July 20, 2017

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Review: ‘The Complete Sabrina The Teenage Witch Vol.1: 1962-1972′

The Complete Sabrina The Teenage Witch: 1962-1972 Writers: George Gladir, Frank Doyle, Dick Malmgren and others Aritsts: Dan DeCarlo, Rudy Lapick, Bob White and others Archie Comics; $9.99 Because of the peculiar, frozen-in-amber aspect of Archie Comics’ teenage protagonists—which means that a kid today can read Archie Comics and get the same basic story that […]

A “Creature Garden” | Touch and Go

Wondering where to find the next fantastic beasts? With the engaging and intuitive Creature Garden app children can now create their own.

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez | SLJ Review

ALVAREZ, Lorena. Nightlights. illus. by Lorena Alvarez. 56p. Flying Eye/Nobrow. Mar. 2017. Tr 18.95. ISBN 9781910620137.

Gr 4 Up –At Sandy’s parochial school, her talent for daydreaming, doodling, and wandering doesn’t endear her to the strict nuns, whose assignments the girl does her best to avoid. A bit of an outsider, Sandy is delighted when she meets a new friend, a strange, pale girl who gushes over her incredible artwork. As the protagonist’s flights of fancy begin to merge with reality, she must […]

Review: ‘New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China’

New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China Writer: Gene Luen Yang Artists: Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend DC Comics; $16.99 Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, a long-time library and bookstore favorite for works like American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and The Shadow Hero, started writing for DC Comics’ Superman back in 2015, but it wasn’t […]

Book Review: The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

Publisher’s description Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove […]

Review of the Day: Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Orphan Island Laurel Snyder Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-244343-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now *spoiler alert on the whole darn review, basically* I spend more time than I’d like thinking about what makes a person and how that person is an entirely new creation at different stages of life. […]

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris | SLJ Review

HARRIS, Chris. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups. illus. by Lane Smith. 192p. index. Little, Brown. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780316266574.

Gr 3-8 –Those who claim to hate poetry will enjoy this riotous compilation just as much as those who love the form. Fans of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky will rejoice in finding another member of their gang. Wordplay abounds: “If ever I find myself holding a gecko…/I’ll lecko.” Typography […]

Mama Lion Wins the Race by Jon J. Muth | SLJ Review

MUTH, Jon J. Mama Lion Wins the Race. illus. by Jon J Muth. 56p. ­Scholastic. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545852821.

PreS-Gr 2 –Mama Lion and Tigey are excited: it is race day! They examine their route, take a gander at the prizes, greet the competition in the town square, and drive off with Tigey behind the wheel. The Knitted Monkeys are up to mischief and try to get ahead in the race, but others soon take the lead. When Tigey swerves to […]

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast | SLJ Music Review

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast. Performed by Andrew Barkan & Polly Hall. 38 min. Palindrome Records. 2016. $12.

PreS-Gr 5 –Like nothing you may have ever heard before, this collection of 16 original songs pulled from Los Angeles–based Andrew & Polly’s podcast for preschoolers is a great mashup of musical styles: a fresh find, filled with fantasy and fun—sophisticated yet relevant. Barkan and Hall’s fourth album injects humor and passion into each song, making it just right and “real” for youngsters […]

36 Stellar Titles | July 2017

Jennifer Mathieu’s YA novel Moxie is an empowering take on feminism; Dashka Slater uses a devastating crime to examine race, gender, and socioeconomic status in Oakland, CA, in The 57 Bus; and Gareth Hinds presents a masterly graphic novel look at some of Edgar Allan Poe’s most well-known works.

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

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore | SLJ Review

MCLEMORE, Anna-Marie. Wild Beauty. 352p. Feiwel & Friends. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250124555.

Gr 7 Up –Set in an undisclosed time period, this new magical realism story featuring characters of color across the gender and sexuality spectrum draws on Latin American culture and language. Relying on lyrical prose, McLemore weaves an intricate tale of family, love, loss, and flowers. The Nomeolvides women have lived on and tended the enchanted gardens of La Pradera for generations. They are also hiding a dangerous secret: […]

Review of the Day: Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

Accident! By Andrea Tsurumi Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-544-94480-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves October 3rd There is no accident so small that a forward thinking six-year-old can’t turn it into World War III. You see, there are certain things they won’t tell you when you prepare to become a parent. They’ll conveniently fail to […]

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review

REYNOLDS, Jason. Long Way Down. 320p. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481438254.

Gr 8 Up –Fifteen-year-old Will’s big brother has been shot and killed. According to the rules that Will has been taught, it is now his job to kill the person responsible. He easily finds his brother’s gun and gets on the elevator to head down from his eighth-floor apartment. But it’s a long way down to the ground floor. At each floor, a different person gets on to […]

Poulo Warali | SLJ Music Review

Poulo Warali. Performed by Poulo Warali. CD. Approx. 34 min. Awesome Tapes from Africa. 2017. $13.

PreS-Gr 8 –This is singer Awa Poulo’s first internationally distributed record. On this, her most recent recording, the popular singer of Peulh origin from Dilly Commune, Mali, shows off her beautiful, lilting voice as she sings traditional Malian music and original songs written by either Poulo or her mentor, the celebrated Malian singer Inna Baba Coulibaly. All songs are performed in Poulo’s native language. The opening […]

Book Review: Who’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh

 Publisher’s description This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy. Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s […]

Strong as Sandow by Don Tate | SLJ Review

TATE, Don. Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth. illus. by Don Tate. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. Charlesbridge. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781580896283.

Gr 1-4 –Sparked by his own passion for bodybuilding and physical fitness, Tate recounts the story of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925) in this inspirational picture book. The biography begins during Sandow’s childhood in Prussia, where he used sports and exercise to develop from a frail, skinny child into a robust, physically active young man and […]

An “Old Man’s Journey” | Touch and Go

Gorgeous design and a complex narrative create an addictive game that will appeal to a range of ages.

The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes | SLJ Review

NOYES, Deborah. The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead. 160p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Viking. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803740181.

Gr 6 Up –Harry Houdini is best remembered as a magician and escape artist, but he also spent more than half his life tirelessly investigating mediums and séances—charlatans in disguise. Noyes’s narrative blends the history of the spiritualism movement in the early 20th century with a biographical account of Houdini. Early in Houdini’s […]

Review: ‘Archie Crossover Collection’

Archie Crossover Collection Writers: Dan Parent, Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg, Angelo DeCesare and Ian Flynn Artists: Parent, Gisele Lagace, Jeff Shultz, Jim Amash and Rich Koslowski Archie Comics: $14.99 Archie Andrews and the gang have starred in some of the more memorable comic book crossovers of the last few decades—memorable for their sheer weirdness if […]

Friendshape | SLJ DVD Review

Friendshape. 7 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.95. ISBN 9781338184501. POP

PreS-Gr 1 –Never have circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles had such personality! Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld’s picture book has become a fully animated, joyfully scored video. Rosenthal narrates, but children voice the shapes, who bounce and wiggle adorably when they laugh. Their outlines give and bend, suggesting a wide range of movement, and their simple facial features move expressively. They wrinkle when they have a disagreement and straighten […]