August 17, 2017

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44 Terrific Titles | August 2017

August’s stars feature Molly Idle’s “Flora” adventures, an illustrated biography of the legendary Arturo Schomburg, and audiobooks of two popular YA titles.

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

The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson | SLJ Review

SWANSON, Matthew. The Real McCoys. illus. by Robbi Behr. 336p. Imprint. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250098528.

Gr 3-5 –A lot can happen in one day when you’re the world’s greatest fourth grade detective. Moxie McCoy aims to find both her school’s stolen mascot and a new best friend while surviving multiple trips to the principal’s office. Moxie’s biggest surprise of the day? A new appreciation of her “boring as a butter knife” younger brother Milton, who reveals detective skills of his own. […]

Odd & True by Cat Winters | SLJ Review

WINTERS, Cat. Odd & True. 368p. Abrams/Amulet. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419723100.

Gr 9 Up –Trudchen, a polio survivor who reads tea leaves, is the younger sister to Odette, and both are Maria’s daughters. All through Tru’s youth, Od would fill her head with magical, fantastical stories to fill the dark times. After a two-year absence, Od returns looking haunted and accompanied by a case full of mysterious weapons that she promises will help kill monsters. Soon, the siblings whisk away on […]

Book Review: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

Publisher’s description As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. But when Janie Lee confesses to […]

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton | SLJ Review

BARTON, Chris. Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion. illus. by Victo Ngai. 36p. chron. further reading. photos. Millbrook. Sept. 2017. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781512410143.

Gr 2-5 –During World War I, the British were in danger of starving because so many German U-boats were sinking American and British supply ships. Eventually, Norman Wilkinson, a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lieutenant-commander, had the idea to paint boats in such a manner as to confuse the German submarine captains, and the concept […]

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore | SLJ Review

CASHORE, Kristin. Jane, Unlimited. 464p. Penguin/Kathy Dawson Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803741492.

Gr 9 Up –Before her Aunt Magnolia died in a blizzard in Antarctica, she made Jane promise to accept any invitation she might receive to visit Tu Reviens. When her high school tutor, Kiran, extends an invitation to her family’s annual spring gala at Tu Reviens, Jane knows she has to accept even though she is still deep in mourning for the aunt who had raised her. But the […]

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s by Patrick McDonnell | SLJ Review

MCDONNELL, Patrick. The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way). illus. by Patrick McDonnell. 48p. Little, Brown. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316502467.

PreS-Gr 1 –McDonnell’s abecedarian tale takes a small scarlet cat on a breathtaking adventure. The clever tale—wordless except for two signs and one warning shout—begins when the feline notices his home’s front door standing open and takes to the hills. He almost immediately comes upon a gape-mouthed Alligator, a climbing Bear, and an agitated […]

Book Review: The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian

Publisher’s description The Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create. Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends […]

Graphic Novels: The Origin of Buddhism & Outlandish Academic Adventures | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

A unique graphic novel explores the foundation of Buddhism; clever cousins use science to battle evil; a superhero balances school with saving the day.

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

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones | SLJ Review

JONES, Kelly. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore. 304p. Knopf. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553535204.

Gr 9 Up –A cross between Jane Austen dramas and Harriet the Spy, this delightful strong female–led title mixes historical fiction and spy mystery with a touch of magic to produce a story filled with adventure. Sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth leads a privileged existence in 19th-century London when she learns about her father’s tragic death. Suspecting foul play, she sets out to discover the truth behind his mysterious accident […]

Picture Books: A Thailand Tale, A Ninja Adventure, & More | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

August’s Xpress picture book reviews feature a bilingual retelling of a Paiute legend, an alphabet book with a Yukon twist, and much more.

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

Amazon Adventure by Sy Montgomery | SLJ Review

MONTGOMERY, Sy. Amazon Adventure: How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rainforest. photos by Keith Ellenbogen. 80p. (Scientists in the Field). bibliog. index. photos. websites. HMH. Jul. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544352995.

Gr 5-8 –Scientists studying fish ecology in specific biomes often dwell on the evils of overfishing, but along the Río Negro, a major tributary to the mighty Amazon, scientist Scott Dowd has noticed something radically different: a fishing industry that not only supports the human population in this rain forest […]

Nonfiction: The Solar System, Sustainability, and Wacky Inventions | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

These nonfiction titles run the gamut! One author takes (figurative) selfies through our solar system; wacky inventions will inspire young problem solvers; Stacey Kravetz delivers an entrepreneurial guide for girls.

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

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner | SLJ Review

MESSNER, Kate. The Exact Location of Home. 224p. Bloomsbury. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681195483.

Gr 5-7 –Thirteen-year-old science and electronics enthusiast Zig hasn’t had a visit from his father in more than a year. Zig’s mother won’t explain why, so he begins looking for clues in local geocaches. Meanwhile, Zig’s mother fails to pay the rent and they move into a homeless shelter after a short stay with Zig’s aunt Becka, who lives with an abusive husband. Messner describes the mundane details […]

Middle Grade: New Titles from J.K. Rowling, Margarita Engle, & More | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

Mysteries abound in this month’s middle grade reviews! Sherlock’s creator gets a tween-aged overhaul in Robert J. Harris’s new novel, and Susan Vaught’s super sleuth Max solves mysteries when she’s not drag racing in her wheelchair.

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

Slider by Pete Hautman | SLJ Review

HAUTMAN, Pete. Slider. 288p. Candlewick. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763690700.

Gr 5-8 –David meant to bid $20, not $2,000, on the half-eaten hot dog of his favorite competitive eater. But it happened, and he won, and he sort of used his mom’s credit card to place the bid. To make up the money, David realizes it’s time to turn his interest into cash and compete in a local pizza eating contest. He can eat an entire pizza in under five minutes, but […]

Black Light Express by Philip Reeve | SLJ Review

REEVE, Philip. Black Light Express. 352p. Switch Pr. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781630790967.

Gr 7-10 –In this sequel to Railhead, trains are sentient beings with different personalities who communicate with one another through “trainsong” and with their passengers via artificial intelligence. They run on rails and travel through K-gates, portals to different worlds throughout the Network Empire. Zen Starling and Motorik (female android) Nova have escaped the Network Empire aboard the Damask Rose, hurtling through a new K-gate to the previously unknown Web of […]

Chapter Books: Creepy Capers & Newfound Friendships | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

This month’s chapter book reviews feature young detectives, facetious fables, and fun-loving felines.

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

When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano | SLJ Review

FOGLIANO, Julie. When’s My Birthday? illus. by Christian Robinson. 40p. Roaring Brook. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722934.

PreS-Gr 1 –An exuberant ode to children’s anticipation for the most special day each year: their birthday. Fogliano’s insistent verse wastes no time and doesn’t even stop for traditional capitalization—just like the young narrators, who want to know, “when’s my birthday?/where’s my birthday?/how many days until/my birthday?” They continue breathlessly, wondering if they will “sing so happy happy?” on the big day. The exaggerated excitement […]

DVD: Folk Tales, Eco-Activism, & Art as Therapy | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

Timeless folk tales are rejuvenated for a young audience; two documentaries explore the poor effects of artificial light on fireflies; an analysis of the Battle of Waterloo.

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