School Library Journal The world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:17:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:12 +0000 60Timeline LAYERS 2TIER FORWEB And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today

This month marks School Library Journal’s 60th year as an independent magazine—no small feat in this changing media landscape. With ongoing coverage of library news, big-picture issues, practical applications, and reviews, SLJ has worked to become an essential go-to guide for schools and librarians working with young people. As we observe this milestone, we look back at some highlights from the past six decades. In the September 1954 issue of Junior Libraries, a spin-off of Library Journal which became SLJ, educator Nancy Larrick explored a new concept called “individualized reading,” that requires an accessible place where children can browse a wide variety of books and make their own selections. How well they choose depends in part on the way the books are introduced and displayed. “With such a program, learning to read becomes a great adventure whereby children explore the world of books and sample the joys of reading.” Much has changed in the ensuing years, notably in the ways that information is gathered and shared, but our commitment to readers is as strong as ever.

60thAnniv 1950s section And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayThe 1950s

In its premier issue, editor Gertrude Wolf stated, “Junior Libraries comes to you at a time of high tide in the interest in children’s reading. Publishers are providing a wealth of attractive new books; curriculum makers are urging the use of a great variety of books to supplement the basic texts. Administrators and classroom teachers are increasingly aware of the school libraries’ vital contribution to effective teaching. School and children’s librarians are working creatively together, recognizing that the ‘child is their common denominator.’”

60thAnniv 1960s section And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayThe 1960s

A growing concern for social justice was a hallmark of the decade, marked by the civil rights movement, Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, and the establishment of programs such as Head Start. Librarians did not shy away from the issues. SLJ gave voice to those who demanded diversity, such as librarian A. Grace Mims, who penned “Nervous Nellies on Race Relations?” in 1967. “Is it that librarians are more concerned with having ‘safe,’ sterile book collections than with having books that reflect realistically the true makeup of this diverse and ever changing democratic nation?” she wrote. Through it all, SLJ never lost its sense of fun and whimsy—especially when it came to beloved authors. When Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are, SLJ staffers were on hand to “make a wild thing out of Mr. Sendak” as he spoke to New York Times book review editor George Woods (pictured).

60thAnniv 1970ssection And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayThe 1970s

Librarians grappled with the reality of school desegregation in the 1970s and a new understanding of librarianship—all in the midst of rising book prices and massive budget cuts. In SLJ, a 1971 editorial took the American Library Association (ALA) to task for not doing more to address lingering Jim Crow practices in southern school libraries. Feature stories throughout the decade such as “In House and Out House” (October 1971) and “A Feminist Look at Children’s Books” (January 1971) took a hard look at embedded racism and sexism within the literature and the profession at large. The ’70s also saw a growing understanding of the importance of early childhood education; public librarians were being asked to provide programs to toddlers and preschoolers—and they rose to the challenge. In March 1979, SLJ covered the emergence of a radical new type of library programming: toddler storytime, highlighting a pilot program in South Euclid, Ohio, for two-year-olds and their parents. Toward the decade’s end, school “librarians” had assumed an alternative title: “library media specialists.”

60thAnniv 1980ssection 204x300 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayThe 1980s

The Reagan years meant economic upheaval for America’s libraries, as tax revolts, slashed budgets, and staffing shortages became the norm. “It’s been said that libraries have no natural enemies, but neither do they have natural political allies,” wrote Ethel Manheimer in a SLJ feature, “Librarians as Political Activists,” in 1981. “It is up to us librarians to recruit our allies….The day of the low profile is over.” A Nation at Risk, a startling 1983 report by the NEA, warned of “the rising tide of mediocrity” in public education. A call for “back to basics” emphasized preschool services and led to the creation of Reading Rainbow and a national library card campaign. In SLJ, Roger Sutton wrote a piece about the allure of secret, forbidden passion in V. C. Andrews’s YA novels. And editor in chief Lillian Gerhardt attempted to put a stop to the perennial question: “Why not let THE CHILDREN choose the children’s book awards?” SLJ joined with ALA’s Young Adult Services Division (now YALSA) to sponsor the annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring an author “for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.” The first Edwards Award went to S. E. Hinton in 1988.

60thAnniv 1990s section 203x300 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayThe 1990s

An October 1991 feature by Betty Blankhead considered technology—in the form of a CD-ROM collection development primer. The birth of the World Wide Web in 1992 was the ultimate game-changer. Media specialist Becky Mather shared tips on how to set up networking resources in the school media center, scrapping the idea of stand-alone computers and encouraging librarians to fight for a Local Area Network in their schools (“The Promised LAN,” October 1995). On the home front, SLJ gained a website,, on November 29, 1997, and in 1998, SLJ debuted its annual illustrated Best Books cover (by Christopher Myers). The magazine tracked important events of the world and the profession. In February 1991, SLJ was there to report ALA’s denouncement of President George Bush’s decision to enter the Gulf War—the first national organization to do so. The ’90s brought us No Child Left Behind, but also Harry Potter. Conceived in 1990 by author J. K. Rowling and already a worldwide phenomenon by 1999, the “Harry Potter” series (Scholastic) enchanted a generation.

60thAnniv 2000section 225x300 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today2000-2009

At the dawn of the new millennium, savvy professionals were abuzz with new formats, software, and platforms, which continued to revolutionize how and where our patrons read and accessed information. As the decade progressed, SLJ’s presence also expanded. In 2005, we hosted what became our annual leadership summit and, in 2009, Day of Dialog. Online, we debuted the Battle of the Kids’ Books in 2009. Virtual events followed, including The Digital Shift and later SummerTeen. SLJ also branched out into e-newsletters and webcasts. First out of the gate was Extra Helping, followed by Curriculum Connections, SLJTeen, and Series Made Simple. We also began reporting on a new trend—“Blogomania.” Just as technological advances influenced our reporting, so did world events. In the aftermath of 9/11, SLJ considered what it meant to be a nation at war and what the profession could offer in the way of services and information, reopening larger conversations about civil liberties, outreach, and underserved populations. Looking back, it’s not surprising that as Rowling’s epic fantasy was ending, dystopian literature was on its way to becoming the latest rage. Still, there was concern about “Generation Tech’s” declining interest in reading (“They Want Their MP3s”) and wondered “Do Books Still Matter?” as SLJ examined national surveys and statistics to get to “The Truth About Reading.” In 2008, we gained a new moniker, @sljournal, on Twitter. With subsequent outposts on Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, and Pinterest, SLJ has embraced social media to better connect with our audience—wherever they are.

6Covers P38LAYERS2 600x151 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today

Timely issues: Concerns of the day, social and professional, got the cover treatment.
Clockwise from top left: Technological change; self-censorship; grassroots advocacy;
digital textbooks; bullying; and educational equity.


With new digs in downtown New York, SLJ underwent further change in the last few years without missing a step in covering and leading its ever-evolving beat. A new platform, WordPress, enabled a more effective Web presence. In collection development, we covered paranormal romance, steampunk, LGBT titles, and more, and in 2011 began reviewing apps. July 2013 saw SLJ’s first dedicated issue, on early learning, followed by one on diversity (May 2014). From flipped classrooms and Raspberry Pi to Minecraft and makerspaces, our feature well reflected an exciting trend toward students taking an active role in their own learning. 60thAnniv 2010section 225x300 And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to todayEreaders—we reviewed a slew of them—came and went. But the iPad was clearly the dominant hardware, with the ubiquitous tablet considered in almost every issue. The advent of digital content elicited some skepticism, with more than a few headlines posing questions: “Are Ebooks any Good?” (2011) and “Is the iPad Fit for School?” (May 2010).

Despite the rocky, ongoing evolution—the ebook wars rage on to this day—librarians have been at the center, embracing familiar analog tools and emerging digital ones to enhance literacy. Case in point: librarian John Schumacher pictured with a stack of books under one arm, an iPad in another, which was among our most popular covers.

60Timeline OtherMedia And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today

Stargazing: Art by the top children’s book illustrators has graced our annual Best Books issue since 1998.

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Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County Style Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:49:30 +0000 PCLSlogo Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County StyleTeen Summer Challenge began in 2012 when dedicated Pierce County Library System (PCLS, Washington) staff identified the need for an approach to summer reading that moved beyond a traditional one-size-fits-all model to reach and engage diverse teens across the county. Low participation numbers and low engagement prompted staff to think outside the box to provide a meaningful summer reading experience for teens.

I joined the project this year as a new librarian, and am thrilled to work on a summer reading program that effectively provides a pathway through which teens encounter new ideas, share their creativity, skills, and opinions, and engage with the library in new ways. Since much has been written about the more technical aspects of Teen Summer Challenge, including its implementation of gamification, I will focus on how the move to an online program presents unique opportunities for a  library, spread across many miles, to provide a way for teens to discover, share, and engage regardless of where they live and how physically mobile they are.

Inspired by the Search Institute’s research on Sparks and Thriving, trends in gamification, and the examples of online summer reading programs created by Ann Arbor and New York Public Library, PCLS decided to move Teen Summer Reading  online. With no budget and very little time, Youth Services and the Virtual Services departments formed a necessary partnership. We used WordPress plugins to build game design elements into an online platform for teens to discover new interests, try new experiences, and share their opinions and creations with a community of teens from all over Pierce County by completing challenges to earn points and digital badges.


Teen Summer Challenge still has all the essential elements of a traditional summer reading program—players track their reading throughout the summer, earn points for every hour they read, find and recommend books to other players, and respond to their favorite fandoms.  But online, we have been able to add so much more.

buildawebsite Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County StyleIn line with this year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program’s theme “Spark a Reaction,” we explored the ways in which science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) spark change in our communities and shape our world. Youth service librarians gathered and curated STEAM-related content, resources, and challenge activities organized around three modes of engagement: play, discover, and learn. Play badges highlighted STEAM activities related to popular fandoms. videogamebadge Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County StyleDiscover badges explored the intersections of STEAM on topics of interest to teens, such as our Video Game badge. Learn badges focused on skill-building in specific STEAM areas, such as our Graphic Design or Build a Website badges.

In curating online content, our goal was to create a portal through which teens encounter and explore the intersections of pop-culture, science, technology, and art from multiple perspectives, so that a digital badge on the topic of Music, for example, not only challenges teens to learn about instrumental basics, but also invites them to engage with music from scientific, technical, and cultural perspectives. To develop digital badges like this one, we took advantage of engaging, interactive, and educational web content. Supported by research on teen media use, we looked to videos, tutorials, and games to introduce ideas, explain concepts, and spark discussion and critical thinking by inviting teens to submit their reactions and ideas in activity streams and comment threads.

We scoured the Internet and consulted YALSA’s STEM Programming Toolkit and STEM Resources Wiki for content. We relied heavily on material produced by PBS LearningMedia and PBS DigitalStudios: using YouTube channels like Off Book, Idea Channel, It’s Okay to Be Smart, and VSauce, for example. We highlighted the Maker movement by pointing teens to Make Magazine and Instructables. We were also inspired by initiatives like and its affiliates, Mozilla Webmaker, and Google’s Made With Code to introduce coding, programming, re-mixing, and web development.

This program allowed our librarians to provide a way for teens to discover awesome and meaningful content on the web in a variety of mediums to support STEAM-related knowledge and skill-building relevant to their interests.


Traditional summer reading programs require teens to work independently, tracking individual time spent reading. By moving the program online, we incorporated elements of social media to give teens more opportunities to share what they were learning, doing, and creating. This year, we added a mechanism by which we released new badges throughout the summer. Teens were able to suggest activities for us to incorporate into the challenge and affect the actual program. By celebrating and showcasing their submissions, and giving participants ownership of their own program, Teen Summer Challenge gave the library the important opportunity to recognize and honor teen voice, creativity, and talent.

A few of my favorite submissions are highlighted below:

design a game Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County Style

Submitted by Madeline

drwhogenderswap Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County Style

Submitted by Inuyasha4ever

cardboard automaton Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County Style

Submitted by Jeneva







As a social platform, Community Agreements guided players’ submissions, status updates, and comments. We encouraged teens to work together to complete challenges; players enjoy working on activities with friends and family, so this year we created an entire badge with a series of activities to be completed by a group. This balance of online and in-person social activity increased excitement about the program.


Finally, Teen Summer Challenge promotes online engagement with the library in new ways. One badge encouraged teens to become familiar with the library website and e-sources. Another set of badges highlighted pictures of Spike, our teen services mascot, at each of our 18 branches.  To earn points, teens had to identify his location. Teen librarians interacted with players through our online profiles, and built relationships with teens spread out across the county.  Some of these teens are youth we may not be able to reach or meet in any other way.

Still, online engagement can be a challenge. In the first two years, a number of interested teens did not have internet at home and struggled to participate.  This year we reintroduced traditional reading logs to cross over and promote the online program. Branches and even some community partners held meet-ups for teens to gather to work together, complete activities, and hang out. Some librarians incorporated activities into regular programs. One of our stated goals each summer is to connect teens to the resources and services the library has to offer so they will become year-round users.

Future directions

While the move to an online program has opened up opportunities for PCLS to more effectively reach and engage our teen communities, this kind of summer reading program might not be an appropriate fit for your library, community, or budget. Teen Summer Challenge is only three years old, and we still have plenty to learn, but we will continue to share our strategies and lessons learned in trying to create discovery and engagement opportunities for teens at the library and online.

To learn more, check out these links:

First year of PCL’s Teen Summer Challenge

Current year of Teen Summer Challenge 

New PCL Adult Program launched this year

Elise Doney is a teen librarian at Pierce County Library System (WA).


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Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5-8 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:59 +0000 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.]]> SLJ1409w BK Fic58 Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8

RedReviewStar Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8Gantos, Jack. The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza. 160p. (Joey Pigza: Bk. 5). Farrar. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374300838.

