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March 2, 2015

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SLJ Reviews: Grades 5 & Up

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Obscure Historical Figures Brought to Life | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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Two stellar titles this month focus on lesser-known historical figures. Tonya Bolden’s Capital Days uncovers a journal kept by Michael Shiner, a former slave whose diary entries provide a man in the street perspective of significant historical events, while Robert P.J. Cooney Jr’s Remembering Inez is an excellent account of the life of suffragist Inez Milholland.

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

February Starred Reviews

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Animals dominated the starred reviews this February, from plucky poultry to a runaway tiger cub to the fabulous world of hippos.

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

From Bengal to the Bayou | Fiction Grades 5-8

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These recent middle grade selections take readers all around the world, from Mitali Perkins’s Tiger Boy, about young Neel’s adventures tracking down a missing tiger cub, to Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Bayou Magic, a story of one girl’s life-changing—and fantastical—summer with her grandmother.

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

Middle Grade Maven Makes a Must-See YA Debut | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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This month, YA readers are in for a treat: veteran middle grade author Michael Buckley takes a step into YA with great results. Undertow is not to be missed. And check out the latest from Pete Hautman, Cori McCarthy, and others.

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

Adventures with Young Sherlock Holmes, Dystopic Japan, and Zombies Galore | Fiction Series Update

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Sci-fi and adventure fans will find some can’t-miss continuations and conclusions of some gripping series, from Andrew Lane’s gripping update to the saga of teenage Sherlock Holmes to Gena Showalter’s satisfying wrap up of the “White Rabbit Chronicles.”

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

Highly Anticipated Follow-Ups from Gail Jarrow, John Lewis, and More | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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If your students enjoyed Gail Jarrow’s medical mystery Red Madness and John Lewis’s graphic novel memoir March, they’re in luck. Jarrow’s Fatal Fever takes a look at Typhoid Mary, while Lewis’s March: Book Two delves further into the civil rights struggle. And don’t miss the rest of the nonfiction targeted at older readers this month.

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

Welcome to Heap House, the Untold Story of Goldilocks, and Roots Rediscovered | Fiction Grades 5-8

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Middle-grade readers are treated to stories painstaking and poignant and funny and whimsical. Katherine Coville’s The Cottage in the Woods takes readers behind the fairy tale to the real story of Goldilocks, while Thanha Lai’s Listen Slowly sees a young girl travel to Vietnam to learn about her heritage. And don’t forget Edward Carey’s Heap House, a tale of a most unusual family—and their mansion.

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

Kick-butt Heroines, Epic Sagas, and Quirky Debuts | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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The new year is filled with richly imagined new worlds YA readalikes for fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, such as Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in Ashes. Readers of realistic fiction will delight in Lance Rubin’s unique Denton Little’s Deathdate and Juliana Romano’s romance-filled First There Was Forever.

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

A Cow Goes Rogue, Dickens Goes Steampunk, and Katie Friedman Goes Luddite | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month’s middle-grade fiction includes a bevy of alluring new titles, from Audrey (Cow), a cow determined to make something of herself, to a steampunk version of Charles Dickens’s classic holiday tale, A Christmas Tale.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Highly Anticipated Titles from Printz-Winning Authors | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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Printz winners Nick Lake and Marcus Sedgwick are back. Lake spins a tale featuring the ultimate unreliable narrator, in There Will Be Lies, while Sedgwick weaves together plots spanning centuries in his latest.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Sneakers, Tibet, and Chernobyl | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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Check out an eclectic smattering of subjects: the history of the sneaker, a look at the effects of Chernobyl, and a tale of two brothers attempting to flee Tibet.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

December Stars

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Enjoy a chimp-filled romp through Gombe with Jane Goodall’s latest, check out Kevin Brooks’s Carnegie Award–winning The Bunker Diary, and follow four generations of blackberry fool with Emily Jenkins’s sumptuous picture book A Fine Dessert with the December stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

November Starred Reviews

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Get political with Ken Burns’s newest documentary, The Roosevelts, find out how Megan Shepherd’s “Madman’s Daughter” trilogy ends, and change how you see rainstorms with April Pulley Sayre’s Raindrops Roll with the November stars, which offer the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Beloved Tales in New Skins: Sherlock Holmes, “Beauty and the Beast,” and More | Fiction Grades 5-8

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Check out a bevy of new titles, from new twists on old favorites, such as a gorgeous new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, an updated “Beauty and the Beast,” and a graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Varied Set of Portraits, from Pets to Presidents | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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This month’s nonfiction profiles a wide variety of people—and animals. Students will find a trove of information in Albert Marrin’s beautifully researched biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, while those with an artistic bent will enjoy Catherine Ingram’s quirky, illustrated looks at Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, and Jackson Pollock. And don’t miss the adorable Unlikely Heroes, which covers some truly courageous creatures.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Ghostly Guinea Pigs, Time-Travelers, and Seelie Wars | Fiction Series Update

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These latest updates in ongoing series, these books encompass a wide variety of topics: a dark and haunting title about Vietnam from Chris Lynch, more drama from the world of the Seelies from Jane Yolen and son Adam Stemple, and time-traveling adventures with Mira.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Light Up the Shelves for Christmas and Hanukkah! | December Holidays

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Our team of reviewers in Los Angeles selected and evaluated 42 titles to help librarians make informed purchase decisions. Picture books, poetry, song adaptations, nonfiction, and short stories are among the offerings.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Robot Chicken Invasions, Cartwheels Galore, and a Victorian Murder Mystery | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month’s picks for the middle school set will evoke a range of emotions. Whether you’re looking for the achingly poignant (Katherine Rundell’s Cartwheeling Through Thunderstorms, the tale of a spirited tomboy who finds herself orphaned) or the charmingly quirky (Alex McCall’s Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens or Julie Berry’s The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place), there’s something to please readers of all stripes.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Breathing New Life into Old Tales | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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There’s plenty to engage teen readers this month, from a creative retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s spine-tingling, gothic tale “The Fall of the House of Usher,” told from the perspective of Madeline Usher, as well as Audacity, Melanie Crowder’s look at Clara Lemlich, a 19th-century activist for workers rights.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Mythology Percy Jackson–Style, a Side-splitting Memoir, and Ghouls Galore | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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The intrepid Percy Jackson tries his hand at retelling Greek mythology, with hilarious results, while Paralympic ski racer Josh Sundquist pens a laugh-out-loud memoir of his dating life. And for those looking for some spooky selections, check out Kelly Milner’s Ghostly Evidence.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.