September 17, 2017

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The Playbook by Kwame Alexander | SLJ Audio Review

ALEXANDER, Kwame. The Playbook: 52 Rules To Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. 1 CD. 1 hr. Recorded Bks. Feb. 2017. $15.75. ISBN 9781501949180. digital download.

Gr 5-8 –Alexander delivers 52 inspiring rules and motivational life lessons using notable sports figures, terminology, and stories. Sections include “Warm-Up: The Rules,” in which Alexander reminisces about his childhood involvement in sports and the lessons he learned. Four “Quarters,” with a “Half Time” and an “Overtime,” comprise the rest of the book. Each section […]

49 Fantastic New Titles | September 2017

Native American Women share their stories in #NotYourPrincess; Anne of Green Gables gets a graphic novel makeover; a children’s bilingual picture book celebrates a Mexican holiday; and two middle grade audiobooks.

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

One Star Review Guess Who? (#59)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Before reading it, I thought I would keep it in the house for grandkids to read, but I’m now I’m going to toss it – probably high in the sky. Maybe the cloudmen will catch it an have a […]

Miguel’s Brave Knight by Margarita Engle | SLJ Review

ENGLE, Margarita. Miguel’s Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote.illus. by Raúl Colón. 32p. photos. Peachtree. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781561458561.

Gr 3-6 –In a collection of poems, Engle explores the great Spanish writer’s early beginnings. Miguel Cervantes’s vivid imagination and love of storytelling are presented against the backdrop of his difficult childhood as the son of a vagabond barber-surgeon who often gambled away his family’s money. Despite the constant relocation across Spain because of his father’s debts, […]

Graphic Novels: The Wonderful World of Germs | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

A vibrant graphic novel explores the wonders of the human immune system in this month’s Xpress review.

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

Middle Grade: New Titles from Jason Reynolds, Alan Gratz, Robert Beatty, & More | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

Strong female protagonists survive and thrive in Beatty and Reynolds’ sequels; fiction and math mix in a bilingual “One Minute Mysteries” installment.

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

Chapter Books: How To Survive the U.S. Revolution and Addled Adults | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

In this month’s reviews, Lauren Tarshis continues the “I Survived” series with the American Revolution, and a Spanish-language caper reminiscent of Roald Dahl provides action and amusement.

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

Nonfiction from Clinton, Tonatiuh, & More | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

New books from Clinton, Tonatiuh, and others.

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

Picture Books: An African Orchestra, Young Magicians, and More | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

A lyrical picture book explores Africa’s natural music; little Raybot gets a sibling; and three picture books deal uniquely with the marvels of magic in this month’s reviews.

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

YA with Native Characters, Feminist Fantasy, and More | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

This month’s roundup of web-exclusive reviews include new works from Tim Tingle, Melanie Florence, and Sarah Rees Brennan.

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

5 Titles To Inspire Future Artists | SLJ Spotlight

Recent art-focused titles from the likes of Allen Say, Susan Goldman Rubin, and others.

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

Gotham’s Most Wanted | Touch and Go

Cross-media branding? It’s not unusual, but is it successful in this app?

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani | SLJ Review

CHANANI, Nidhi. Pashmina. illus. by Nidhi Chanani. 176p. First Second. Oct. 2017. Tr 16.99. ISBN 9781626720879.

Gr 4-8 –Priyanka is a teenage girl who loves to draw. Her mother emigrated from India years ago, leaving Pri’s father behind. Pri is eager to learn about her father and her Indian heritage, but her mother refuses to discuss the subject. Then Pri finds an old pashmina in her mother’s suitcase, and when she puts it on, she is magically transported to the India of her dreams. […]

Book Review: Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley

Publisher’s description A powerful coming-of-age story about a girl whose encounters with loss, broken friendships, and newfound faith leave her forever changed, from Printz Honor winner and Morris Award Finalist Jessie Ann Foley When Wendy Boychuck’s father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs, she knew her life would never be the […]

Book Review: Spinning by Tillie Walden

Publisher’s description Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden’s powerful graphic memoir captures what it’s like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know. It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. […]

Glow by Megan E. Bryant | SLJ Review

BRYANT, Megan E. Glow. 272p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807529638; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780807529652.

Gr 8 Up –Two young women, a century apart, find themselves drawn to the same dangerous glow. Julie, a young woman in the present day, is unable to pay for college after sacrificing her savings to help save her family’s home. In her desperate attempt to forget about her circumstances, Julie looks for a project to occupy her thoughts. During a visit to a thrift store, […]

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers | SLJ Review

EGGERS, Dave. Her Right Foot. illus. by Shawn Harris. 104p. Chronicle. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781452162812.

Gr 3 Up –This beautifully designed and conversational yet sophisticated book about the history of the iconic statue is also filled with humor and interesting trivia. Explanations of the construction, size, and eventual color of the statue are explained and illustrated in simple, accessible terms. While the first two-thirds of the book offer information about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the green […]

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery | SLJ Review

MONTGOMERY, L.M. Anne of Green Gables. adapted by Mariah Marsden. illus. by Brenna Thummler. 232p. Andrews McMeel. Oct. 2017. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781449479602.

Gr 3-7 –A jewel-toned graphic novel adaptation of the beloved classic. This abridged version of Anne of Green Gables appropriately condenses the longtime favorite into a more accessible volume, but it doesn’t cut out the spirit of Montgomery’s effervescent heroine. As chatty, imaginative, and scatter-brained as ever, the redheaded protagonist and her new family and town are brought to vivid life by the […]

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Written by Rita Williams-Garcia Published by Amistad, 2017 ISBN 978-0-06-221691-8   Grades 3 and up   Book Review   “When, Cool Papa, when?” For young Clayton Byrd, all that matters is when he’ll get finally the chance to play a twelve-bar solo on his blues harp (harmonica) with his grandfather’s blues […]

The Explorer | Katherine Rundell

RUNDELL, Katherine. The Explorer. 336p. S. & S. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481419451.

Gr 5-8 –The fiery crash of a six-seater plane, following the apparent heart attack of its pilot, leaves British adolescents Fred and Con and Brazilian children Lila and her brother Max stranded in the Amazon jungle, having escaped the flames and left relatively unhurt, but with little knowledge of how to survive. Strangers to one another, the three young teens must overcome their emotional baggage and learn to cooperate in […]