Gr 5-7 –The final “Joey Pigza” novel begins as Joey narrates his present situation back in his “roachy row house on Plum St.” He is without a medical patch to treat his ADHD because his mom can’t remember where she hid them. Joey’s father has gotten a botched face-lift and runs away again. When Joey receives a call at school from his frantic mother pleading for him to come home because she’s afraid she will hurt Carter Junior, Joey rushes home, afraid of what he might find. Things go from bad to worse as Joey tries to comfort his mom. She winds up checking herself into a hospital for depression, leaving middle-schooler Joey to care for his baby brother. Woeful metaphors describe Joey’s dysfunctional predicament and ensuing altercations with his dad, who is stalking the family in order to kidnap the baby. Joey takes responsibility for his condition, as well as challenges his father to do the same. This may be the darkest volume yet in Gantos’s series. Readers who have read the previous books and come to know and love Joey will appreciate the irony and emotional punch of his final triumph. Give this groundbreaking, heartbreaking title to readers mature and sensitive enough to understand the author’s black humor and seriousness.–D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH

RedReviewStar Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8Hagen, George. Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle. 384p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2014. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385371049; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385371032; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385371056. LC 2013032533.

Gr 5-8 –Gabriel Finley loves riddles. His father taught him one every day; every day, that is, until he disappeared. For three years Gabriel’s father has been missing and his father’s somewhat dotty but loving sister is taking care of Gabriel. Ravens also love riddles. They use riddles to distinguish themselves from valravens—evil birds who never laugh, who eat human flesh, and who turned humankind away from friendship with ravens. On Gabriel’s 12th birthday, his aunt gives him his father’s diary and he discovers that his father was an amicus, someone who could merge with a raven and fly through the sky. He also discovers that his father’s older brother, Corax, was also an amicus who turned evil and disappeared. Soon after, Gabriel rescues a baby raven and discovers that he, too, is an amicus. The raven, Paladin, tells Gabriel that they must find an object called a torc, which can grant any wish, before Gabriel’s Uncle Corax does. The titular character, along with Paladin; Septimus, a former inmate who knows his father; and three school friends, sets out to rescue of his father and, in essence, save the world. Hagen has crafted a tale that contains riddles, magic, courage, loyalty, and compassion in a way that is sure to engage readers. Gabriel inhabits a dark world where friendship is the guiding light and differences are respected and valued. This is a great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of “Harry Potter.” The ending suggests that more is to come, and more will be welcome.–Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC

RedReviewStar Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8Rex, Adam. Smek for President! illus. by Adam Rex. 272p. Disney-Hyperion. Feb. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484709511.

Gr 4-8 –After successfully banishing the Gorg and ruining the Boovs’s plans to colonize planet Earth, J.Lo and Gratuity (Tip to her friends) are back in this sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday (Hyperion, 2007). The Boov, dumpy little aliens who find English grammar amusingly challenging, have now settled, somewhat peevishly, on one of Saturn’s moons. J.Lo, and Tip board J.Lo’s converted Chevy spacecraft, Slushious, and blast off to New Boovworld, only to find themselves on the run from the police and Captain Smek, who is now campaigning to become New Boovworld’s first president. Rex is a comic genius who has created a laugh- and groan-out-loud novel filled with spaceship chases, bubbling billboards, villainous villains, and reluctant heroes to say nothing of rousing games of Stickyfish and the obligatory garbage pit. Hilarious cartoons will please graphic novel aficionados. Don’t skip Appendix A: Rules for Stickyfish.–Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

RedReviewStar Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8Ryan, Carrie & John Parke Davis. The Map to Everywhere. 448p. Little, Brown. Nov. 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9780316240772; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316240765.

Gr 4-6 –Fin is so forgettable, no one can remember him for more than a few minutes. Left by his mother at an orphanage in the pirate city of Khaznot Quay at the age of four, he’s been on his own ever since. Fin uses his curse to his benefit by becoming a master thief. When he receives a letter directing him to steal a key in exchange for treasures and a promise to show him the way home, he accidentally releases the Oracle, an insane wizard who had been carefully guarded for centuries. Meanwhile in another world, adventurous Marrill, stuck in suburban Arizona, finds an enormous ship in a parking lot. Soon she’s traveling the pirate stream, a waterway connecting all worlds, joined by a wizard on a quest for the Map to Everywhere, which they will need to get Marrill home. Fin and Marrill’s paths intersect and they set about stealing and reassembling the map—each piece located in a different world. The task becomes further complicated when they realize the Oracle is also after the map. Alternating between Fin and Marilll’s points of view, a slower beginning allows for compelling character development in the first quarter the book. When the plots merge, the pacing picks up, mirroring the urgency of the characters, though readers may wish for more time to digest and appreciate the various worlds before racing on to the next. Husband and wife team Ryan and Davis have created wholly original settings, and the juxtaposition of Fin and Marrill’s backgrounds and personalities is enjoyable and humorous. This is an ambitious undertaking, and strong readers who enjoy adventure fiction and fantasy will inhale the first book in what has the potential to be an extraordinary series.–Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR

RedReviewStar Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8Tripp, Ben. The Accidental Highwayman. illus. by Ben Tripp. 304p. Tor Teen. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780765335494; ebk. ISBN 9781466822634.

Gr 6 Up –Tripp explains that this story of Kit Bristol, accidental highwayman from the mid-18th century, turned up in his ancestor’s sea chest. Orphan and trick rider, Kit works for James Rattle, whose mysterious nocturnal activities lead to a bloody death. Kit obeys his master’s last instructions, pulling back the curtain on a magical world that lives alongside his own. Kit must help fairy princess Morgana defy her father and escape marriage to King George III of England. As they journey to Ireland’s free Faerie state, they pick up a circus performer, a baboon, and a mildly delusional elderly gentleman to round out their motley crew. Fairy attacks from Morgana’s enemies impede their progress until they decide to form a carnival show to hide in plain sight. Humorous mayhem ensues. It is difficult not to be entertained by Kit’s first person narration that blends historical detail with the antics of the fairy kingdom. Tripp ably conveys the protagonist’s subtle sense of the ridiculous through his many mishaps, and conversations between magical creatures and uninformed mortals add to the book’s humor. Readers will root for star-crossed lovers, Kit and Morgana, and delight in their “opposites attract” romance, drawn onward by a rollicking plot. Informative footnotes occasionally pull readers out of the story, though they dwindle as the story progresses. Tripp’s detailed black-and-white illustrations are worth a second look. Fantasy readers, especially fans of Cathrynne Valente’s work, will enjoy the author’s elegant turns of phrase. A first purchase for all fantasy collections.–Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT

BookVerdict logo black 300px Joey Pigza’s Last Hurrah, the Latest from Cynthia Kadohata, and More | Fiction Grades 5 8 For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers. To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today. Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Arbuthnott, Gill. Beneath. 288p. ebook available. Floris/KelpiesTeen. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781782500520.

Bass, Patrick Henry. The Zero Degree Zombie Zone. illus. by Jerry Craft. 144p. ebook available. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545132107; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545675499; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780545132114.

Beha, Eileen. The Secrets of Eastcliff-by-the-Sea. 288p. S. & S./Beach Lane. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442498402. LC 2013044880.

Bergin, Virginia. H2O. 336p. Sourcebooks Fire. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492606543.

Black, Holly & Cassandra Clare. The Iron Trial. 304p. (Magisterium: Bk. 1). ebook available. Scholastic. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545522250; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545522274.

Blair, Kelsey. Pick and Roll. ISBN 9781459406025; ISBN 9781459406018; ISBN 9781459406032.

Boateng, Johnny. Hustle. ISBN 9781459406056; ISBN 9781459406049; ISBN 9781459406063.

Forsyth, Christine A. Power Hitter. ISBN 9781459405905; ISBN 9781459405929.

ea vol: 136p. (Lorimer Sports Stories). Lorimer. Sept. 2014. $16.95. pap. $9.95. ebk.

Booth, Coe. Kinda Like Brothers. 256p. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545224963.

Brahmachari, Sita. Jasmine Skies. 336p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807537824.

Cerra, Kerry O’Malley. Just a Drop of Water. 320p. Sky Pony. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781629146133.

Dallas, Sandra. Red Berries White Clouds Blue Sky. 248p. Sleeping Bear. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781585369065.

Demas, Corinne. Returning to Shore. 208p. Carolrhoda Lab. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467713283; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467724036. LC 2013018618.

Dowding, Philippa. Jake and the Giant Hand. illus. by Shauna Daigle. 80p. (Weird Stories Gone Wrong: Bk. 1). Dundurn. Oct. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781459724211; ebk. $8.99. ISBN 9781459724235.

Ellis, Deborah. The Cat at the Wall. 144p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984916.

Erskine, Kathryn. The Badger Knight. 352p. ebook available. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545662932.

Farrey, Brian. The Grimjinx Rebellion. illus. by Brett Helquist. 432p. (The Vengekeep Prophecies: Bk. 3). HarperCollins/Harper. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062049346; ebk. $8.99. ISBN 9780062049360.

Flake, Sharon. Unstoppable Octobia May. 288p. bibliog. Scholastic. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545609609. LC 2014003496.

Fontánez, Edwin. The Illuminated Forest. illus. by Edwin Fontánez. 336p. Exit Studio. 2014. pap. $18. ISBN 9780983189169.

Frederick, Heather Vogel. Absolutely Truly. 368p. (Pumpkin Falls Mystery: Bk. 1). S. & S. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442429727; ebk. ISBN 9781442429741. LC 2013046926.

Freeman, Martha. The Orphan and the Mouse. illus. by David McPhail. 224p. Holiday House. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823431670; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432592.

Grey, C. R. Legacy of the Claw. illus. by Jim Madsen. 304p. (Animas: Bk. 1). Disney-Hyperion. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423180388. LC 2013046218.

Harlow, Joan Hiatt. The Watcher. 304p. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442429116.

Harris, Teresa E. The Perfect Place. 272p. Clarion. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547255194; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780544374270.

Holt, K. A. Rhyme Schemer. 176p. Chronicle. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781452127002. LC 9781452120772.

Hoover, P. J. Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life. 311p. ebook available. Tor/Forge/Starscape. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780765334688.

Jacobson, Darlene Beck. Wheels of Change. 180p. bibliog. photos. websites. Creston. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781939547132.

Jeter, Derek & Paul Mantell. The Contract. 160p. S. & S. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481423120.

Kadohata, Cynthia. Half a World Away. 240p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481418065. LC 2013031627.

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Secret of the Mountain Dog. 208p. Scholastic. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545603690; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545605199.

Kunce, Jeanna. Darien and the Lost Paints of Telinoria. illus. by Craig Kunce. 192p. Windhill Bks. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.00. ISBN 9780984482863. LC 2014938874.

Lipsyte, Robert. The Twin Powers. 256p. Clarion. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547973357; ebk. ISBN 9780547974521. LC 2013043951.

Losure, Mary. Backwards Moon. 144p. Holiday House. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823431601; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432530. LC 2013045643.

Lubar, David. The Bully Bug. 144p. (Monsterrific Tales). Tor/Forge/Starscape. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780765330826.

McCallum, Mary. Dappled Annie and the Tigrish. illus. by Annie Hayward. 145p. Gecko Pr. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781877579950.

MacColl, Michaela & Rosemary Nichols. Rory’s Promise. 288p. Calkins Creek. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916230.

McCowan, Patricia. Honeycomb. ISBN 9781459805798. LC 2014935397.

Thomas, Erin. Forcing the Ace. ISBN 9781459806450. LC 2014935378.

ea vol: 144p. (Orca Limelights). ebook available. Orca Book. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95.

McNicoll, Sylvia. Revenge on the Fly. 216p. Pajama Pr. Sept. 2014. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781927485569. LC 20139084142.

Morgan, G. A. The Fog of Forgetting. 303p. (The Five Stones Trilogy: Bk. 1). Islandport Pr. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781939017239. LC 2013901201.

Nicholson, Simon. The Magician’s Fire. 272p. (Young Houdini: Bk. 1). Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781492603320.

O’Donnell, Tom. For the Love of Gelo! 368p. (Space Rocks!: Bk. 2). Penguin/Razorbill. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781595147141.

Pastis, Stephan. Timmy Failure: We Meet Again. illus. by Stephan Pastis. 272p. (Timmy Failure: Bk. 3). ebook available. Candlewick. Oct. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763673758; ebk. $14.99. ISBN 9780763675851.

Pflugfelder, “Science Bob” & Steve Hockensmith. Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove. 272p. (Nick and Tesla: Bk. 4). Quirk. Oct. 2014. Tr ISBN 9781594747298. LC 2013956139.

Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson. 256p. Disney-Hyperion. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423185277; ebk. ISBN 9781423187929.

Pyros, Andrea. My Year of Epic Rock. 224p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Sept. 2014. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781402293009.

Salisbury, Graham. Hunt for the Bamboo Rat. 336p. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375842665; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375940705; ebk. ISBN 9780307979704.

SAUERWEIN, Leigh. River Music. 132p. ebook available. Namelos. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781608981861; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781608981878. LC 2014941719.

Segel, Jason Kirsten Miller. Nightmares! illus. by Karl Kwasny. 385p. Delacorte. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385744256.

Taylor, S. S. The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton’s Lair. illus. by Katherine Roy. 400p. maps. (The Expeditioners: Bk. 2). McSweeney’s. Sept. 2014. Tr $22.00. ISBN 9781940450209.

Torres, Jennifer. The Disappearing. 96p. (The Briny Deep Mysteries: Bk. 1). ebook available. Speeding Star. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781622851720.

Turner, Tom. Sign of the Sandman. 320p. MagicFactory. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781938155109; ebk. $7.99. ISBN 9781938155116; Audio $17.99. ISBN 9781938155130. LC 2013939278.

Vail, Rachel. Unfriended. 288p. Viking. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670013074; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698144804. LC 2014006247.

Voigt, Cynthia. The Book of Secrets. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 356p. (Mister Max: Bk. 2). ebook available. Knopf. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780307976840; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375971242.

Whitaker, Nathan. Snap Decision. 272p. (Game Face: Bk. 1). ebook available. Zonderkidz. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780310737001.

Wilson, John. Wings of War. 192p. Doubleday Canada. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780385678308; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780385678315.

Wingest, Dianna Dorisi. A Million Ways Home. 256p. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545667067; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545667074.

Zehr, E. Paul. Project Superhero. illus. by Kris Pearn. 224p. ECW. Sept. 2014. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9781770411807.

Graphic Novels

Fred. Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure. tr. from French by Richard Kutner. illus. by Frederic Othon Aristides. 48p. Candlewick/TOON Graphic. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781935179634. LC 2013047986.

Gaiman, Neil. Hansel & Gretel. illus. by Lorenzo Mattotti. 56p. bibliog. Candlewick/TOON Graphic. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781935179627; RTE $29.95. ISBN 9781935179658. LC 2014000694.

Kirkbride, D. J. & Adam P. Knave. Amelia Cole and the Unknown World. Vol. 1. 152p. 2013. ISBN 9781613777008.

––––. Amelia Cole and the Hidden War. Vol. 2 120p. 2014. ISBN 9781613779538.

ea vol: illus. by Nick Brokenshire. IDW. pap. $19.99.

Moylan, Max. Bravoman. illus. by Dax Gordine & Josh Perez. 152p. (Bravoman: Bk. Vol. 1). Udon. Oct. 2014. RTE $19.99. ISBN 9781926778938.

Pope, Paul & J. T. Petty. The Rise of Aurora West. illus. by David Rubin. 160p. First Second. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781626720091; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722682.

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Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:22 +0000 SLJ1409w BK FicPre Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

RedReviewStar Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4Browne, Anthony. What If…? illus. by Anthony Browne. 32p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780763674199. LC 2013952843.

PreS-Gr 2 –Young Joe is apprehensive about attending his friend Tom’s evening birthday party. He lost the invitation, remembers the street name, but forgot the house number. His mother assures him they’ll find Tom’s home if they just walk along the street and look in windows. As he and his mother search, Joe peppers her with questions that reveal his anxiety: “What if I don’t like the food?” and “What if there’s someone at the party I don’t know?” His mother patiently attempts to assuage his uneasiness. Joe’s fears feed his imagination, causing him to see disquieting visions in the houses they pass, including possible aliens, a huge elephant, and slithering snakes. Once they find the right place and Joe joins the party, it’s his mother who begins to have doubts about leaving him. The intriguing gouache and crayon illustrations are enjoyable to study as Browne subtly inserts strange images, including a rabbit on a roof and the shadow of a menacing bear. The common fear of dealing with a new situation is handled well, and Browne’s treatment of the topic will have readers nodding with understanding.–Maryann H. Owen, Children’s Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI

RedReviewStar Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4Heinz, Brian. Mocha Dick: The Legend and the Fury. illus. by Randall Enos. 32p. Creative Editions. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781568462424. LC 2013040661.

Gr 3 up –This intricately designed picture book tells the story of the real life whale that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The tale begins in 1810, near the island of Mocha, with the spotting of a sperm whale by a whaling crew. The ship gave chase, harpooning the whale, who burst from the water, attacking the small boat (“The huge head shook savagely until only splinters remained.”). Christened Mocha Dick by the sailors, this giant continued to battle with whaling crews over the years, most famously sinking the 238-ton Essex in 1820, until meeting his end in 1859. Much like a tall tale, the legend of Mocha Dick is a combination of history and embellishment. Heinz’s text relies on powerful imagery to convey the strength and magnificence of the whale (“Droplets fell like jewels upon his back. His flukes hammered the surface like a cannon shot.”), while Enos’s linocut collage illustrations, surrounded by colorful borders, are reminiscent of scrimshaw and capture the story’s action well. Pair this exciting title with Eric Kimmel’s Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale (Feiwel & Friends, 2012) to contrast the real and fictional whales or with Nathaniel Philbrick’s Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex (Penguin, 2002) to give students more information on the Essex.–Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

RedReviewStar Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4Mader, Roger. Tiptop Cat. illus. by Roger Mader. 40p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544147997.

PreS-Gr 3 –Mader makes smart use of the picture book form to convey the daily life and dramatic mishaps of a city-dwelling cat. A familiar sort in many neighborhoods, this black-and-white feline, expressive and unnamed, arrives in a new home. “Of all the gifts she got that day, the best one was the cat.” Long strips of small pictures follow the cat’s exploration of the rooms in his new home. Oh, look! These cozy bits open to a dramatic view of the place he likes best—the balcony. This is a fine, tall apartment building, and from the balcony the cat can get to the rooftop. The varied pages of small and large scenes convey the cat’s doings so effectively that this could actually work as a wordless book, but the spare text adds humor and drama. Every day, the animal climbs all the way to his favorite spot “on top of the world.” High atop a robust red brick chimney, he gazes out on a crowded city with the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. The balcony/rooftop peace erupts one day with the arrival of a pigeon (“A little jungle beast awoke within the cat.”). Alas, the cat’s leap for the bird leads to his plunge “down…down…down.” Humans make their only appearance with the cat’s landing in the arms of an astonished street merchant and the subsequent visit to the vet for an x-ray. “Nothing was broken except…his spirit.” The cowering feline and his subsequent varied hiding spots are a funny anti-climax, lasting only until the day a crow shows up on the balcony (“and that inner beast stirred again.”). Mader’s fine use of pastels and apt choices of detail, surfaces, and light and shadow provide storytelling and viewing sure to be widely enjoyed.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

BookVerdict logo black 300px Fall Announcement Issue Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4 For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers. To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today. Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Adderson, Caroline. A Simple Case of Angels. 160p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984282; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554984305.

Alexander, Rilla. The Best Book in the World! illus. by Rilla Alexander. 48p. Flying Eye Books. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781909263307.

Barnett, Mac. Telephone. illus. by Jen Corace. 40p. Chronicle. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452110233. LC 2013040706.

Barrett, Ron. Cats Got Talent. illus. by Ron Barrett. 32p. ebook available. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442494510. LC 2013012400.

Beilenson, Evelyn. The Zoo Is Closed Today!: Until Further Notice. illus. by Anne Kennedy. 32p. Peter Pauper. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781441315267. LC 2013040050.

Biedrzycki, David. Mi dragón y yo (Me and My Dragon). tr. from English by Yanitzia Canetti. illus. by David Biedrzycki. Spanish ed. 32p. ebook available. Charlesbridge. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781580896931; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580895743. LC 2013004295.

Billet, Marion. Littleland Around the World. illus. by Marion Billet. 32p. Nosy Crow. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763675790. LC 2013957279.

Bingham, J. Z. Channel Blue: Riders of the Storm. illus. by Jason Buhagiar. 40p. (Salty Splashes Collection). Balcony7. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781939454072. LC 2013951029.

Bornholdt, Jenny. A Book Is a Book. illus. by Sarah Wilkins. 44p. Gecko Pr. Oct. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781877579929.

Brannen, Sarah S. Madame Martine. illus. by Sarah S. Brannen. 32p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807549056.

Brian, Janeen. I’m a Dirty Dinosaur. illus. by Ann James. 22p. Kane Miller. Sept. 2014. Tr $11.99. ISBN 9781610672962. LC 2013949620.

Burfoot, Ella. How to Bake a Book. illus. by Ella Burfoot. 32p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492606512.

Burningham, John. The Way to the Zoo. illus. by John Burningham. 40p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763673178. LC 2013952847.

Clanton, Ben. Rex Wrecks It! illus. by Ben Clanton. 40p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763665012. LC 2013955671.

Cohn, Ariel. The Zoo Box. illus. by Aron Nels Steinke. 48p. First Second. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626720527.

COLATO Laínez, René. ¡Juguemos al fútbol y al football!/Let’s Play Fútbol and Football! illus. by Lancman Ink. 31p. glossary. websites. Alfaguara. 2014. RTE $15.95. ISBN 9780882723280.

Corderoy, Tracey. Just Right for Two. illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw. 40p. Nosy Crow. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763673444. LC 2013955661.

Côté, Geneviève. Goodnight, You. illus. by Geneviève Côté. 32p. (Piggy and Bunny). Kids Can. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380508.

De Moüy, Iris. Naptime. tr. from French by Shelley Tanaka. illus. by Iris De Moüy. 28p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984879; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554984886.

Donaldson, Julia. The Scarecrows’ Wedding. illus. by Axel Scheffler. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545726061. LC 2014005340.

Drummond, Ree. Charlie and the New Baby. illus. by Diane deGroat. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062297501.

Dávila, Claudia. Super Red Riding Hood. illus. by Claudia Dávila. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380201.

Fine, Edith Hope. Sleepytime Me. illus. by Christopher Denise. 40p. Random. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449810620.

Fleming, Denise. Go, Shapes, Go! illus. by Denise Fleming. 40p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442482401; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442482418. LC 2013004899.

Foreman, Michael. Cat & Dog. illus. by Michael Foreman. 32p. ebook available. Andersen. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781467751247.

Franceschelli, Christopher. Countablock. illus. by Peskimo. 94p. Abrams Appleseed. 2014. Board $16.95. ISBN 9781419713743. LC 2014932558.

Gill, Deirdre. Outside. illus. by Deirdre Gill. 40p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547910659.

Goodhart, Pippa. Just Imagine. illus. by Nick Sharratt. 32p. Kane Miller. Sept. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781610673433. LC 2014936088.

Graham, Bob. Vanilla Ice Cream. illus. by Bob Graham. 40p. Candlewick. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780763673772. LC 2013952841.

Gudeon, Adam. Ping Wants to Play. illus. by Adam Gudeon. 24p. (I Like to Read). Holiday House. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780823428540; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9780823432257. LC 2012039210.

Hamilton, Tim. But! illus. by Tim Hamilton. 32p. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430468; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432172.

Hatanaka, Kellen. Work: An Occupational ABC. illus. by Kellen Hatanaka. 40p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554984091.

Hatke, Ben. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. illus. by Ben Hatke. 40p. First Second. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596438668. LC 2013034610.

Henn, Sophy. Where, Bear? illus. by Sophy Henn. 32p. Philomel. Jan. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399171581.

HoráCek, Petr. The Mouse Who Ate the Moon. illus. by Petr Horácek. 32p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. RTE $15.99. ISBN 9780763670597. LC 2013955676.

Howard, Martin. The Flock Factor: Shaun the Sheep. illus. by Andy Janes. 96p. (Tales from Mossy Bottom Farm). ebook available. Candlewick. Nov. 2014. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780763675356. LC 2013955954.

Joyce, William. A Bean, a Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack. illus. by William Joyce & Kenny Callicutt. 56p. (The Guardians of Childhood). S. & S./Atheneum. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442473492; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442473508.

Kirk, Daniel. You Are Not My Friend, But I Miss You. illus. by Daniel Kirk. 32p. Abrams. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419712364; ebk. $15.54. ISBN 9781613126905. LC 2013041483.

Korngold, Jamie. Sadie, Ori, and Nuggles Go to Camp. illus. by Julie Fortenberry. 24p. Kar-Ben. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467704243; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467704250; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781467746717. LC 2013021753.

Lloyd, Jennifer. Murilla Gorilla and the Hammock Problem. illus. by Jacqui Lee. 48p. (Murilla Gorilla). Simply Read Bks. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781927018477.

Lord, Cynthia. Jelly Bean. illus. by Erin McGuire. 128p. (Shelter Pet Squad: Bk. 1). ebook available. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545635967; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780545635974; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9780545635981. LC 2014005097.

McDonnell, Patrick. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story. illus. by Patrick McDonnell. 40p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.00. ISBN 9780316222587. LC 2013041668.

MAIZELS, Jennie. Pop-up New York . illus. by Jennie Maizels. 12p. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763671624. LC 2013952839.

Miller, Edward. Recycling Day. illus. by Edward Miller. 32p. Holiday House. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823424191; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432370. LC 2014001893.

Mora, Pat & Libby Martinez. Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! illus. by Amelia Lau Carling. 32p. House of Anansi/Groundwood. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781554983438; ebk. $14.95. ISBN 9781554983452.

New York: Inside & Out. illus. by Josh Cochran. 16p. Candlewick/Big Picture. Sept. 2014. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9780763675202. LC 2013953402.

Nolen, Jerdine. Irene’s Wish. illus. by AG Ford. 32p. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780689863004; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442493230.

Novak, B. J. The Book With No Pictures. 48p. Dial. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780803741713.

Park: A Foldout Book in Four Seasons. illus. by James Gulliver Hancock. 6p. Duo Pr. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938093302.

Paul, Ruth. Bad Dog Flash. illus. by Ruth Paul. 32p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781492601531.

Percival, Tom. Herman’s Letter. illus. by Tom Percival. 32p. Bloomsbury. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619634237.

Pomranz, Craig. Made by Raffi. illus. by Margaret Chamberlain. 36p. Frances Lincoln. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804334.

Preston-Gannon, Frann. Dinosaur Farm. 32p. Sterling. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454911326.

Quatromme, France. Lullaby for Baby Bear. tr. from Dutch. illus. by Parastou Haghi. 32p. Clavis. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781605371900.

Rowland, Joanna. Always Mom, Forever Dad. illus. by Penny Weber. 32p. Tilbury House. 2014. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9780884483670; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780884483694. LC 2013040077.

Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page. illus. by Arthur Howard. 40p. (Mr. Putter & Tabby). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780152060633.

Sassi, Laura. Goodnight, Ark. illus. by Jane Chapman. 32p. Zonderkidz. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780310737841.

Shepherd, Jessica. Grandma. illus. by Jessica Shepherd. 32p. Child’s Play. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781846436024.

Smith, Alex T. Claude on the Slopes. illus. by Alex T. Smith. 96p. Peachtree. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781561458059.

Stanton, Brandon. Little Humans. photos by Brandon Stanton. 40p. Farrar. Oct. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780374374563; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781466872578.

Steiner, Toni. Jenny & Lorenzo. tr. from Dutch by Kathryn Bishop. illus. by Eve Tharlet. 32p. Minedition. Sept. 2014. Tr ISBN 9789888240760.

Tekavec, Heather. Stop, Thief! illus. by Pierre Pratt. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380126.

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. Noodle Magic. illus. by Meilo So. 32p. Orchard. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545521673.

Tyler, Brenda. The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream. illus. by Brenda Tyler. 32p. Floris. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782500452.

Uegaki, Chieri. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin. illus. by Qin Leng. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781894786331.

Van Allsburg, Chris. Misadventures of Sweetie Pie. illus. by Chris Van Allsburg. 32p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780547315829; ebk. $18.99. ISBN 9780544465084. LC 2013038996.

WEINGARTEN , Gene . Me & Dog . illus. by Eric Shansby. 48p. S. & S. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442494138; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442494145. LC 2013006448.

Yaccarino, Dan. Doug Unplugs on the Farm. illus. by Dan Yaccarino. 40p. Knopf. 2014. lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780385753296; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385753289; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385753302. LC 2013039893.

Yoon, Salina. Tap to Play! illus. by Salina Yoon. 40p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062286840.

Graphic Novels

Lendler, Ian. The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents: Macbeth. illus. by Zack Giallongo. 80p. First Second. Sept. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781626721012; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781596439153.

McDonnell, Patrick. The Mutts Diaries. 224p. AMP! Comics. Oct. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781449458706. LC 2014931551.

Proimos, James. The Complete Adventures of Johnny Mutton. illus. by James Proimos. 160p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Oct. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780544324046.

Schultz, Charles M. Pow! 224p. (The Peanuts Collection). ebook available. AMP! Comics. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781449458263. LC 2014931549.

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The Latest from Heavy-Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & Up Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:07 +0000 SLJ1409w BK Fic9up The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpHosie, Donna. The Devil’s Intern. 240p. Holiday House. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823431953; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432653. LC 2014002402.

Gr 10 Up –Hosie has written a book that will not only entertain but maybe even enlighten. Seventeen-year-old Mitchell Johnson has spent the last four years in Hell, where he is the Devil’s intern in the accounting office. With the number of new arrivals on the rise, Hell’s finances are strained. Fortunately, the Devil has a plan to use his Viciseometer, a time-travel device, to limit the number of those destined for Hell. Mitchell sees it as an opportunity to change his fate and revisit the day he met his fate with a bus. After stealing the Viciseometer, he travels back to the past with three of his friends (a Viking prince, a 17th-century peasant, and a wild-haired gal from the 1960s) and attempts to alter history, only to learn that life and death are complicated and unpredictable. Interesting characters, nonstop adventure, and humor with a touch of heart will not disappoint teens looking for a dark comedy. Glimpses of the afterlife could also spark discussion among readers.–Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpKing, A. S. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. 308p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316222723.

Gr 9 Up –King returns with another wholly original work of magical realism. This eerie, provocative title centers on Glory O’Brien, on the verge of graduating high school. Though talented and whip-smart, Glory is an outsider whose social interactions are largely limited to her only friend, Ellie, who lives across the street in a commune, and her father, a one-time painter who’s been floundering since the suicide of Glory’s mother 12 years earlier. Both girls realize they have the power to see the past—and future—of strangers around them, and Glory slowly understands that an incredibly disturbing, Handmaid’s Tale–esque future lies in store, with the rights of women and girls being eroded and a second civil war breaking out. The teen is confronted not only by her future but by the past: she fears that she’ll go down the same path as her psychologically unstable mother and begins to learn about a falling-out that took place between her parents and Ellie’s years ago. As with works such as Ask the Passengers (2012) and Everybody Sees the Ants (2011, both Little, Brown), King has developed an unusual protagonist, yet one with a distinct and authentic voice. Elevating herself above the pack and imbuing her novel with incredible nuance, King artfully laces themes of disintegrating friendship, feminism, and sexuality into the narrative, as well as some provocative yet subtle commentary on the male gaze and the portrayal of women in our culture. This beautifully strange, entirely memorable book will stay with readers.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpLaFevers, Robin. Mortal Heart. 464p. (His Fair Assassin: Bk. 3). ebook available. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780547628400. LC 2014001877.

Gr 9 Up –This thrilling series conclusion narrates the fate of 17-year-old convent-raised Annith who impatiently awaits her assignment to serve as the god Mortain’s Handmaiden of Death. When the Abbess appoints her as Seeress, Annith is even more distraught, knowing that the position will condemn her to a life of celibacy and isolation. Vowing to confront her superior and aided by both the Helloquins (damned souls seeking redemption) and the Arduinnites (protectors of women and innocents), the teen escapes to the Breton court, where Duchess Anne and her followers are strategizing against the invading French. Distressed over her true parentage, Annith finds comfort in the Helloquins leader Balthazar, who has secrets of his own. LaFevers again mesmerizes her readers through the political struggles of 15th-century Brittany and the intrigues of the followers of Mortain. Details of court and village life in 1489 add vitality to the historic background, and back matter will further aid readers’ understanding of the times. Clear, fast-paced, dramatic prose reveals the story via short, action-packed chapters, and the expert craftsmanship of the writing is worth savoring. The protagonists’ sometimes-contradictory natures enrich their characters, and the intertwined relationships of realistic and Netherworld personages add depth to their personal stories. A plethora of strong females and their romantic relationships will have wide appeal for teens, making this a definite purchase where Grave Mercy (2012) and Dark Triumph (2013, both Houghton Harcourt) are popular and a strong story that can stand on its own.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpLink, Kelly & Gavin J. Grant, eds. Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales. 480p. ebook available. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. RTE $22.99. ISBN 9780763664732.

Gr 9 Up –Find a dark corner, light a candle, and wrap yourself in a blanket—these are stories that beg to be read in the dark. Between these pages readers will find entries by literary greats as well as new authors. Some of these tales are moving, others terrifying, but they all have one thing in common: monsters. In Paolo Bacigalupi’s “Moriabe’s Children,” a girl hears the kraken that drowned her father calling her to come to them. A disobedient teen discovers that interstellar space pirates are more monstrous than the creatures she’s been taught to fear in the amusing “Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind)” by Holly Black. In “This Whole Demoning Thing” by Patrick Ness, a young demon discovers how to be true to herself through music. And “Left Foot, Right” by Nalo Hopkinson is an eerily touching story about one girl’s crippling grief and the monsters that guide her through to the other side. From vampires to ghosts and from strange creatures made of mercury to half-harpies, these beasts will broaden readers’ perspectives. Teens will never think about monsters in the same way again. Long after the last page is turned, these tales will linger in readers’ brains, in their closets, under their beds, and in the shadows.–Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpNELSON, Jandy. I’ll Give You the Sun. 384p. ebook available. Dial. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803734968.

Gr 9 Up –A resplendent novel from the author of The Sky Is Everywhere (Dial, 2010). Fraternal twins and burgeoning artists Jude and Noah are inseparable until puberty hits and they find themselves competing for boys, a spot at an exclusive art school, and their parents’ affections. Told in alternating perspectives and time lines, with Noah’s chapters taking place when they are 13 and Jude’s when they are 16, this novel explores how it’s the people closest to us who have the power to both rend us utterly and knit us together. Jude’s takes are peppered with entries from her bible of superstitions and conversations with her grandmother’s ghost, and Noah continuously imagines portraits (complete with appropriately artsy titles) to cope with his emotions. In the intervening years, a terrible tragedy has torn their family apart, and the chasm between the siblings grows ever wider. Vibrant imagery and lyrical prose propel readers forward as the twins experience first love, loss, betrayal, acceptance, and forgiveness. Art and wonder fill each page, and threads of magical realism lend whimsy to the narrative. Readers will forgive convenient coincidences because of the characters’ in-depth development and the swoon-worthy romances. The novel’s evocative exploration of sexuality, grief, and sibling relationships will ring true with teens. For fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (St. Martin’s, 2013) and Melina Marchetta’s realistic fiction. See author Q&A, p. 152.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

RedReviewStar The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & UpO’Porter, Dawn. Paper Airplanes. 272p. ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419711848.

Gr 10 Up –In this captivating and at times gritty debut, O’Porter presents a funny and poignant coming-of-age friendship of Flo and Renée. It’s 1994, and the 15-year-olds are each facing their share of troubles on the small British island of Guernsey. Flo’s parents have split up, and she’s dealing with a critical mother at home and an incredibly domineering best friend at school. Renée is an extroverted troublemaker at school, but feels like a stranger in the home she shares with her bulimic younger sister and emotionally unavailable grandparents. The girls bond over the shared experience of familial tragedy and become close friends, exchanging notes on paper airplanes and finding in each other the support they crave. Readers will be drawn into the story, which moves quickly through alternating first-person narrations, which also serves to reveal potential cracks in the teens’ bond. By the end, each girl comes to learn the importance of friendship and forgiveness and that the past, while not forgotten, doesn’t have to define you. Though their behavior can be frustrating at times—Flo not standing up to mean girl Sally; Renée secretly having sex with Flo’s older brother (in a scene that is entirely more heartbreaking than risqué)—readers will root for the pair and will also eagerly await the sequel.–Amanda Mastrull, Library Journal

BookVerdict logo black 300px The Latest from Heavy Hitters A. S. King, Marie Lu, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Julie Kagawa | Fiction Grades 9 & Up For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers. To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today. Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Alexander, Jen. The Aftermath. 288p. ebook available. Harlequin Teen. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780373211326.

ANDERSON-DARGATZ, Gail. Search and Rescue: A Claire Abbott Mystery. (Rapid Reads). 120p. Orca. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95; ISBN 9781459805767; ebk. ISBN 9781459805781.

Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Doubt Factory. 486p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.ISBN 9780316220750; ebk. ISBN 9780316220743.

Beyer, Kat. The Halcyon Bird. 352p. (The Demon Catchers of Milan: Bk. 2). Egmont USA. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781606843161; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9781606843178.

Brouwer, Sigmund. Tin Soldier. 264p. (The Seven Sequels). ebook available. Orca. Oct. 2014. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459805460; ebk. $10.95. ISBN 9781459805484.

Buckingham, Royce Scott. The Terminals. 288p. ebook available. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250011558.

Campbell, Melodie. The Artful Goddaughter: A Gina Gallo Mystery. 144p. (Rapid Reads). Orca. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781459808195; ebk. ISBN 9781459808218. LC 2014935364.

Cardi, Annie. The Chance You Won’t Return. 352p. ebook available. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763662929. LC 2013946619.

Clare, Cassandra & others. The Bane Chronicles. 528p. illus. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Nov. 2014. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781442495999; ebk. $11.99. ISBN 9781442495661.

Crockett, Mary & Madelyn Roseberg. Dream Boy. 336p. Sourcebooks Fire. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781402295836.

Crowe, Chris. Death Coming Up the Hill. 208p. ebook available. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544302150.

Dashner, James. The Rule of Thoughts. 336p. (The Mortality Doctrine: Bk. 2). ebook available. Delacorte. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780385741415; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375984648. LC 2014011983.

Desir, C. Bleed Like Me. 288p. ebook available. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442498907.

Don, Lari. Mind Blind. 336p. Floris/KelpiesTeen. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781782500537; ebk. ISBN 9781782500643.

FIRMSTON, Kim. Stupid. 208p. ISBN 9781 459406117.

LUNDGREN, Jodi. Blow. 232p. ISBN 9781 459405981.

ea vol: (SideStreets Series). ebook available. Lorimer. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95.

Foley, Jessie Ann. The Carnival at Bray. 224p. Elephant Rock. Oct. 2014. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9780989515597. LC 2014937608.

Frey, James & Nils Johnson-Shelton. Endgame: The Calling. 453p. ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Oct. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062332585.

Frost, Jeaniene. The Beautiful Ashes. 304p. (A Broken Destiny: Bk. 1). Harlequin HQN. Sept. 2014. lib. ed. $24.95. ISBN 9780373785018; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9780373779055; ebk. $7.95. ISBN 9781460330333.

Gallardo, Adam. Zomburbia. 361p. (Zombie Apocalypse: Bk. 1). Kensington/KTeen. Sept. 2014. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781 617730986; ebk. $8.99. ISBN 9781 617730993.

Gleason, Colleen. The Spiritglass Charade. 360p. (Stoker and Holmes: Bk. 2). ebook available. Chronicle. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452110714. LC 2013030945.

Guertin, Chantel. Depth of Field. 208p. (Pippa Greene: Bk. 2). ebook available. ECW. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781770411838.

Han, Jenny & Siobhan Vivian. Ashes to Ashes. 388p. (Burn for Burn: Bk. 3). S. & S. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442440814; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442440838. LC 2014004241.

Hastings, Avery. Feuds. 272p. St. Martin’s Griffin. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250057716; ebk. ISBN 9781250045706.

Jacobs, Evan. Self. Destructed. 254p. (Gravel Road). Saddleback. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781622507221.

JONES , Patrick & Brent Chartier . At All Costs. ISBN 9781467721295; ISBN 9781467744751; ISBN 9781467746526. LC 2013041072.

brown, Herman . The Option. ISBN 9781467721288; ISBN 9781467744737; ISBN 9781467746519. LC 2013046619.

JONES, Patrick . Out of the Tunnel. ISBN 9781467721264; ISBN 9781467744713; ISBN 9781467746496. LC 2013034230.

priest, A. L . Breakthrough. ISBN 9781467721318; ISBN 9781467744720; ISBN 9781467746502. LC 2013048813.

ea vol: 104p. (The Red Zone Series). Darby Creek. Sept. 2014. lib. ed. $27.93; pap. $7.95; ebk $20.95.

Kagawa, Julie. Talon. 416p. ebook available. Harlequin Teen. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780373211395.

KARRE, Elizabeth. All You Are. 120p. ISBN 9781467735100; ISBN 9781467744775. LC 2013042948.

–––– . Certain Signals. 112p. ISBN 9781467735117; ISBN 9781467744799. LC 2014000693.

ea vol: (The Gift). ebook available. Darby Creek. Nov. 2014. lib. ed. $27.93; pap. $7.95.

Legrand, Claire. Winterspell. 464p. S. & S. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442465985; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442466005. LC 2013019385.

LU, Marie. The Young Elites. 368p. Putnam. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399167836; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698171725.

McGill, Leslie. Fighter. 140p. (Cap Central: Bk. 1). Saddleback. Sept. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781622507054; ebk. ISBN 9781612479569.

Martinez, Claudia Guadalupe. Pig Park. 248p. ebook available. Cinco Puntos. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781935955764; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781935955771. LC 2013040645.

Monahan, Hillary. Mary: The Summoning. 240p. (Bloody Mary). ebook available. Disney-Hyperion. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423185192. LC 2014004254.

Myracle, Lauren. yolo. 240p. Abrams/Amulet. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419708718.

O’Leary Wanket, Maureen. How to Be Manly. 166p. Giant Squid Bks. Sept. 2014. pap. $15.00. ISBN 9780692214008.

