May 28, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

SLJ Reviews

For all the latest SLJ reviews and more, subscribe to SLJ today and save 35%!

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 […]

Mortimer Redux | Touch and Go

Two whimsical story apps by Bo Zaunders were created using OCG’s “Develop-Your-Own” framework, designed by the studio for artists and writers.

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 […]

Are We There Yet? | “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” Movie Review

The film series of Jeff Kinney’s wildly popular books returns to the screen after a five-year hiatus.

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Readers to Eaters $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now. A kid walked up to my Reference Desk. Looked me square in the eye. Said, “I need a biography…” “Sure thing!” I chirruped. That’s […]

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 […]

Review: ‘Cici: A Fairy’s Tale,’ Vols. 1-3

A lot is changing in Cici’s life: Her parents are separating, her wacky abuela is moving in, and on her tenth birthday, she wakes up with fairy wings! With the wings also come magical powers that Cici must learn to use and control as she sees her family and friends as they truly are and […]

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. […]

The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold | SLJ Review

HARROLD, A.F. The Song from Somewhere Else. illus. by Levi Pinfold. 240p. Bloomsbury. Jul. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681194011.

Gr 4-6 –Strong characterizations and a good dose of spookiness are standouts in this illustrated novel. After a strange boy named Nick rescues her from bullies, Frank begins a cautious friendship with her unpopular classmate. When she hears mysterious and beautiful music coming from Nick’s cellar, Frank secretly investigates. She discovers a “leechway” that acts as a door to alternate […]

4 Picture Books Celebrating the Importance of Family

A wide array of titles that show the warm and sometimes wacky world of familial interactions.

5 Nonfiction Titles (and a Graphic Novel!) for Those Who Love the Sea

Just in time for summer are a number of well-written titles for beachgoers and budding marine biologists alike

5 Middle Grade Titles Perfect for Reading Aloud

The following middle grade titles feature strong vocabulary, detailed settings, and authentic dialogue, along with themes that will spark discussion.

The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson | SLJ Review

JOHNSON, Jaleigh. The Quest to the Uncharted Lands. 352p. (World of Solace: Bk. 3). Delacorte. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101933121.

Gr 4-8 –In a third visit to the lands of Solace, Johnson introduces Stella Glass, a brave young alchemist who stows away on the exploration airship Iron Glory on its mission to the Uncharted Lands, accompanying her unwitting scientist parents, who have been drafted on this dangerous voyage by their king. Once on board, Stella is startled by […]

Review: ‘Mickey Mouse: Dark Mines of The Phantom Metal’

Mickey Mouse: Dark Mines of The Phantom Metal Writer/artists: Andrea “Casty” Castellan, Romano Scarpa and others IDW Publishing; $12.99 The latest trade collection of IDW’s Mickey Mouse comics takes its very dramatic title from the lead story, which is the most fantastic and exotic of the three long-form action-adventure stories contained within the 120-page, six-by-nine-inch […]

Book Review: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Publisher’s description This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan. Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam […]