretty clear that print and e-readers are not the perfect containers for emerging forms […]

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino | SLJ Review

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Merino, Gemma. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree. illus. by Gemma Merino. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807512982. 

PreS-Gr 2 –Tina is a cow with perfectly purple spots. Her three sisters have neat navy spots. Tina has “a thirst for discovery.” Her sisters do not, preferring instead to focus on procuring fresh and juicy grass, like good cows do. One day, while exploring the woods, Tina decides to try something new, and climbs […]

The Gnomist | SLJ DVD Review

The Gnomist. Dist. by Great Big Story.

The Gnomist. 17 min. Dist. by Great Big Story. Thegnomistfilm.com. Greatbigstory.com. 2015. Free streaming.

Gr 4 Up –Along a forest path in Overland Park, KS, colorful, miniature doors began mysteriously appearing in the hollows of trees, inviting the curiosity of passersby. Peeking inside the fairy homes, enchanted visitors find twig furniture, moving boxes, and even tiny jars of candy, creating the illusion that occupants live amid the trees. Here, in Firefly Forest, visitors young and old believe in fairies […]

Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff | SLJ Review

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 48p. Candlewick. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763668419.

Gr 2-5 –From the team responsible for Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France (Candlewick, 2015) comes another excellent picture book biography, this time about someone less well known but truly intriguing. Adelaide Herrmann (1853–1932) never wanted to be like other girls: she was […]

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley | SLJ Review

Dooley, Sarah. Free Verse

Dooley, Sarah. Free Verse. 352p. Putnam. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399165030.

Gr 5-7 –The West Virginia coal mining town of Caboose seems to be to blame for the mounting losses of everyone Sasha loves. First her mother walks out and doesn’t come back. Then her father dies in a mining accident. And finally her caretaker older brother Michael dies while fighting a fire. Angry and los t, the seventh grader initially shuts down everyone around […]

Evy’s First Impressions

What prompts a teen to pick up one book instead of another? Evy dug through Heather’s big old box-o-books and picked four to take home. What did she pick and why? This TLT Teen Advisory Board member is an avid YouTube fan, so she decided to tell you in a video. Thanks Evy! Books discussed: […]

All Aboard DADA Trains | Touch and Go

DADA trains

Chances are that if you know any children, you know some that are fascinated with trains. Here’s an interactive app that will put them behind the control panels.

Best Children’s Album Grammy Nominees | ClefNotes

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Reviews of the GRAMMY Award nominees for the Best Children’s Album, and more.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

The Lie Tree US Version

Hardinge, Frances. The Lie Tree. 412p. ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. May 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419718953.

Gr 7 Up –In a time when a young woman’s exterior life can be stifling and dull, Faith Sunderly’s interior life is cavernous. She has a sharp mind; a keen interest in the scientific research that has made her father, the formidable Reverend Sunderly, famous; and an irresistible impulse for sneaking, spying, and skulking around. Faith’s curiosity about the world around […]

Looking for Bongo by Eric Velasquez | SLJ Review

VELASQUEZ, Eric. Looking for Bongo

Velasquez, Eric. Looking for Bongo. illus. by Eric Velasquez. 32p. Holiday House. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823435654; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823436026. 

PreS –An Afro Latino boy searches for his missing stuffed toy in this tender tribute to family, music, and childhood. The adorable narrator, depicted charmingly with a puffy Afro, protruding tummy, inquisitive eyes, and pj’s, inquires after the whereabouts of his beloved Bongo. With Spanish-peppered text, the toddler asks his parents, the family pets, […]

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy | SLJ Review

Coy, John. Their Great Gift Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land.

Coy, John. Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land. photos by Wing Young Huie. 32p. ebook available. Carolrhoda. Mar. 2016. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781467780544.

K-Gr 4 –An attractive and inspiring look at immigration to the United States, sure to spark discussions at home or in the classroom. Coy takes a simple approach with the text, employing only a few words per page, while Huie uses his mostly black-and-white photographs to illuminate […]

Review: ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0′

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 Writers: Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando and Mairghread Scott Artists: Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell and Daniel Bayliss Boom Studios; $3.99 It seems like just yesterday that I was telling you about the return of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in a new comic book series, but that’s just because I […]

Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang | SLJ Review

Lang, Heather. Fearless Flyer Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

LANG, Heather. Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine. illus. by Raúl Colón. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. websites. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916506.

Gr 1-3 –A decade before Amelia Earhart entered the public’s consciousness, Ruth Law (1887–1970) was performing stunts at aerial shows. By 1916, she “longed to fly to get somewhere…somewhere far away.” Emphasizing Law’s competitive and risk-taking nature, Lang builds suspense with comparisons and questions. Victor Carlstrom had recently set the record […]

Refreshing Reissues | A Roundup of Back-in-Print Titles and Special Anniversary Editions

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The book review editors curate a list of recently reissued classics, back-in-print titles, and special anniversary editions, perfect for refreshing well loved, dog-eared copies.

This Is the Story of You by Beth Kephart | SLJ Review

This is the Story of You Kephart

KEPHART, Beth. This Is the Story of You. 264p. ebook available. Chronicle. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452142845.

Gr 7 Up –For Mira and her friends, living on a small island off the New Jersey coast means tourists all summer, a small school and close friends, and wild weather as a way of life. When the forecasters warn of a storm, no one is overly concerned and life continues, albeit with an eye on the weather. Mira, worried about […]

Book Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Publisher’s description: Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building […]

Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner | SLJ Review

Castner, K.D. Daughters of Ruin

Castner, K.D. Daughters of Ruin. 336p. ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481455411.

Gr 7 Up –Rhea has three sisters, all of them queens of different kingdoms under her father’s regency: tough Cadis, diplomatic Iren, and wild Suki. As the girls grow to adulthood, the politics of their positions become increasingly complex. When the castle is overthrown in a night of violence, their training kicks in and their lives […]

Thunderboy Jr. by Sherman Alexie | SLJ Review

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Alexie, Sherman. Thunderboy Jr. illus. by Yuyi Morales. 40p. Little, Brown. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316013727.

K-Gr 4 –An enchanting and humorous picture book about a little boy frustrated with his name. Readers are drawn into the story narrated by Little Thunder, who is named after his father, Big Thunder. He works through his angst at the indignity of the name, presenting his case like a seasoned lawyer as he goes in search of a […]

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach | SLJ Review

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

Wallach, Tommy. Thanks for the Trouble. 288p. S. & S. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481418805.

Gr 9 Up –After his father tragically died before his eyes five years prior, Parker Santé was left mute. Angry and a bit lost, he spends most of his days alone. He frequently ditches school to hang out in random hotels where he writes in his journal and steals from unsuspecting hotel guests. On one of these typical days, he […]

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown | SLJ Review

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Brown, Peter. The Wild Robot. illus. by Peter Brown. 288p. Little, Brown. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316381994; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316382014.

Gr 3-5 –The crate containing ROZZUM unit 7134 wasn’t meant to be shipwrecked on an island. Roz is baffled by the wildness of the environment, but her robot brain is programmed to learn and master tasks. She camouflages herself as clumps of seaweed, meadow flowers, and fallen logs to quietly observe and learn from […]