O’Rourke, Erica. Dissonance. 496p. ebook available. S. & S. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442460263. LC 2013033578.

Oatman High, Linda. Otherwise. 148p. (Gravel Road). Saddleback. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781622508914.

Parker, Amy Christine. Astray. 384p. Random. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780449816028. LC 2013034047.

Parker, Natalie C. Beware the Wild. 336p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062241528.

Perry, Jolene. Stronger Than You Know. 243p. ebook available. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807531556.

Portman, Frank. King Dork Approximately. 368p. Delacorte. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385736183; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780385905916; ebk. ISBN 9780375985676.

Reed, Amy. Damaged. 384p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Oct. 2014. Tr. $17.99. ISBN 9781442456990.

Richards, Linda L. If It Bleeds: A Nicole Charles Mystery. 144p. (Rapid Reads). Orca/Raven. Sept. 2014. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781459807341; ebk. ISBN 9781459807365. LC 2014936095.

schultz Nicholson, Lorna. Hoop Dreams. 136p. (Podium Sports Academy). Lorimer. Sept. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781459405875.

Summer, Mary Elizabeth. Trust Me, I’m Lying. 336p. Delacorte. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385744065.

Sussman, Elissa. Stray. 384p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062274557; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062274588.

Tabak, Lawrence. In Real Life. 256p. Tuttle. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780804844789.

Thomas, Sherry. The Perilous Sea. 432p. (Elemental Trilogy: Bk. 2) HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062207326.

Waters, Tawni. Beauty of the Broken. 368p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481407090; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481407106.

Williams, Sean. Crashland: A Twinmaker Novel. 480p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062203243; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062203267. LC 2014002147.

Winters, Cat. The Cure for Dreaming. 368p. chron. ebook available. further reading. photos. Abrams/Amulet. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419712166.

Yovanoff, Brenna. Fiendish. 352p. ebook available. Penguin/Razorbill. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781595146380.

Graphic Novels

AUSTEN, Jane . Pride and Prejudice. 376p. illus. by Po Tse. ISBN 9781927925171.

Hugo, Victor . Les Misérables. 336p. illus. by Tszmei Lee. ISBN 9781927925157.

ea vol: Crystal Silvermoon, ed. (Manga Classics). Udon. 2014. Tr $24.99.

Crane, Jakob. Lies in the Dust: A Tale of Remorse from the Salem Witch Trials. illus. by Timothy Decker. 128p. Islandport Pr. Sept. 2014. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781939017338. LC 2013958057.

Craver, Marcella Marino. Shield Up!: How Upstanding Bystanders Stop Bullying. illus. by Amerigo Pinelli. 64p. Magination Pr. 2014. pap. ISBN 9781433816512. LC 2013048065.

Doctorow, Cory. In Real Life. illus. by Jen Wang. 192p. First Second. Oct. 2014. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781596436589.

Elliott, Dave. The Weirding Willows. illus. by Barnaby Bagenda & Sami Basri. 104p. (A1 Presents: Vol. 1). Titan. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781782760351.

Hatori, Bisco. Millennium Snow. tr. from Japanese by Honyaku Center. illus. by Bisco Hatori. 416p. (Millenium Snow: Vol. 1 & 2). Viz Media. 2014. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781421572451.

Kagami, Takaya. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. tr. from Japanese by Adrienne Beck. illus. by Yamato Yamamoto & Daisuke Furuya. 200p. (Seraph of the End: Vol. 1). Viz Media. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781421571508.

Kawahara, Kazune. My Love Story! Vol. 1. adapted by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane. tr. from Japanese by JN Productions. illus. by Aruko. 184p. (My Love Story!!). Viz Media. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781421571447.

Shapiro, Howard. The Hockey Saint. illus. by Marica Inoue & Andres Mossa. 133p. (Forever Friends Trilogy: Vol. 2). ebook available. Animal Media. Sept. 2014. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9780991255016.

Takami, Koushun. Battle Royale: Angels’ Border. tr. from Japanese by Nathan Collins. illus. by Mioko Ohnishi & Youhei Oguma. 280p. (Battle Royale: Angels’ Border). Viz Media. 2014. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781421571683.

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Go West, New Librarian; Teens Making a Difference Giveaway; Pet Poetry Contest | SLJTeen News Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:40:40 +0000 Do you remember your first ALA? Penguin and ALSC want ALA Annual in San Francisco to be a special first for a recently anointed librarian. Teens wanting to make a difference in their communities will find inspiration in Be a Changemaker. Young bard alert—the Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest is now open.

Penguin Young Readers Group Award Open for Application

boardingplane Go West, New Librarian; Teens Making a Difference Giveaway; Pet Poetry Contest | SLJTeen NewsThis award, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, provides a $600 stipend to up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference.

ALSC is looking for involved members who have initiated new programs or become innovators at their libraries, and have less than 10 years experience (and more than one) by the opening of the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco.

The ALSC Grant Administration committee is now accepting applications for the 2015 Penguin Young Readers Group Award. Applications are due October 1. For complete information and applicant requirements, visit the Penguin Young Readers Award webpage.

Teens Making a Difference—An Inspiring Giveaway
Be a Changemaker Go West, New Librarian; Teens Making a Difference Giveaway; Pet Poetry Contest | SLJTeen NewsSchool is back in session, and many require students to commit to service hours in their communities. But most don’t tell teens how to do it. Laurie Ann Thompson’s new nonfiction title for teens, Be A Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters (S. & S./Beyond Words, Sept. 2014, Gr 7 Up), is a how-to guide for kids on taking action to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. It’s hands-on, practical, and has numerous examples of real teens (and tweens) who’ve created projects and organizations to push for socially-responsibly sourced palm oil to save orangutan habitat, clean up their neighborhoods, send girls to school in Rwanda, and more. Encourage young patrons to start something that matters with this inspiring book, and get their required service hours completed. And here’s a bonus for the classroom and library—Teen Librarian’s Toolbox is creating a workshop guide for the book that will be available in late October on author Laurie Ann Thompson’s website.
Five lucky winners will each receive Be a Changemaker in hardcover for their collections. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address, and email address. Email entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on September 12. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and notified via email. One entry per person, please; prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.
Pets Add Life Poetry Contest
paldog Go West, New Librarian; Teens Making a Difference Giveaway; Pet Poetry Contest | SLJTeen NewsSix students, grades 3-8, have the opportunity to win $1000 and more if their entry is selected as a winner in the 7th annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest. Have a special haiku for a hamster? An ode to the scratching post? Pets Add Life is a non-profit campaign established by the American Pet Products Association, and they have made it super easy to enter. Simply visit the Pets Add Life website for the submission form—deadline is Jan. 31, 2015.
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Teens Review ‘Mary’, ‘Of Monsters and Madness’, and More Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:43:45 +0000 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.]]> Is creepy back in vogue? All of the featured titles have an eerie element: the ghost of Bloody Mary, an addicted teen set on revenge, and a riff on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And the covers are all knock-outs.

MaryTheSummoning Teens Review Mary, Of Monsters and Madness, and MoreMonahan, Hillary. Mary: The Summoning. (Bloody Mary: Bk. 1). Disney/Hyperion. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781423185192.

Gr 7 Up—Jess, Kitty, Anna, and Shauna attempt to summon the ghost of Bloody Mary when things don’t go quite as planned. Salt becomes their best friend when trying to fend off the attacking spirit, bloodthirsty and having no mercy.

This book was fantastic! There were twists in the plot my mind never thought of. I’ve never seen a take on Bloody Mary quite like this. Monahan does a really good job of letting you get a little too attached to the good characters and very cross with the bad characters.

I never saw the ending coming! I really expected Shauna to sacrifice herself or for Kitty to get taken and the book be left at a cliff-hanger. Monahan made me really want Jess to get hurt, and that’s what makes a good writer, a good writer.

Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good scare every now and then, as well as fans of Katie Alender’s “Bad Girls Don’t Die” series (Disney-Hyperion) or Paranormal Activity.—Kim, age 14

bodies we wear Teens Review Mary, Of Monsters and Madness, and MoreRoberts, Jeyn. The Bodies We Wear. Knopf. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780385754125.

Gr 9 Up—When Faye was just 11 years old, a group of men destroyed her life with a powerful drug called Heam, and she has been out for revenge ever since. However, as new people appear in her life and her careful plans begin to dissolve, Faye is forced to reconsider what she really wants.

I absolutely tore through this book, and I’m not entirely sure why. The main plot of revenge wasn’t terribly attention-grabbing for me. I never gained interest in whether Faye would be able to “overcome her desires.” In addition, I felt that some of the plot and character development was far too rushed. A lot of important events could have been given more time.

At the end, Faye killed a man and lost all thirst for what she had been chasing for years. The petition inexplicably worked—didn’t Gazer (her adoptive father) say that they signed papers that prevented it from doing so? Faye’s mom accepted her again, seemingly for no reason at all. Rufus just died. Faye suddenly realized a lot of things that should have taken her longer to understand, especially given her past. In short, the ending was too happy to fit the novel. This sounds demented, but I would have liked to see Faye struggle.

I think it was the little things that kept me reading her story. Faye was a beautiful character, both relatable and likable. Arnold Bozer provided an interesting subplot. The premise of Heam was what first caught my attention and is definitely one of the most intriguing elements of the book.

The Bodies We Wear had just enough to keep me hooked, but I left wanting a little bit more. The most compelling aspects of the book were Heam and Paige. The description of the drug Heam and the fates of its users laid the groundwork for the book, and I enjoyed reading about something from a world entirely different from my own. As for Faye, it was nice to see a fighter.—Lucy L., age 15

bamboo rat Teens Review Mary, Of Monsters and Madness, and More

Salisbury, Graham. Hunt For the Bamboo Rat. (Prisoners of the Empire: Bk. 4). Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Sept. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780375842665.                           

Gr 7 Up—Zenji is a Japanese American teen who is hired by the military to be a spy in the Philippines during WW2. He is captured during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and this is his story.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more and more. The suspense and action that this book creates totally amazed and fascinated me. I can’t imagine this book being any better than it already is.

People who like historical fiction books will love this book. If you enjoy reading about POWs, fighting, and spying, this is also a great book.—Saketh D., age 13

monsters and madness Teens Review Mary, Of Monsters and Madness, and MoreVerday, Jessica. Of Monsters and Madness. Egmont USA. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781606844632.

Gr 7 Up—Annabel Lee has been summoned to Philadelphia by her father from her home in Asia. Unaccustomed to the rich life, Annabel makes friends with her maid Maddie. She soon starts to hear about murders and the dangers of going out at night. She falls in love with her father’s assistant Allan Poe; at night, she finds his cousin Edgar, another assistant who seems to know too much about the murders.

I thought the book was good, because it had notable characters like Edgar Allan Poe, and had a good sense of historical fiction. I liked the change from Edgar to Allan; it was a cool idea and gets you thinking about what happens when he drinks the serum. I think fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix would enjoy this book, as well as fans of R. L. Stine.—Prid C., age 13

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UK Laureate Malorie Blackman will not Be Silenced Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:37:11 +0000 MalorieBlackman UK Laureate Malorie Blackman will not Be Silenced

Children’s author Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman, the United Kingdom’s first black children’s laureate (2013-2015), recently found herself the focus of a racial firestorm following an interview she gave to UK Sky News. The headline of the original online article, published August 24, read “Children’s Books ‘Have Too Many White Faces.‘”

Following the article, Blackman found herself facing a “wave of racist attacks both on Sky’s website [in the comments section] and directed personally at [her] on Twitter,” she shared in the Guardian.

Additionally, she says the words from the Sky News headline “never passed her lips.” After complaining to Sky News, the article’s headline was changed to “Call For More Ethnic Diversity In Kids’ Books.”

The author, who was recognized with a prestigious Order of the British Empire for her services to children’s literature, has published over 50 books, among them is the award-winning “Noughts and Crosses” series, in which the dark-skinned Crosses rule the white-skinned Noughts. The first title in the series was originally published in the U. S. by Simon & Schuster in 2005 under the original title and then later reissued as Black & White (2007).

In an August 25 tweet, Blackman wrote that she was taking a temporary break from Twitter following the racist vitriol that following the Sky News article, but Blackman was soon back on the social media site the next day to acknowledge the outpouring of support from her readers and fellow writers, such as Carnegie medal-winner Patrick Ness of the “Chaos Walking” trilogy (Walker) and Chocolat author Joanne Harris (Penguin, 200).

On Twitter, Blackman shared that she has taken a short break to author an article published in the Guardian on August 27, where she told her side of the story, starting from the Sky News fallout. In her piece, she used the opportunity to emphasize her earlier message: there continues to be a need for more diversity in children’s literature.

“…for those children’s publishers who may feel more diversity in the books they publish is no longer needed in the 21st century, I invite them to read the comments under the Sky interview. They reinforce rather than detract from my arguments,” she writes in the Guardian. “Change is a fact of life. We move forward or we stagnate. My hope is that the UK publishing industry as a whole will embrace that fact.”

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Playing With the Narrative | SLJ Spotlight Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:00:41 +0000 SLJ1408 Spotlight 9up Narrative Playing With the Narrative | SLJ Spotlight

Fiction for teens continues to evolve, and authors are pushing the boundaries of the genre in creative ways. Whether it’s a heavily illustrated volume or a multi-perspective narrative, YA books have taken lives of their own, especially evident in these novels in verse, poetic prose picks, and diary-format entries.

Aronson, Marc & Charles R. Smith Jr., eds. One Death, Nine Stories. 160p. Candlewick. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763652852; ebk. ISBN 9780763670832. LC 2013957275.

