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November 24, 2014

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SLJ Reviews: Grades 5 & Up

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November Starred Reviews

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Graphic Novels

Nonfiction

DVD

Audio

Music

Fiction

Alakija, Polly. Counting Chickens. illus. by Polly Alakija. 32p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804372.

PreS-Gr 2 –Tobi may have the finest hen in the village, but his friends’ animals are all having babies, while Tobi’s chicken only lays eggs. As days pass, Aduke’s four kittens, Dapo’s six piglets, and other animals grow [...]

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.

Spine-Tingling Stories for Older Readers

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Spellbinding, shocking, and satisfyingly spooky, creepy tales will rivet readers and raise goose bumps galore. They can also be shared in secondary classrooms to introduce and explore basic short story elements, discuss narrative voice, and analyze point of view.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Transgender Teen Memoir, a Guide to Puberty, and Guys vs. Girls | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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The latest nonfiction for older readers spotlights gender and bodies, from a frank and original look at puberty to a memoir by a transgender teen.

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

Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month, authors sensitively and perceptively portray both the bright and dark sides of family life, including award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata’s Half a World Away, a poignant look at adoption, the last installment in the “Joey Pigza” series, and Neil Gaiman’s innovative retelling of the “Hansel and Gretel” tale.

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

The Latest from Heavy-Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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Looking for the next YA blockbuster? This month’s reviews feature titles by teen author staples in a variety of genres, from realistic fiction (Paolo Bacigalupi and Frank Portman) to fantasy (Marie Lu and Julie Kagawa) and somewhere in between (A. S. King and Jandy Nelson).

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

A Girl and Her Dog, Beyond ‘Peter Pan,’ and Other New Middle-Grade Reads | Fiction Grades 5-8

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There’s something here for middle-grade fans of all stripes this month. Those looking for adventure on the high seas will find it in Heidi Schulz’s Hook’s Revenge, while readers seeking a quieter tale will enjoy Ann M. Martin’s moving Rain Reign, a poignant story of an autistic girl who bonds with a lost dog.

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

Artistic Bonds, Gender-Bending Memoirs, and a New Look at Ernest Shackleton | Nonfiction Grades 5 and Up

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Check out a gorgeous new volume on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two memoirs that tackle gender, and a graphic novel on Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

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

Young Adult Titles of Tragedy and Triumph | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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This month’s YA offerings will take teens through the darkness to the light, from Dana Walrath’s Like Water on Stone, a tale of the Armenian genocide, to Meg Wolitzer’s engrossing Belzhar, a story of emotionally fragile teens coming to turns with personal losses and griefs.

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

August Starred Reviews

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Paul Fleischman opens our eyes to the environmental crisis, young Henri Matisse ponders The Iridescence of Birds, and Philip C. Stead takes to the skies in the August stars, offering the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

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

Catch up with Lunch Lady, Babymouse, and Big Nate | Fiction Series Update

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Take a look at some old, familiar friends from continuing fiction series: Babymouse celebrates a birthday, while Big Nate runs for class president, and Lunch Lady has a new nemesis.

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

Author Bios, Animal Books, and Career Advice | Nonfiction Series Update

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Check out the latest in nonfiction series, including continuations of previously reviewed series as well as some new offerings that librarians won’t want to miss.

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

Inside Human Trafficking, a Natural Mystery, and a Classic Author’s Memoir | Grades 5 & Up Nonfiction

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Check out the latest nonfiction for older readers: Sandra Markle solves the mystery of the little brown bats, Alison Marie Behnke profiles human trafficking, and author Katherine Paterson provides an intimate portrait of her life.

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

Squirrel Tales, Sibling Woes, and Conflict in Darfur | Grades 5-8 Fiction

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Fiction for the middle-grade set includes both the light and lively, with Lynne Rae Perkins’s “true” tale of squirrels, and the stark and serious, with Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Red Pencil.

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