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May 23, 2015

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SLJ Reviews

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Charged! From Atoms to Electricity | Touch and Go

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Today’s app reviews cover introductions to foundational science topics studied at one point during every student’s career.

“Listen, Slowly” explores a teen’s journey from the valley to Vietnam| Audio Pick

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LAI, Thanhhà. Listen, Slowly. digital download. 8 hrs. Harper Audio. 2015. $18.99. ISBN 9780062346469.
Gr 6-8–Mai (though at school in Laguna Beach she’s known as “Mia”) is a seventh grade valley girl who is expected to accompany her grandmother on an all-summer visit to Vietnam. Bà fled Vietnam with her children during the Fall of Saigon, and doesn’t know what happened to her husband, Mai’s grandfather. Occasionally using her rudimentary Vietnamese, Mai tells the story (grudgingly adding SAT vocabulary sent daily […]

Teens Review Murder Mysteries, a Feminist Cinderella, and a Noah Webster Bio

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The reviewers from the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group share their thoughts on upcoming teen literature. From a creepy retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories to an even scarier serial killer mystery, these books will give young adults chills during the summer months.

Furry And Fierce | SLJ Spotlight

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Five adventure-packed middle grade titles featuring darling and daring animal heroes.

DK Mines Existing Content for a Promising New Resource | Reference Online

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Information literacy for elementary school students continues to garner more attention nationwide, and DK, best known for its informative, engaging, and visually stunning nonfiction works, has taken up the charge with its newest creation, DK Findout!

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

Hilda Bewildered | Touch and Go

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Few authors and developers create fictional stories for the iPad with the tween and teen audience in mind. Lynley Stace of Slap Happy Larry is an exception. Her latest app, Hilda Bewildered, will delight fans.

Incredible abilities are showcased in “Owl Power”|DVD Pick

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Owl Power. (Nature). 53 min. Dist. By PBS. 2015.  $19.99. ISBN  9781627892827.
Gr 5 Up–Owls are known to have keen eyesight, and this film informs viewers that there is much more to their hunting skills and their nocturnal habits. The main focus here is the manner in which scientists are able to study the owl’s unique set of superpowers. Bird trainers Lloyd and Rose Buck provide a rare and up-close opportunity for viewers—two baby barn owls are seen hatching in an […]

Courtroom Dramas, Murderous Robots, and Tough Stuff | High School YA

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Hard-hitting novels, such as Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not and Courtney Summers’s All the Rage, will strike a chord with teens. And Mark Alpert’s The Six, about artificial intelligence trying to take over the world, will strike fear in the hearts of readers. That and much more in this month’s SLJ reviews.

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

The Latest from Kindl, Picoult, and Stead | Middle School YA

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From Patrice Kindl’s Regency-era romp to Rebecca Stead’s much-anticipated Goodbye Stranger and to high-octane debuts by Valynne Maetani and Kate Elliot, the following titles will delight and engage young teens looking for their next fiction fix.

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

Superheroes, Royalty, and a Dystopian Adaptation | YA Graphic Novels

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From Marvel kickass heroine sagas to the graphic novel adaptation of Marie Lu’s blockbuster Legend, these illustrated works will find an avid audience among young adults.

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

The Adventures of a Stalwart Hamster Princess, a Victorian Grave Robber, and a Pirate Princess | Middle Grade

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The protagonists of these middle grade reads are sure to impress, from Ursula Vernon’s latest heroine, a courageous hamster princess, to the main character of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden, a young grave robber who makes a most unusual discovery one night.

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

The Return of EllRay Jakes, Humphrey the Hamster, Last-but-Not-Least Lola, and More Chapter Book Heroes and Heroines | Series Update

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Look no further, chapter book fans. There’s tons of updates to beloved series on the horizon, from everyone’s favorite hamster, Humphrey, who embarks on a camping trip, to EllRay Jakes, who takes on his greatest challenge yet: popularity.

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

Cynthia Rylant Wows Again, Plus Missing Treasure, Tales of Friendship, and More | Chapter Books

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Cynthia Rylant has done it again. Her latest, Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, tackles the timely topic of drought.

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

There’s a New Cat on the Scene | Beginning Readers

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Appealing selections to enliven beginning reader collections.

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

Calling Out Titles for Preschoolers| Early Childhood Picture Books

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A collection of titles for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.

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

Au Naturel | SLJ Spotlight

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Four nonfiction titles to inspire young naturalists.

It’s All About the Birds | Touch and Go

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Bird-watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor hobbies in United States, generating enthusiasm across age groups and demographics. Digital references for these hobbyists are on the rise.

Jim Dale brings well-loved characters to life in “The Mr. Men Collection” | Audio Pick

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HARGREAVES, Roger. The Mr. Men Collection Vol. 1. 1 CD. 59 min. Listening Library. 2015. $10. ISBN 9781101891285. digital download.
PreS-Gr 2–This recording features ten titles from the appealing collection of brief books that highlight Hargreaves’s classic “Mr. Men” tales. Mr. Happy ends up chuckling with a now-smiling Mr. Miserable. Mr. Messy leaves the cap off his toothpaste, Mr. Small slips into the mustard, and Mr. Brave rushes to arrive on time for tea to avoid upsetting stern Miss Bossy. There […]

Teens Review a Steampunk Sequel, a “Gone Girl”–Like YA, and More

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Paranormal romances don’t seem to be waning, and a realistic fiction title was received quite differently by two young critics. The young adult reviewers, part of the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA book groups near Seattle, offer honest insight into some of the latest titles for teens.

Changing the World with Erin Gruwell | Professional Shelf

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Erin Gruwell, a teacher determined to make a difference, and her students became the subject of the 2007 Hollywood movie Freedom Writers. On May 5, Gruwell and some of those same students will visit with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Together they will view a new documentary about the Freedom Writers’ extraordinary journey.