Middle graders are in for a treat with this latest spate of new installments in beloved series, from the mysterious Gargoyles Gone AWOL to the humorously poignant How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel.
SLJ Reviews: Grades 5 & Up
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This month’s stellar nonfiction includes a guide for armchair travelers from the Lewins, a history of chocolate, and a can’t-miss title on critical thinking.
The latest middle grade books take on myriad subjects, from a boy struggling to understand the Red Scare to a young girl expressing her life through letters to her pen pal, Hank Williams. And finally, don’t miss Gone Crazy in Alabama, which finishes off the trilogy that began with One Crazy Summer.
The SLJ March issue is chock-full of YA heavy-hitters. From Nova Ren Suma’s latest magical realism offering to David Levithan’s companion play to Will Grayson, Will Grayson¸ the following titles for teens push genre boundaries, invite reflection, and are brimming with moving narratives.
Visit old friends and new with this month’s SLJ stars. Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans will delight in finally seeing TIny Cooper’s masterpiece come to life, and Avi fans are in for a treat with Catch You Later, Traitor. Graphic novel fans have a wonderfully gruesome new series with “The Lunch Witch,” while YA fans looking for a new voice will find it with Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days.
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.
Animals dominated the starred reviews this February, from plucky poultry to a runaway tiger cub to the fabulous world of hippos.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.