January 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Book Reviews

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Seeing Into Tomorrow by Richard Wright & Nina Crews | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –This book collects 12 of Wright’s outstanding haiku, written 50 years ago and still available in the anthology, Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon.

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes | SLJ Review

Gr 4-8 –The Towers Falling author once again tackles a timely yet difficult subject.

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –Selznick and Serlin take the easy reader format to new creative heights.

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –Oversized like an ox, 12-year-old Charlie Bobo and his sharecropper parents eke out a living on the Tanner Plantation deep in South Carolina in 1858.

Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye | SLJ Review

Gr 5 Up –Nye invokes the voices and spirits of countless inspirational figures past and present in her latest poetry collection.

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –A dually narrated story of two teen boys, Bunny and Nasir, struggling with a dying friendship shapes Ribay’s latest.

Book Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Publisher’s Book Description: New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded […]

Chasing King’s Killer by James L. Swanson | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –A detailed, well-organized, and vividly illustrated history of Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in the civil rights movement and U.S. political history—and the killer who assassinated him.

Tangled Planet by Kate Blair | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –Ursa is among the first colonists to arrive on Beta Earth, a planet that is being bioengineered for human life.

Martin Rising by Andrea Davis Pinkney | SLJ Review

Gr 4 Up –A powerful celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., set against the last few months of his life and written in verse.

Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O’Connor | SLJ Review

Gr 4-8 –Hermes, Greek god of thieves and liars (and much more), gets his due in the latest installment of the “Olympians” series.

Stella Diaz Has Something To Say by Angela Dominguez | SLJ Review

Gr 3-5 –When Stella was a baby, her family moved from Mexico City to Arlington Heights, near Chicago, where Stella still lives with her divorced mother and supportive older brother.

Floaty by John Himmelman | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Mr. Raisin is a grouchy old misanthrope who doesn’t like anything but sewing. When he discovers a basket at his front door containing a puppy, he is not amused.

Board Books Make Us Happy| Editors’ Picks

SLJ review editors select four dozen of the season’s most colorful and entertaining board books in this special roundup.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

This Is It by Daria Peoples-Riley | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –A spunky, endearingly gawky girl leaps across the cityscape on the cover of this simple, but profound picture book about being brave and taking chances.

All That Trash by Meghan McCarthy | SLJ Review

Gr 3-5 –The year was 1987 and a ship full of trash was about to become famous. This is the engaging, humorous, and entirely true story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and its world-traveling adventure.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –A sweet story of a first crush and being stuck in the middle.

Book Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Publisher’s description It’s Kind of a Funny Story meets Daria in the darkly hilarious tale of a teen’s attempt to remake her public image and restore inner peace through reality TV. The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push […]

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Melinda is already a pariah on her first day as a freshman at Merryweather High.

Love by Matt de la Peña | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –How do we love and care for one another? Award-winning author de la Peña sets out not only to count the ways but also to help young people recognize and take these tender mercies to heart, especially when times are tough and beyond the control of the adults around them.