Several sequels and companion books are reviewed in this month’s issue—from Bruce Coville’s laugh-out-loud second installment in the “Enchanted Files” series and Eleanor Glewwe’s thoughtful follow-up to Sparkers to Kirsten Hubbard’s unique companion to last year’s unsettling Watch the Sky and Beth Vrabel’s heartfelt sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville.
For all the latest SLJ reviews and more, subscribe to SLJ today and save 35%!
While coming-out stories will always be necessary in teen lit, it’s refreshing to see that LGBTQ protagonists are taking center stage in mysteries, sci-fi, romance, and other genre fiction. These latest titles offer engaging narratives with nonheteronormative leads that all young adults will find fun to read.
From murderous poisoners to poop-sniffing dogs, there is a wealth of educational and accessible material here.
For babies, toddlers, and even elementary-age children, preparing for bed, settling down to rest, and calming fears of the dark are perennially popular picture book themes. This month brings a plethora of soothing stories to spark the imagination and usher in sweet dreams.
Most ghost stories are designed to send shivers up readers’ spines, but these three new books buck the trend, tackling a range of relatable themes via interactions with the not-so-scary recently deceased. There’s 13-year-old Andie, whose paranormal investigations help her grapple with loss; Baylor, a young teen who communes with his dead sister; and Ada, a goth girl who befriends a ghostly mouse. Engaging mystery, strong characters, and dashes of humor set these offerings apart from the typical ghoulish fare.
These works are a call for empathy and compassion and necessary reads for students engaged with our nation’s past, the refugee experience, and the power of self and nature.
Nothing signifies “coming of age” as well as a road trip. And as the protagonists in these YA novels prove, the twists and turns of highways and inevitable vehicle malfunctions are part and parcel of this rite of passage. From an Odyssey-like journey to an artist’s struggle to forge her own identity in the Jim Crow South, the following works highlight the ups and downs of adolescence and the winding adventures of the road.
There are loads of books about the arrival of cute bundles of joy into a household. These titles address some of the less charming aspects of infants. They disrupt established routines, demand (and command) constant attention, terrorize the family pets, and drive their siblings bonkers.
These selections are odes to all of the fierce, creepy, and, in some cases, elusive beasts that ordinarily make even the toughest of us say “eek!”
Whether you call them “upper middle grade” titles, “tween reads,” or just “great books for preteens,” the following selections are perfect for those looking for a middle school setting, a bit of YA-esque action, but non of the more sophisticated content that typically accompanies novels for true teens.
William Shakespeare’s plays have found a welcoming home in YA adaptations. Complete with a diverse cast and contemporary settings, these works play with the legendary playwright’s plots, characters, and themes.
Take a peek at this collection of notable activists and political figures to start conversations about social movements with students.
For readers looking for books that will grab them, hold their attention, and leave them wanting more, these action packed titles will have readers humming the “Mission Impossible” theme song.
Whether large or infinitesimally tiny, predators or helpful plants and creatures, all offer something to stimulate the senses and secrets to be discovered in these selected titles about exploring the natural world.
Moving to a new town or school is a common, and difficult, life experience for many kids. Several new titles feature characters who experience—and overcome—the new kid blues.
Forget the electoral process; students may need a refresher on what Washington, DC, even looks like! These titles will have readers ready to set off on the right foot toward greater political knowledge.
Looking for a good scare? Check out the latest spine-tingling YA offerings sure to keep teens up at night.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s classic continues to inspire new YA adaptations every year. Give these titles to budding Janeites or teens looking for YA romances with a unique spin.
Middle Grade novels often have two extremes: ultra fantastical or the issue-driven realistic. However ,these titles are equally satisfying to read stories where the drama is simply of a more mellow nature, where the smaller trials and tribulations of growing up take center stage.