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April 24, 2015

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SLJ Reviews

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Playing with the Alphabet, “Metamorphabet” | Touch and Go

The letter N from (Vectorpark) Patrick Smith

Only two months out of the gate and ‘Metamorphabet,’ a new app created and developed by Patrick Smith and Vectorpark, has received accolades, including recognition by the 2015 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award Committee. Take a peek at the trailer and you’ll see why.

Powerful film explores the dire consequences of plastic| DVD Pick

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Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 57 min. Dist. by Bullfrog Films. 2014. $350. Rent $85. ISBN 1941545246.
Gr 7 Up–After seeing this documentary, viewers will not think of plastic in the same way again and will likely be inspired to make some personal changes, such as carrying reusable bags. Journalist Angela Sun’s journey to find the so-called drifting plastic island takes her to the remote Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There plastic debris from the […]

Sleepy creatures, historical fiction, & a new Sammy Keyes | Audio Reviews

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L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz and Ilyasah Shabazz’s historical novel about her father Malcolm X, are among this month’s audiobook reviews.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

SLJ Reviews the MaKey MaKey | Test Drive

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The popular Arduino kit makes a game of learning and banana pianos are just a start. School Library Journal Test Drive columnist unpacks the learning potential of MaKey Makey.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Be Part Of The Solution | SLJ Spotlight

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Three standout nonfiction titles spotlight social justice causes.

Lincoln, Jefferson, and Franklin | DVD Reviews

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The arrival of Barb Rosenstock’s Ben Franklin’s Big Splash makes waves, along with Maira Kalman’s inspired biographies of presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Additionally, post-Katrina New Orleans and the civil rights movement are poignantly depicted in The Whole Gritty City and The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Animal adventures and fun lessons abound in “Humphrey” collection | Audio Pick

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Birney, Betty G. Humphrey Audio Collection, Books 8-11. 11 CDs. 13 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $75. ISBN 9780553556490. digital download.
Gr 3-7–Everyone’s favorite golden hamster is back in this audio presentation of four of the books by Birney. In “Mysteries According to Humphrey,” Humphrey’s class is reading Sherlock Holmes, a substitute takes over, and Humphrey has his own mysteries to solve. “Winter According to Humphrey” brings snow, a pageant, and all the winter holidays. In “Secrets According to Humphrey,” the class […]

A Starred Sequel, a Family Adventure, and Laugh-Out-Loud Stories in the Latest Chapter Books Reviewed

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A handful of new chapter books are reviewed in the April 2015 issue, including the imaginative and funny sequel to Dory Fantasmagory.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Killer Manga, a Whodunit, & Noelle Stevenson’s “Nimona” | YA Graphic Novels

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“Lumberjanes” cocreator Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic about a shapeshifting sidekick gets a print edition and galactic-themed manga feature murderous and heroic aliens. Check out the YA graphic novel reviews featured in SLJ’s April 2015 issue.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Step Up Your Storytime, Role-Playing Games 101, and a Primer on Early Learning Spaces | Professional Reading

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This month’s titles have you covered, from reinvigorating storytimes to providing information on the importance of play.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Get Lost in New York, Untangle a Mystery or Two, and Join the Circus | Middle Grade

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From a graphic novel about two kids getting lost on the New York City subway system to a tale set at the circus, these reads will keep kids turning pages.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Latest Titles from Sarah Dessen, Paul Griffin, & Marissa Meyer | High School YA

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From timely realistic fiction by veterans Sarah Dessen and Kody Keplinger to sparkling debuts by Renee Ahdieh, Kris Dinnison, Sona Charaipotra, and Dhonielle Clayton, the following titles featured in SLJ’s April 2015 issue will engage and entertain high school readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Diverse Urban Fantasy, Ghostly Horror, & Speculative Thrillers | YA Middle School Fiction

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Caroline B. Cooney is back with another thriller for young teens and fantasy fans will have their fill with Daniel Jose Older’s YA debut, Shadowshaper. Middle schoolers who enjoy sci-fi and romance have much to look forward to in the following YA titles reviewed in SLJ’s April 2015 issue.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Princess Problems, Dance Drama, and Rainbows Galore | Beginning Readers

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These beginning readers present a variety of kid-friendly scenarios, from Princess Pistachio, the story of a young girl who knows she’s destined for big—and royal—things, to a quest to discover what really lurks at The End of the Rainbow.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Primer for Big Siblings, A Tale of Two Twins, and the Latest from Nikki McClure | Early Childhood Picture Books

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These picture books for the younger set cover all manner of family situations (separation anxiety, twins, and how to handle a new baby). And readers won’t want to miss Nikki McClure’s gorgeous concept book In.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Enchanting Offerings from Helen Ward, Sara O’Leary, and Rowboat Watkins | Elementary Picture Books

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These delightful offerings run the gamut, from an impertinent dessert who learns a much-needed lesson (Rowboat Watkins’s Rude Cakes) to a guinea fowl in search of the perfect set of spots (Helen Ward’s Spots in a Box) to a gorgeous love letter to a child’s imagination (Sara O’Leary’s This Is Sadie).

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

April Starred Reviews

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This month’s can’t-miss titles include a creative picture book take on manners, a middle grade read set at the circus, and a spine-tingling short story collection.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Teens Review Michael Buckley’s YA Debut, Sarah Ockler’s Latest, and More

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Sci-fi featuring aliens surfacing from the shores of Coney Island and a paranormal mystery with a Muslim American teen sleuth are just some of the titles the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group is reading and reviewing.

A Modern-Day Snow White, Victorian London, and Dark Dystopia Galore | Series Update

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YA readers eager to catch up on the activities of their favorite heroes and heroines will enjoy diving into novels by Eric Walters, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Kim, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

What Would Winston Do? | Touch and Go

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A new app from Touch Press includes “primary sources; promotes analysis, evaluation, and higher-level thinking; and is beautifully designed and fun.” What more could we ask for?