Gr 9 Up –Kevin Nicholas, a popular high school football player, has committed suicide, though readers don’t know that at first. In fact, through nine stories, each told by a different author and from a different point of view, readers come to know only a little about Kevin himself. Instead, readers observe the reactions of Kevin’s sister, his best friends, people who barely knew him, even of the funeral home workers who handles his body. The death of a teenager, especially by his own hand, can be impossible to understand, but lives don’t stop just because one life did. Each chapter deals with the process of initiation, acceptance, growing up, and moving on even in the face of death. The authors included are all well-known young adult writers, such as Ellen Hopkins, Rita Williams-Garcia, and A. S. King, and it is clear that they know and understand their audience. Despite the differing perspectives and characters, the writing is remarkably consistent in tone. The vignette feel of each section may appeal to reluctant readers who can manage a narrative in small chunks without losing the arc of the story itself. More enthusiastic readers will devour it whole. Keep it in mind as bibliotherapy, should the unfortunate need arise, or as a springboard for journaling or creative writing.–Katherine Koenig, The Ellis School, PA

Hall, Sandy. A Little Something Different. 224p. ebook available. Feiwel and Friends/Swoon Reads. Aug. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781250061454.

Gr 9 Up –If ever two people should get together, it’s Gabe and Lea. They share a love of creative writing, watch the same TV reruns, order the same Chinese take-out on the same nights, and repeatedly wind up in the same place at the same time as if by magic. But Gabe is painfully shy and full of self-doubt, and Lea is so lacking in confidence that neither of them can give voice to the obvious chemistry that radiates between them. The magnetic pull is so strong, in fact, that everyone they come in contact with can feel it, and it is through Gabe and Lea’s interactions with others that their stories unfold. In a progressive series of month-by-month vignettes, their creative writing teacher, college classmates, roommates and friends, a coffee shop barista, diner waitress, bus driver, and even the resident park bench and squirrel relate their impressions and conversations with the protagonists as they take part in a “one step forward, two steps back” dance of attraction and avoidance. Gabe’s silence around Lea seems overplayed, but this is a small quibble with what is overall a fun, light romance that will appeal to male and female readers alike. A good choice for reluctant readers as well.–Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

Hopkins, Ellen. Rumble. 560p. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Aug. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781442482845; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442482869.

Gr 9 Up –Matt’s gay brother Luke committed suicide because he couldn’t take the bullying any more. Matt blames everyone for his brother’s death: his friends, his dysfunctional parents, and the middle school teachers and counselors who did nothing to halt the torment Luke experienced daily. The protagonist’s temper is perpetually balanced on a knife’s edge, and it takes very little to push him into a rage. Matt’s only peace comes when he is with his girlfriend, Hayden. However, she seems to be pulling away to spend more time with God and her youth group, many members of whom were Luke’s worst bullies. Matt has no faith in an imaginary deity and no forgiveness for those who used their theology to justify their abuse of his brother. His hatred is eating him up inside, but he can’t let it go or he’ll have to confront the real reason for his anger. Hopkins’s latest novel in verse is timely and poignant. Matt is a wonderfully faceted character that readers will alternately sympathize with and dislike. His actions are directly related to his emotional turmoil, and teens will understand his pain and admire his intellect, even while shaking their heads over his actions. The work doesn’t gloss over uncomfortable or difficult topics. Hopkins’s realistic, truthful approach to bullying, religion, and homosexuality make this a powerful story for even the most reluctant readers.–Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down. 336p. ebook available. Holt. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805098693.

Gr 9 Up –When 16-year-old Tariq, a black teen, is shot and killed by a white man, every witness has a slightly different perception of the chain of events leading up to the murder. Family, friends, gang members, neighbors, and a well-meaning but self-serving minster make up the broad cast of characters. The police bring their own personal biases to their investigation of the case. When all points of view are combined, the story of a young man emerges and with it, a narrative that plays out in communities across the country every day. Heartbreaking and unputdownable, this is an important book about perception and race. How It Went Down reads very much like Julius Lester’s Day of Tears (Hyperion, 2005) in a modern setting and for an older audience. With a great hook and relatable characters, this will be popular for fans of realistic fiction. The unique storytelling style and thematic relevance will make it a potentially intriguing pick for classroom discussion.–Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

Pattou, Edith. Ghosting. 392p. Amazon/Skyscape. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781477847749; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781477897744.

Gr 9 Up –This swift, free-verse page-turner follows seven teens and the events before, during, and after an evening that permanently alters their lives. Once childhood friends, they have gone their separate ways. Maxie moved away with her family and recently came back; Chloe is pretty and popular; Emma and Brendan play varsity sports; and Felix smokes marijuana to escape his unhappy family life. They are reunited (joined by Chloe’s boyfriend Anil) on a late summer night right before the beginning of school year, and a series of bad decisions lead to a terrible tragedy. The story features increasing tension coupled with first-person narration that moves the plot along rapidly as each character picks up the story line left off by another. The narration gives readers the chance to see exactly what all of the characters are thinking and a glimpse of their families and homes. After the tragic event, the characters all demonstrate personal growth and maturity. Pattou is even generous with the young man responsible for the tragedy, giving him somewhat sympathetic and recognizable “Boo Radley” (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird) characteristics. What begins as a story featuring typical teens haunted by the past, and dismayed by the present, turns into one where everyone is reminded that mistakes can be learning experiences and that people can adjust to what one character concludes is a “new now time.” Recommended for reluctant readers given the book’s realistic portrayal of a Midwestern town, the lyrical narrative, and the readily relatable protagonists.–Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State University, NH

Qitsualik-Tinsley, Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley. Skraelings. illus. by Andrew Trabbold. 89p. (Arctic Moon Magick: Bk. 1). Inhabit Media. Oct. 2014. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781927095546.

Gr 7 Up –Kannujaq’s life revolves with the seasons, moving with his dog sled to follow the hunts that make life sustainable for the Inuit people. This nomadic lifestyle contrasts sharply with the villages of the Tuniit, who stay in one place in homes that cannot be moved. When Kannujaq comes upon a Tuniit village under siege by giant-men in enormous boats, he becomes drawn into their dispute and it changes his world forever. The authors, both scholars of Inuit language, history, and cosmology, have selected a singularly important and interesting time for Skraelings: the sunset of the ancient Dorset (Tuniit) culture and the dawn of contact and colonization for the Inuit. Told by a conversational third-person narrator, this novella captures the fear and wonder of the age. Heavy graphic illustrations further reinforce the gravity of the tale and an Inukittut pronunciation guide is included. Skraelings is a well-written, engaging introduction to the complex history of the peoples of the Arctic and their struggles for survival against the environment and each other.–Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK

RedReviewStar Playing With the Narrative | SLJ SpotlightQuintero, Isabel. Gabi: A Girl in Pieces. 378p. Cinco Puntos. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781935955948; pap. $11.95. ISBN 9781935955955; ebk. $11.95. ISBN 9781935955962. LC 2014007658.

Gr 9 Up –Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez has a lot to deal with during her senior year. Her best friend Cindy is pregnant; her other best friend Sebastian just got kicked out of his house for coming out to his strict parents; her meth addict dad is trying to quit, again; and her super religious Tía Bertha is constantly putting a damper on Gabi’s love life. In lyrical diary entries peppered with the burgeoning poet’s writing, Spanglish, and phone conversations, Quintero gives voice to a complex, not always likable but totally believable teen who struggles to figure out her own place in the world. Believing she’s not Mexican enough for her family and not white enough for Berkeley, Gabi still meets every challenge head-on with vulgar humor and raw honesty. In moments, the diary format may come across as clunky, but the choppy delivery feels purposeful. While the narrative is chock-full of issues, they never bog down the story, interwoven with the usual teen trials, from underwhelming first dates to an unabashed treatment of sex, religion, and family strife. The teen isn’t all snark; there’s still a naiveté about whether her father will ever kick his addiction to meth, especially evident in her heartfelt letters to him. When tragedy strikes, readers will mourn with Gabi and connect with her fears about college acceptance and her first sexual experience. A refreshing take on slut- and fat-shaming, Quintero’s work ranks with Meg Medina’s Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Candlewick, 2013) and Junot Diaz’s Drown (Riverhead, 1996) as a coming-of-age novel with Latino protagonists.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

RedReviewStar Playing With the Narrative | SLJ SpotlightWalrath, Dana. Like Water on Stone. 368p. further reading. glossary. maps. Delacorte. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385743976; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375991424; ebk. ISBN 9780385373296. LC 2013026323.

Gr 8 Up –Thirteen-year-old Aremenian twins Shahen and his sister, Sosi, live in the 1914 Ottoman Empire with their loving parents; younger sister, Miriam; and older brothers Misak and Kevorg. A Christian like the rest of their family, their 19-year-old sister, Anahid, is married to Asan, a Kurd, and is expecting a baby. Life is pleasant in their mixed religious community where their family makes its living as millers. However, when the cruel and hateful leaders of the Ottoman Empire decide at the start of World War I that the Armenians are “traitors” and should be eliminated, genocide ensues. Anahid is hidden by her in-laws at the risk of their own lives. Forced to leave their parents and brothers behind to certain death, Shahen, Sosi, and little Miriam barely escape and make a harrowing journey across the mountains, hoping for rescue and to somehow reach their uncle who lives in America. As Ardziv, an eagle, soars above, he adds a note of magical realism and a sense of omnipresent poetic narration to the authentic voices of the family members as he witnesses their joys, shock, and heartbreak. This beautiful, yet at times brutally vivid, historical verse novel will bring this horrifying, tragic period to life for astute, mature readers who enjoy books in this format or genre such as The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle (Holt, 2008) and Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys (Philomel, 2011). A cast of characters, and author note with historical background are thoughtfully included.–Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, CO

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Arapahoe High School Unveils New Library and Park Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:09:59 +0000 Araphoe ClarityCommons reszie 300x225 Arapahoe High School Unveils New Library and Park

The front desk area of Arapahoe H.S. library currently in the process of renovation following the Dec. 2013 school shooting. Photo courtesy of Arapahoe High School.

Students of Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado, returned to school August 15 to a newly renovated library and outdoor space, Clarity Commons Park, reported the Denver Post. Both spaces provide a chance for students and the community to heal following the tragic shooting that occurred at the school last December.

On December 13, 2013, a student, 18-year-old Karl Pierson, brought a gun to school after a disagreement with a teacher and shot 17-year-old student Claire Davis. After police pursuit, Pierson was found in the school library, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Claire passed away eight days later at Littleton Adventist Hospital.

During the week that the Davis family held vigil by Claire’s side, the family bonded with hospital staff, including Jason Dunkel, the hospital’s director of business development. Following the girl’s death, Dunkel and the family came together, wanting to honor Claire’s memory and help her friends to move on from the tragedy. The idea of an outdoor garden space came about and, according to Dunkel, the Littleton Public Schools (LPS) district felt the space would be a positive step for students and donated almost an acre of land on Arapahoe’s campus for the project. Dunkel tapped into his fundraising resources at Adventist Hospital, involving staff, board members, the hospital’s own foundation, and the surrounding community.

In just five months, Dunkel estimates Clarity Commons Park, named after Claire, raised $125,000 in cash donations and nearly $300,000 of in-kind contributions of material and time, which were used to build paved brick walkways, erect walls with garden seating, as well as granite pillars inscribed with inspirational sayings.

On August 16, which would have been Claire’s 18th birthday, an unveiling of an inspirational pillar took place at the park with Arapahoe principal Natalie Pramenko and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper present—and members of Claire’s family, according to a CBS local news station. Ultimately, the intention for the space is to be a fun, relaxed environment for the students—and the school will use it as an outdoor classroom as well.

While the school’s library is open to students, it is still in the process of renovation. For the library’s design and building process, school administrators gathered one student from each grade to form a team to help redesign the library. Addison Callahan, 18, who graduated last spring, tells the Denver Post that the new library “was the last piece we really needed for students to get back to normal.” Callahan says the library will boast a technology help desk run by the school computer club, power outlets throughout the space (instead of a single computer lab), and three large study rooms to emphasize the collaborative nature of the school and space.

Nicole Seavall, another student on the design team, noted to the Littleton Independent that the library is “a place for students to be the Arapahoe Warriors and still be together in this one space.” Seavall handled much of the interior design details of the library, like a memory book signed by all students to be placed in a time capsule, comfortable furniture, a café space, and a large compass to be placed above the central room. Seavall says the compass will be a reminder for students to “keep moving forward and find your direction of learning.” There will be plenty of bookshelves in addition to an e-library, but the shelves will be lower profile along with larger windows so the space feels open and light.

The new library, once completed, will cost an estimated $1.1–$1.35 million and will be roughly double the size of the original facility. Donations from construction and engineering firms—and furniture companies—helped reduce the expense. Littleton Public Schools have established the Arapahoe High School Moving Forward Fund to further assist the project. Approximately $800,000 is still required for the project. Any monies raised will go towards the library remodel, book replacement, and facility repairs.

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‘Tactile Picture Books’ Creates 3-D Print Titles for Blind Children Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:05:41 +0000 From New Scientist:

A new project is printing Braille picture books for visually impaired children. Each page turns the pictures from the original book into raised 3D shapes alongside traditional Braille text.

“The advantage of 3D-printing is really about making one-of-a-kind objects,’ says Tom Yeh, who heads up the Tactile Picture Books Project at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Later this year, Yeh’s group will work with the National Braille Press in Boston to offer children a copy of Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin that has a page customised with the child’s name in Braille.

Direct to Full Text Article

Direct to Tactile Books Project Web Site

See Also: Take a Look at a Few 3D-Printed Books

See Also: Conference Poster/Abstract by Members of the Tactile Books Project Team: “Tactile Picture Books for Young Children with Visual Impairment” (6 pages; PDF)

Full citation and other materials here.

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Teen Book Buzz Fall 2014 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:33:49 +0000 Register Now!]]> SLJ2014FallTeenBookBuzz Header 550px Teen Book Buzz Fall 2014

Presented by: Harlequin Teen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Llewellyn, and Egmont & School Library Journal

Event Date & Time: Thursday, September 18th, 2014, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
register button Teen Book Buzz Fall 2014
From family strife during the Vietnam era to an alternative Victorian London, our sponsors will be featuring new and forthcoming releases that are sure to appeal to your tween and teen readers. Get ahead of the curve and discover the latest and greatest hot reads during SLJ’s Fall 2014 Teen Book Buzz! Join representatives from Harlequin Teen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Llewellyn, and Egmont as they tell us about books that will have every teen chatting at their lockers. You do not want to miss this exciting webcast!
Michelle F. Bayuk, Associate Sales and Marketing Director, Egmont USA
Lisa DiSarro, Director of School & Library Marketing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Natashya Wilson, Executive Editor, Harlequin TEEN
Dodie Ownes – Editor, SLJTeen

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Sponsored Content: News Flash from Griffin Teen: Amanda Hocking is Back Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:12:26 +0000 Amanda Hocking made headlines when her self-published Trylle trilogy sold millions of e-copies. And when St. Martin’s Press re-released the trilogy in print, it spent a combined total of 23 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, reaching as high as #2.

