May 25, 2017

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Picture Books: New Reads from Cynthia Rylant, Adam Rubin, & More | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

Adam Rubin delivers another taco-loving dragon tale; Cynthia Rylant retells “Beauty and the Beast.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Nonfiction: The Buzz on Bees, Dipping into Chocolate | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

The latest nonfiction titles cover a variety of topics, from chocolate to bees, from eccentric inventors to Jackie Kennedy.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling | SLJ Review

BOWLING, Dusti. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. 272p. Sterling. Sept. 2017. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454923459.

Gr 5-8 –Aven Green has always loved her life in Kansas—hanging out with Emily and Kayla, her best friends since kindergarten; planning pranks; and playing on the school soccer team. Though Aven was born without arms, she has never let her “lack of armage,” as she calls it, deter her from doing anything she sets her mind to. But when her […]

For your summer TBR: Backlist YA you don’t want to miss

The amount of books that appear here cause me a fair amount of anxiety. And that’s not me whining about getting so many great books sent to me to consider reviewing for TLT; that’s me saying that my anxiety disorder can turn anything into something to worry about, even something seemingly good like towering stacks […]

Middle Grade: New Titles from Sophie Cleverly, Chris Grabenstein, & More | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

The latest crop of middle grade reads include Sophie Cleverly’s latest “Ivy and Scarlet” and Chris Grabenstein’s Beach Party Surf Monkey.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Chapter Books: Sherlock Sam and Police Dog Fizz Jump into Action | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

The adventures of a police dog named Fizz, Sherlock Sam, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa & James Parks | SLJ Review

COSTA, Ben & James Parks. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399556135; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399556142.

Gr 6 Up –Rickety Stitch is a skeleton minstrel who travels throughout the fantasy realm of Eem with Goo, his jiggling cube of a sidekick. Unlike the other reanimated skeletons in this world, Rickety retains his personality, but he has no memory of who he was when he […]

Graphic Novels: The Latest from Bryan Lee O’Malley and the Archie Universe | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

“Scott Pilgrim” author Bryan Lee O’Malley unveils a new heroine, Snot Girl; fans of the Archie comics are in for a treat.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia | SLJ Review

ZAPPIA, Francesca. Eliza and Her Monsters. 400p. HarperCollins/­Greenwillow. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062290137.

Gr 9 Up –Eliza’s parents have no understanding of her online life, from her friendships to the scope of the world she created. As a result, Eliza feels like an outsider, unless she’s talking with her cyberfriends or working on her popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Wallace, a new boy at school, has been the first person to bring her out of her shell in ages. […]

Blog Tour: Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag

  From the publisher: It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh’s home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet’s mineral resources. Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils […]

Book Review: Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager and Zoe More O’Ferrall

Publisher’s description This first-ever LGBTQ history book of its kind for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG. World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep […]

3 Professional Reading Titles To Boost Literacy

Tips for strengthening literacy through games, maker spaces, and reading and writing exercises.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams | SLJ Review

WILLIAMS, Lily. If Sharks Disappeared. illus. by Lily Williams. 40p. bibliog. glossary. websites. Roaring Brook. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626724136.

K-Gr 2 –Young audiences learn conservation vocabulary and concepts through an illustrated examination of what might happen if sharks were to become extinct. A brown-skinned girl in a boat acts as a guide for this predictive exercise. She first introduces sharks as part of a healthy ocean, then describes the ways in which sharks influence our ecosystem. In […]

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali | SLJ Review

ALI, S.K. Saints and Misfits. 336p. S. & S./Salaam Reads. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481499248.

Gr 9 Up –Life has settled since Janna’s parents’ divorce, but several new obstacles are making things difficult. Her brother, Muhammad, is moving back home as he changes majors and pursues marriage, while Janna silently battles against a respected boy at her mosque who attempted to rape her. To cope, Janna has separated people into categories. Farooq is a monster, but there are […]

Guided by Meaning in Primary Literacy: Libraries, Reading, Writing, and Learning by Joyce Carroll, Kelly Barger, Karla James & Kristy Hill | SLJ Review

CARROLL, Joyce, Kelly Barger, Karla James, & Kristy Hill. Guided by Meaning in Primary Literacy: Libraries, Reading, Writing, and Learning. 297p. chart. illus. index. photos. Libraries Unlimited. Feb. 2017. Tr $39.94. ISBN 9781440843983.

A practical and important book on supporting early literacy in schools and libraries with lessons in writing and reading. The title’s most crucial arguments are that literacy (and, for that matter, anything) should resonate with those we teach and that “brain research has supported meaningful instruction […]

Book Review: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

Publisher’s description This charming and bittersweet coming-of-age story featuring two girls of color falling in love is part To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and part Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to […]

Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender by S.D. Nelson | SLJ Review

NELSON, S.D. Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender. 64p. bibliog. illus. notes. photos. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781419723131.

Gr 4-6 –Chief Red Cloud (1822–1909) is known as an Oglala Lakota leader who acquiesced to the demands of United States and entered into a treaty despite opposition from other Lakota leaders. The treaty forever changed the lifestyle of the Lakota and forced them to relinquish their freedom, homelands, and indigenous ways of being to live […]

Book Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

If you want to skip the lengthy review, let me just say this: I love this book and think everyone should read it. Now for the real review. Publisher’s Book Description: Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s […]

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar | SLJ Review

LAZAR, Tara. 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. illus. by Ross MacDonald. 32p. Disney-Hyperion. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484717790.

K-Gr 3 –Private investigator Al F. Bet relates a recent case history—the mysterious disappearance of Number 9. It all starts with Client Number 6, who comes into the office visibly agitated about Number 7. Has shady 7 committed a horrific crime? Are his own days “numbered”? In search of some leads, the PI heads to Café Uno, and after […]

Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman | SLJ Review

PULLMAN, Philip . Mystery of the Ghost Ship. illus. by Fred Fordham. 160p. (The Adventures of John Black). Scholastic/Graphix. Jun. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338149128.

Gr 8 Up –When Harvard student Danielle succeeds in tracking the legendary Mary Alice, a pirate ship that disappears and reappears across time, she becomes drawn into a conspiracy headed by the menacing Dahlberg Corporation. The Dahlbergs are after the secrets of the Mary Alice, and only Royal Navy agent Roger Blake opposes them. […]