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February 27, 2015

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Growing Up in a Cult | SLJ Spotlight

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Four titles that deflty tackle the unusual, unsettling topic of teens growing up in cultlike envinronments.

March 2 Is Seuss Day | Touch and Go

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Oceanhouse Media is the place to go if you are looking for a Dr. Seuss title in digital. To date they have published dozens of Seuss and “Dr. Seuss Learning Library” titles for iOS, Android, and other devices. Celebrate the beloved author’s birthday on March 2 with a few apps.

The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates

The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates

Considering that it is based on a police case from almost 30 years ago, it is astonishing how much currency Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel has. A black teen is found beaten and apparently raped, naming only “white cops” as the perpetrators before lapsing into silence. The ensuing polarized reactions on the parts of the […]

“Little Big Girls” explores puberty and its effects | DVD Pick

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Little Big Girls. 52 min. Dist. by National Film Board of Canada. 2014. $295 (PPR). ISBN unvail.
Gr 5 Up–Three of the times in a girl’s life when she’s told she’s a “big girl” are depicted in the animated introduction: when she learns to use the potty; then when she rides her bike without training wheels for the first time; and lastly, when she gets her first bra. The subject here is early puberty, and the candid interviews with girls who […]

Much-Anticipated Sequels and the Latest from Avi, Suma, and Wein | SLJ Sneak Peek

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From the new “Penderwicks” novel to the sequel to E.K. Johnston’s The Story of Owen, the titles featured in SLJ’s March issue will delight fans and create new ones. Check out the latest sneak peek of reviews appearing in the next print issue.

Nonfiction Roundup

Nonfiction Roundup

A group of nonfiction titles that includes something for everyone. Wes Moore is an advocate for youth, education, and veterans (see the 2014 PBS series Coming Back with Wes Moore). He became well-known in library and school circles with his 2010 debut The Other Wes Moore. Now he’s back with an inspirational book of life lessons, […]

Cheep Thrills | SLJ Spotlight

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Three chuckle-worthy titles about chicken adventures.

Continuing Mystery Series

Continuing Mystery Series

Today we look at two entries in continuing mystery series – both also parts on ongoing multi-media franchises. The much older of these is, of course, Sherlock Holmes. When last we talked, I mentioned Holmes’s semi-unique place as a character who has leaped the bounds of his original stories. What I didn’t know at the […]

Time For Bed: Story Apps To Put Them In the Mood | Touch and Go

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A cat creeping around a house, a raccoon scavenging through trash cans, and circus animals settling down for the night, are some of the sights and sounds seen and heard in these soothing story apps guaranteed to ease children into bedtime routines.

Teens Review New YA Fantasy by Rachel Hartman, Sarah J. Maas, and E.K. Johnston

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SLJTeen’s new teen review group from Kitsap County, WA, has pulled out all the stops for its inaugural column. We have eight reviews, including two very different opinions on Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

A Nat Geo explorer gets up close and personal in “Crocodile Encounters!”| Audio Pick

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Barr, Brady with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld. Crocodile Encounters! And More True Stories of Adventures With Animals. 1 CD. 45 min. Recorded Bks. 2014. $15.75. ISBN 9781490635873. digital download.
Gr 2-4–National Geographic explorer Barr presents four suspenseful and often humorous tales of his encounters with crocodiles. In “Undercover Croc,” he dons a specially developed crocodile suit to enter into a large group of fearsome crocodiles. In “Toy Story,” he tries to capture a crocodile using a remote-controlled car and milk jug with […]

The Sweetheart

The Sweetheart

Here is a great debut novel that brings universal themes to a unique and unusual story. The Sweetheart is a coming of age story set in the world of women wrestlers in 1950s Florida. I found an interesting review on a site titled Pro Wrestling Books, by a professional wrestling journalist, John Lister, who finds the […]

Best Databases: Watch science spring into action with these must-have resources

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SLJ has reviewed all of the year’s databases in anticipation of our best of list. The results are in: a roster of dynamic and on-point databases that will more than meet 21st-century student needs.

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

Dreaming of Spring | SLJ Spotlight

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Some perfect picture books to welcome the start of the spring season.

Theodore Gray’s ‘Molecules’ | Touch and Go

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Here’s SLJ’s reviewer Paula Willey on ‘Molecules': A new app from Touch Press—home of the exquisitely lit razor-sharp 360-degree image floating on a velvet-black background—is like getting a VIP tour of a fabulous new exhibit at a richly funded museum.”

Before and After the Apocalypse

Before and After the Apocalypse

Two science fiction thrillers on review today, from two new Simon & Schuster imprints that highlight speculative fiction: Saga Press and Simon451. Lee Kelly‘s debut, City of Savages, could easily have been published YA. It alternates two YA narrators, sisters, as they survive post-WWIII Manhattan. This is a good post-apocalyptic novel, and readers experience the war itself […]

Around the World in DVDs |Multimedia Reviews, February 2015

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Many of February’s DVD selections highlight world history, from the invention of the hot-air balloon in 18th-century France to China’s terra-cotta warriors and the black pharaohs of ancient Egypt. In addition, the 2015 Carnegie Medal–winning Me…Jane earns a star, and SLJ’s quarterly review of music is also featured.

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

“Me…Jane” paints portrait of Goodall as a curious youngster | DVD Pick

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Me…Jane. 9 min. Dist. by Weston Woods. 2014. $59.95. ISBN 9780545696869.
PreS-Gr 2–In this heartwarming portrait of primatologist Jane Goodall as a young girl, author Patrick McDonnell eloquently tells the story of young adventurous Jane. She, along with her stuffed chimpanzee, Jubliee, delights in exploring the outdoors; observing animals and nature; and finding magic in such things as the discovery of where eggs come from. Children will love the simple text of this Caldecott Honor–winning picture book (Little, Brown, 2011), which […]

Diversity, Intellectual Freedom, and Innovation | Professional Reading

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The latest professional reading encourages bringing dynamic, diverse, and innovative materials to patrons, from Pat Scales’s Books Under Fire to Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps and Carole J. McCollough’s Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide.

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

Sound and Fury | Graphic Nonfiction for Teens

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Visually enticing, featuring dramatic colors or memorable images, graphic nonfiction is a surefire hit in high school collections. And what better way to transform students’ conception of history from a compilation of long-ago events and obscure names into real people, with relatable stories?