NOTE: This content was sponsored and contributed by Macmillan.

frostfire 198x300 Sponsored Content: News Flash from Griffin Teen: Amanda Hocking is BackIn Frostfire, the first book in Hocking’s magical new YA series, readers meet Bryn Aven—an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin—a fallen hero who she once loved—appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

For more information about our teen titles, download the 2014 Books for Teens poster now or request a copy by e-mailing your full name, title & mailing address to

If you’re a librarian in the United States, please request your complimentary advance reader’s copy by e-mailing (Please include “FROSTFIRE” in your subject line.)


**If you’re a librarian in the United States and interested in being pre-approved to download our e-galleys, please follow these steps:

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Throwback Thursday: A Sendak Photobomb Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:00:44 +0000 From the vaults of School Library Journal, we bring you this image…

Sendak to post Throwback Thursday: A Sendak Photobomb

We were there when Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. That’s an SLJ staffer on hand to “make a wild thing out of Mr. Sendak” as he spoke to New York Times book review editor George Woods.

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Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:05:14 +0000 I'll Give You the Sun is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film version.]]> Jandy Nelson photo credit Sonya Sones Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About Ill Give You the Sun

photo by Sonya Sones

Already optioned for film, former literary agent Jandy Nelson’s sophomore effort, I’ll Give You the Sun (Dial, 2014), is making waves in young adult literature world. Her portrayal of artist fraternal twins Jude and Noah is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process for this book, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film.

I’ll Give You the Sun is told from the perspectives of Noah and Jude, who are artistic fraternal twins. It’s hard enough to get the voice just right in a novel with one point of view. How did you accomplish that with two narrators and two different time lines?
For me, that was one of the biggest challenges in writing this book. I really wanted to make sure that their voices and their emotional and psychological lives were distinct. I realized fairly early on that in order to do that, I would have to write their stories separately. I wrote Noah’s story from start to finish. And then Jude’s story from start to finish. While I was writing one side, I sometimes wanted to cheat, so I had to lock the file of one twin while I worked on the other twin’s file. I really wanted to stay in the world and time frame of the character. That’s one of the reasons the book took so long to write, because in some ways, it was three novels. My vision had always been to have the two stories be a braid and have the time periods and narratives intertwine.

Your debut novel, The Sky is Everywhere (Dial, 2010), focused on the power of poetry to help a person overcome grief. Your latest focuses on the power of art to unite people. What inspired you to write this tale about artists?
I love visual art. I’m really crazy about it. That was definitely the inspiration for the focus—my passion for it. I do believe in the power of art to help people heal and unite. It can really change the world. For me, the characters just showed up fully formed, name included. And these protagonists all had complicated relationships with art. While I was writing, I felt like Art was another character in the novel. I love writing love stories, and not only stories about romantic and familial love. In a way, this is a love story between each character and Art.

Do you base the sibling relationships in your work on your own experiences growing up?
I grew up with brothers and I’m really close with them. I definitely draw on my relationship with them and our really profound love, interconnectedness, and camaraderie. I’m the youngest in my family and the only girl. And the closest brother to me in age is five years older. And I feel that because we are such different people with distinct interests and passions, we’ve been able to have much more sibling harmony rather than sibling rivalry in our lives. For many of the characters that I write about, that is not the case. Their family situation and sibling dynamic lean much more toward competition than in my family.

I just love writing about siblings and families because they are mini-civilizations without the parents. It’s such rich fodder—loaded, layered, and intricate. No one fully gets you like a sibling or can really get to you like a sibling.

As a twin myself, I was fascinated with your portrayal of the protagonists. Especially poignant is the pair’s sometimes-cruelty toward each other. However, they also share such a bond of interconnectedness. Do you think this type of connection is unique to twin-hood?
It’s probable that the incredible interconnectedness and even rivalry exists among all siblings. Specifically in this novel, Jude and Noah have very jealous natures. Grandma Sweetwine says to them at one point, “’You have enough jealousy in your palms to ruin your lives 10 times over.’” Noah also believes that they have rattlesnakes in their bellies. These particular twins have that [jealousy] in their natures. The clincher here is that their mother is a dynamic, charismatic woman who is also very withholding in a way and little bit distracted, and I think all of that together created this perfect storm for their relationship to go awry.

There are threads of magical realism in this novel: Jude’s book of superstitions and her belief that that she’s communicating with her grandmother’s ghost. How did you decide to add this extra layer in Sun?
Jude came to me as a superstitious 16-year-old girl, so I don’t even think I decided that for her.  But I felt that she was this girl whose world had gone completely out of her control and this was her way to exert some control, however illogical it might seem to other people. This also came about quite naturally because I’m insanely superstitious. And my whole family is, too. Like Jude, I had a grandmother who was superstitious. So within our family, we have members who walk around with charms in our pockets and we’re always searching  for four-leaf clovers.

As far as her grandmother’s ghost, that surprised me as well. Grandma Sweetwine just wouldn’t shut up until finally, I received a huge revelation. Of course Jude is talking to her dead grandmother! She was the one person who made Jude feel safe and hopeful. I remember when it happened because I made a new file for the book and labeled it “Holy Crap.”

ill give you the sun small Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About Ill Give You the Sun

Once that revelation came to you, did you refer to any other magical realism writers?
I grew up reading authors of magical realism. Gabriel García Marquéz is a god to me. I love the genre; there are elements of it even in Sky. I’m very interested in walking the line between realism and magical realism. I feel like it’s a good interpretation of life. Real life is full of magic.

Noah struggles with accepting his sexuality, and Jude goes back and forth between trying to be “that girl” that her mother warns her about and attempting to hide the markers of her sexuality. Why do you think it’s so important to include this aspect of teen identity in YA lit?
I think for teens, navigating sexuality and the way it relates to identity can be confusing and challenging. So for me, exploring it becomes a natural part of coming-of-age stories, especially in the books that I write. To date, I’ve been writing love stories, and I think that the confusions, joys, and complications of love come to the forefront. The teens in my novels tend to have these raging hormones combined with a big, hopeful wanting to fall in love. Whether they’re gay, straight, male, female, they’re all trying to figure out how to be a sexual person in the world. It’s confusing for everybody, adults and teens alike, in its catastrophic mess and sublime joy. I’m interested in exploring it.

I feel like one of the metaphors that took me through writing the book was Michelangelo’s idea that the statue was in the marble and he just had to carve until he found it. In terms of all the characters in the later time frame story, they’re kind of trapped in a stone prison—a lot of it having to do with their identity. If they could just break out of all the societal and familial expectations, they could find a way to be true to themselves and their hearts. And this involves their sexuality in most cases—and them trying to find a way to break out of the prisons they’ve concocted for themselves.

Noah imagines painting portraits in his head whenever he’s experiencing a strong emotion. What kind of portrait is he most likely creating in his mind at the novel’s close?
That was my favorite part about writing this story. I just loved creating those paintings; it was a total joy for me. There’s one part of the novel where Noah says, “this is the painting, painting itself.” I feel like at the end of the novel, the painting would be every color in the universe exploding onto a canvas at once.

Paranormal romance and dystopian genres are waning these days. Do you think there’s a resurgence of the realistic fiction genre?
I absolutely think there is. There’s a real renaissance of realistic fiction going, and it’s expanding to include works that aren’t solely realistic. There are some clear successes such as Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Gayle Forman’s books. I think publishing is incredibly cyclical. Who knows what’s around the corner? After a time people want something else—with so much dystopian, people have a hunger to see their physical world represented. I’m excited to see what’s around the corner.

Congrats on I’ll Give You the Sun being optioned for film. Any news on that front? If you had the ability to do it, who would you cast as the main protagonists?
No news yet, because it was so recent. It was one of the most  exciting days of my life. Right now, they’re looking for writers and directors, but [there's] no talk about cast yet. I’m hoping they go for young unknowns. I will say that I hope Javier Bardem will play Guillermo. So fingers crossed.

Can you tell us a little bit about the research that you did for the book?
I took a stone carving class with Barry Baldwin, and that was fascinating. I’m awful by the way. But I’m glad that I did, because I had this idea that sculpting was very Michelangelo-esque: tap, tap, tap. It’s completely different. You’re working outside, and you have these badass tools and drills. It was so interesting to hear the professor talk about the stone as if they were lovers.

sky is everywhere Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About Ill Give You the Sun

Reprint edition of Nelson’s first book, The Sky Is Everywhere.

How was the writing process for this title different from how you wrote Sky?
I don’t know how it started, but by the end, I was writing in a room with the only light coming from the computer screen, earplugs in, and a sound machine blasting. It became this portal into the story. It was the best writing experience of my life. I felt so deeply immersed in the world of the story and so intimate with the characters. I wonder if part of it was the dark chamber aspect. It completely blocked out my world in a way that I’ve never done before.

Do you think you’ll try that for the next book?
I think I will. I’m sort of addicted to it now. Every book sends you on a different journey. The new book is also about siblings. The working title is Fall Boys and Dizzy in Paradise. It’s about two brothers, a sister, and their father, who mysteriously disappeared 16 years earlier. The story takes off when a very enigmatic girl shows up and throws a bomb into their lives. It takes place in a Northern California dusty town.

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Two Second Graders Pitch to Restore School Library on Indiegogo Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:36:18 +0000 Indiegogogirls Two Second Graders Pitch to Restore School Library on Indiegogo

Josephine Sinclair ( left) and Sarai Williams (right) at Willow Creek School Library. Photos courtesy of Willow Creek Academy.

Social media’s waters are teeming with requests for money. But few have cherubic second graders Josephine Sinclair and Sarai Williams, both age seven, leading their crowdfunding campaign—while arguing whether unicorns are fiction or nonfiction. The fundraising effort “Dr. Seuss Wants You!” went live August 7 on the crowdfunding website with the two girls aiming to raise funds to restore the school library at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, California.

With Josephine’s mom, Kate Stohr, a co-founder of Architecture for Humanity who is experienced at fundraising herself, and Sarai’s mother, Shanti Williams, a library assistant at the San Francisco Public Library’s Richmond Branch, the girls had some solid muscle behind them.

Crowdsourcing on Indiegogo wasn’t their first attempt at raising funds. Initially, the girls launched a lemonade stand—pricing their concoction at $108 a glass, according to their Indiegogo video. Not making much of a dent toward the money they needed for books, furniture, computers—and even a school librarian—the two headed to cyberspace to try their luck there as one of the girls, Josephine, is an avid YouTuber, says Stohr.

“We thought we would make money if we made a video,” says Josephine. “We kind of thought it would be fun.”

Fun is what the two are clearly having in two videos that are live on their Indiegogo page. In the video, the two are shown shelving books and challenging their tiny peers to read a book to parents—if mom and dad pledge $5 to the project.

Willow Creek Academy, a 13-year-old charter school, lost its school library in 2013 when the school, which shared the location, merged with another school, says Susan Newmeyer, president of The Willow Creek Foundation. Parents volunteered to help, donating books, rigging an Apple computer to check out titles, and kitting the two-story space with some furniture so the 350 K-8 students could come for tutoring and occasional reading.

Indiegogogirls moms Two Second Graders Pitch to Restore School Library on Indiegogo

Sarai and her mother, Shanti Williams, (left) and Josephine and her mother, Kate Stohr (right).

The Sausalito Public Library is just a mile away and is staffed with a “wonderful librarian,” Erin Wilson, says Newmeyer. However, she also explains that typically both the parents of many Willow Creek’s students work, so taking their kids to the library in the afternoon is not possible for all.

“Parents don’t have time to take kids after-school to the library,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to create a culture and appreciation for literacy at the school.”

A goal of $20,000 is set for phase one of the fundraiser—the funds will go toward grade-specific materials, more computers, and the part-time salary of a school librarian, 10 hours a week.

“But we’d like [the librarian] every day,” says Royce Connor, now in his second year as head of the school, who’d learned about the campaign after the girls’ parents had already started the process.

To date, the campaign has raised north of $4,800, about 24 percent of their goal—and approximately 11 percent of the $54,000 the school believes they’ll need to completely restore the school library. Tons of “perks” (services or goods backers receive in exchange for donating) remain unclaimed online—from a personal thank you video ($25) to even a video chat from Josephine and Sarai as they read a favorite bedtime story ($1,000).

With the fundraiser live until October 6, the girls have a few more surprises they plan to launch, including books donated from author Isabel Allende. The girls have another video to unveil and have already absorbed one educational lesson from the time they’ve invested in helping their school library.

“About the unicorn,” says Sarai, “I think we both think it’s not real.”

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Librarians React to ‘Amelia Bedelia’ Hoax Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:10:56 +0000 Amelia Bedelia author Peggy Parish, it was a “teachable moment” according to one librarian. ]]> AmeliaBedelia Librarians React to Amelia Bedelia Hoax

‘Amelia Bedelia’ by Peggy Parish.

Last month, New York-based writer and editor EJ Dickson confessed in a July 29 article on the Daily Dot that, five years ago, as a sophomore in college, she had edited Wikipedia articles with false information—including the page for Peggy Parish, the author of the “Amelia Bedelia” book series. As a joke, both Dickson and a friend submitted that the character was inspired by a maid Parish had met in Cameroon who was known for her many feathered hats, a fabricated story.  The falsehood was never taken off the site and has since been quoted as fact in numerous publications, including Iowa’s Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, much to Dickson’s surprise.

While Dickson’s admission cleared her conscience, it also called into question what is considered a credible source and started a larger discussion about the value of information and the importance of evaluating information sources.

“It’s the kind of fact that’s not going to hurt anybody, but it’s muddying the water as far as the real truth goes,” said Shayne Russell, a librarian at Kenneth R. Olson Middle School in Tabernackle, New Jersey.  “I just think [Dickson’s prank] falls into the category of [ir]responsible online citizenship. It’s not doing a lot of damage, but it’s irresponsible. None of us… want to see kids getting involved in this.” While Russell, who has been a middle school librarian for two decades, isn’t thrilled about misinformation being propagated, she doesn’t want to demonize Wikipedia entirely. “Social media is here to stay. Middle school kids need to know how to deal with it,” she said. “I want kids to learn how to be a member of a community that adds value to the community.”

She points out that false facts were disseminated long before the Internet, saying, “Kids would find a mistake in the Encyclopedia Britannica. We’ve always had information that wasn’t right that got published in more than one place. It’s just more noticeable on Wikipedia, I guess.”

At North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, New Jersey, school librarian Martha Hickson is using the hoax as a lesson plan. “My thought as a librarian, desperately trying to teach high school students to ascribe value to information and information sources, is that it’s a fantastic teachable moment,” she said. Besides mentioning Dickson’s prank, Hickson talks about the oft-repeated myth that Ian Gutgold invented the hair straightener—a false fact that still crops up in Google searches. Still, perhaps the greatest example to drive home her point is given by the students. “I ask them if they have ever edited a Wikipedia entry,” she said, “and four or five [students] will raise their hands.”

Deb Logan, the media specialist at the Mount Gilead Middle School / High School in Mount Gilead, Ohio, has a similar approach. “I look for examples about why my kids need to question sources, and here’s one I’ll add to my file,” she said. Also in the file is the false accusation that John Seigenthaler, a pallbearer at Robert Kennedy’s funeral, was involved in his assassination. Moreover, Logan uses the song “Summer Nights” from Grease as an example of how the truth can be adjusted depending on who’s telling it.

“I want kids to question sources, not just Wikipedia. I want them to look at websites and say, ‘Who is the author?’  Look at who links to the site. The fact that a reputable source links to them would lend some credibility.”

Hickson agrees. “The fundamental principal of librarianship is to match the information source for the information need,” she said. “It’s my responsibility as a consumer to go to the very best sources for the information I need. Buyer beware.”

Logan and Hickson both state that educating students on placing value on information sources is imperative. Logan uses a worksheet that students fill out as they start using the Internet to get them used to looking for certain attributes, like authorship and the URL ending. Hickson has similar lesson plans.

“Among the skills I teach my students are skills associated with Web evaluation,” she said. “First and foremost, look for statement of authorship and credentials. Make sure the credentials match the subject matter. Look at the [currentness] of [the] content, and look at the qualities of the site in general, like spelling and grammar errors.  We introduce this to them as freshman, and they find it very arduous.”

Even harder than discerning a reputable site from a discredited one is stopping the rapid dissemination of false information. “Whatever it is that you’re doing, even if you’re just fooling around, your actions have consequences,” Russell said. “Even if you don’t know it until five years later.”

Carly Okyle is a freelance journalist who has written for,, and Guideposts magazine. Her blog “The D Card” is candid look at living with disability issues.

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Supporting Common Core Standards with Audiobooks| Listen In Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:00:56 +0000 SLJ1408w FT ListenIn Supporting Common Core Standards with Audiobooks| Listen In

Key Ideas and Details

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Craft and Structure

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

The academic-year cycle is upon us again and teachers and librarians are searching for fresh ideas to engage students. Although the discussion of efficacy of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—with its focus on informational texts—continues, the framework provides a national springboard for guiding instruction.

The section “Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction,” states that “students must be immersed in information about the world around them if they are to develop the strong general knowledge and vocabulary they need to become successful readers and be prepared for college, career, and life. Informational texts play an important part in building students’ content knowledge.”

More and more nonfiction titles are becoming widely available as audiobooks, many with the same exceptional narration and attention to production detail that we have come to expect from fiction titles. We found that the following standards, from the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, were well supported by the following selected audiobooks.

From urban farming and bird migration to World War II history and providing medical care to the poor, these audiobooks offer learning extensions across many grade levels for research, class discussion, and group projects.

Elementary School

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. 1 CD with tr book. 17:52 min. Live Oak Media. 2014. $29.95. ISBN 9781430117421.

PreK-Gr 3 –This true story of Will Allen, a former professional football player turned dedicated urban farmer, is an excellent companion to Wendell Minor’s My Farm Friends (below). Peter Jay Fernandez narrates with a deep, expressive baritone and deliberate pacing, giving time for listeners to “read” Eric-Shabazz Larkin’s lively illustrations, and delight in the carefully selected soundscape and finely tuned production details. The story of his teaching lab, Growing Power Farm in Wisconsin, will motivate listeners to grow their own vegetables and herbs. The afterword, read by Will Allen, gives three important hints to urban farming (start a worm factory!), and the Growing Power website ( is an essential follow-up for students.

Minor, Wendell. My Farm Friends. 1 CD with tr book. 8:24 min. Live Oak Media. 2012. $29.95. ISBN 9781430110965.

PreK-Gr 3 –Tom Bodett introduces many familiar farm animals with his slight drawl and laconic tone, highlighting the rhyming text and unusual facts. Background sound effects reinforce the information as young listeners learn that pigs don’t sweat, cows drink lots of water to produce milk, and other information conveyed by Minor’s simple words. Adequate time between page turns allows students to see that horses sleep standing up and chickens always have red combs. A list of “My Farm Friends Fun Facts,” read at the end of the book, adds more details, such as the fact that one pound of wool can make seven miles of yarn! This is a fine addition to curriculum units on farm animals.

Sweet, Melissa. Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. 1 CD with tr book. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2012. $37.75. ISBN 9781470335052.

K-Gr 3 –The story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, designer of the world-famous high-flying balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, is expressively performed by John McDonough. This read-along for young listeners combines a beautifully illustrated book with a narrator whose pacing enhances the experience by allowing time to look at Sweet’s charming pictures. Teachers will want to use the author’s note to set the context of “performing on Broadway,” and definitely will refer to Sweet’s discussion guide (, which includes activities and alignments to Common Core State Standards.

Middle School

Hoose, Phillip. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. 3 CDs. 3 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. $39.97. ISBN 9781469282091.

Gr 5 Up –Science, fascinating facts, and a compelling story combine to reinforce listeners’ awareness of one small shore bird and its fight against extinction. Hoose’s comfortable baritone lends additional credibility to this remarkable journey of rufa red knot, for many years observed migrating an unbelievable distance— equivalent to flying to the moon and halfway back again. Listeners will want to have the beautiful print edition at hand to enjoy color photographs and additional information for classroom research.

Sheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. 3 CDs. 4 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $27. ISBN 9780804167444.

Gr 5-8 –In July 1944, more than 300 sailors were killed on the docks of Port Chicago, California, in a huge explosion. Most of the sailors were African American and none of them had been trained to safely handle munitions. Moreover, no white sailors did this kind of work. After the blast, many of the men refused to return to this dangerous assignment. Fifty of them were charged with mutiny, although their actions did not fit the Navy’s own definition of that crime. Dominic Hoffman’s unadorned narration, with its measured pacing, serves the story well. Sheinkin turns history into an adventure, taking facts and figures and blending them into an exciting and heartbreaking exposé of war, racism, and injustice gone amok. Students will want to visit the Port Chicago website ( for additional information and to learn that these men have not been forgotten.

High School

Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 12 CDs. 14:30 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2013. $49.95. ISBN 9781611761696.

Gr 8 Up –This is so much more than a story of the United States winning the gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s the story of the boys and men from the University of Washington who overcame much adversity just to sit in that boat, of their triumph over the hardships of the Great Depression in the Northwest, of rising above family dysfunction, and of grit and determination on the part of those who rowed as well as those who coached and loved them. Edward Herrmann’s restrained tempo and mellow intonation allows all of the story’s emotional highs and lows to take center stage, elevating an excellent book into a remarkable listening experience.

Earl, Esther. This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl. 7 CDs. 8 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $59.97. ISBN 9781480585492.

Gr 7 Up –Part memoir, part homage, this work follows the short life of the young cancer patient to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars. Told by Esther as well as her parents, siblings, and friends, it is by turns funny, thoughtful, and heartbreaking. Esther was a bright, engaging young woman whose insights into living with, and realizing she would soon die from, cancer are captivating, and Esther’s musings on her relationship with God will be of particular interest to Christian teens. Her parents, Lori and Wayne, are excellent narrators of their own writing, while Christina Panfilio’s careful pacing and inflection perfectly portray Esther’s teen voice when reading the girl’s own words. Other narrators (among them Nick Podehl, Luke Daniels, and Amy McFadden) read the parts of Esther’s siblings and friends. Green’s heartfelt introduction and occasional insertions will be especially appreciated by his many fans. Students can find Esther’s conversations on YouTube, which may spark their interest in making their own videos.

Kidder, Tracy & Michael French. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. 6 CDs. 7:22 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $35. ISBN 9780804121699.

Gr 9 Up –Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and epidemiologist, has spent his adult life working to bring quality health care to the poor, particularly in developing countries. Kidder expertly weaves Farmer’s personal story—his unconventional upbringing and his stellar academic career—with the grueling hours spent battling multiple drug-resistant diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS as he struggles to provide individualized health care to his many impoverished patients around the world. This fascinating, complex, and thought-provoking book is narrated by Lincoln Hoppe with a mixture of steadiness, solemnity, and admiration. Hoppe’s conversational style perfectly suits Kidder’s ability to give an intimate glimpse into the seeming chaos of Farmer’s life. Students can follow up by listening to Farmer answer 10 questions regarding his controversial beliefs regarding health care (

Sharon Grover is head of youth services at the Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI.
Lizette (Liz) Hannegan was a school librarian and the district library supervisor for the Arlington (VA) Public Schools before her retirement.

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Rick Riordan: Live from Mount Olympus Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:28:12 +0000 Register Now!]]> RickWebCast 0923 550x196 Rick Riordan: Live from Mount Olympus

SPONSORED BY: Disney Hyperion

SCHEDULED EVENT DATE: Tuesday, September 23, 2014– 1 PM EDT/10 AM PDT– 60 minutes

register button Rick Riordan: Live from Mount OlympusFew people are allowed on Mount Olympus (a.k.a. the Empire State Building, 600th floor), but literary demigod Rick Riordan can bring you along with him—virtually, of course. Think you (or your classroom or school) can stump Rick Riordan when it comes to Greek mythology? We’ll be testing him live! You’ll have a chance to submit a question when you register, and if your question is chosen you’ll receive a signed copy of Rick Riordan’s new illustrated collection, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. SLJ Reviews Editor Kiera Parrott will be on hand to ask the questions.

You’ll also get to hear an exclusive excerpt from the final book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus – all broadcast live from New York City’s legendary Empire State Building.

register button Rick Riordan: Live from Mount OlympusCan’t make it September 23rd? No problem! Register now and you will receive an email from School Library Journal with the URL to access the archive for this event.

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Ferguson Libraries Step Up to Serve Community in Turmoil Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:37:07 +0000 Libraries in the Ferguson, MO area provided educational services and creative programs for children and families while the start of school was postponed for two weeks because of unrest in the area.

As demonstrations continued in response to the shooting death by Ferguson police officer of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, the Ferguson-Florissant School District decided to delay the schools’ opening for an indeterminate number of days.

The protests of Browns death have involved the use of tear gas by police and resulted in two more non-fatal shootings by police. Brown’s death has brought to the surface racial tensions in Ferguson, a mostly black suburb of St. Louis, which has a police department made up of 53 officers, only three of whom are non-white.

The schools eventually opened their doors as of Monday, August 25, according to the New York Times.

Ferguson Library

Last week, Ferguson Library created an “ad hoc school on the fly” while the public schools were closed, where children could be taught by working and retired teachers, with volunteers helping them manage the students. Grouped by their grade level, children learned math and science in the mornings and arts in the afternoons.

“We started the program Monday, people started hearing about it Tuesday, by Wednesday I had everyone in the world calling up trying to help,” said Scott Bonner, the library director. “This is a concrete example of the community coming together for the good of the community.”

Carrie Pace, an elementary art school teacher, came to the library director with the idea of creating a temporary educational program with no idea how many students would actually participate. Near the start there were about 40 students and by last Thursday about 150 students participated. As a result, the library started using the Baptist church up the street to house some of the classes.

In addition, several community groups approached the library to provide special programs for the students, from teaching them how to create Tibetan prayer flags to presentations by scientists and artists.

Director Bonner said that this is the type of work that libraries were made to do, providing continuing education, cultural enrichment, and being a meeting space for the community.

“This is totally, exactly, right in the wheel house of what any library does, what every library does. We have a dramatic moment, and a dramatic circumstance caught the nation’s attention, but this is exactly what libraries do every day,” he said.

Bonner, who became the library’s director just last month, stayed up until 2:30 a.m. every night scanning news outlets and Twitter feeds to make sure that the protests were far enough from the library that it was safe to keep it open. He wanted the library to be a “quiet oasis” separate from the demonstrations where people could get water, charge their phones, and feel welcome regardless of their views on the issues.

In addition, the library is accepting book donations through Powell’s books that will help diversify the collection, which is hard because of the library’s limited budget. The project was spearheaded by Angie Manfredi, a blogger who contacted Bonner about creating a list of desired books and crowdsourcing donors online. So far the library has received 20 books with more than 50 more expected to arrive. Manfredi is planning to create another “Books for Ferguson” booklist to be approved by Bonner soon.

Florissant Valley Branch

The Florissant Valley Branch of the St. Louis County Library also provided family-oriented programs that started last Tuesday. It offered fun activities that included letting children and parents play with art supplies, board games, and LEGOs.

LEGOs at the Florissant Valley Branch 300x199 Ferguson Libraries Step Up to Serve Community in Turmoil

Children play with LEGOs at the Florissant Valley Branch

And in partnership with the Magic House, an interactive children’s museum, the Florissant Valley Branch was able to offer free lunches and make and take projects by extending its program with Operation Food Search.

“I think it’s easy to get very caught up, ‘Oh, these awful thing has happened and what’s going to bring us together?’ Well, there are just so many people in our community that are working to make that a reality,” said Laura Kasak, Florissant Valley branch manager.

In the future, Kasak hopes to be able to offer counseling services in the library “to help with the healing process” for members of the community. She is currently talking with potential partners like the Lutheran Child and Family Services to make that happen.

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