November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Reviews

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15 Spanish Language Nonfiction Series for Elementary Schoolers

Titles focusing on animals are the stars of this season’s Spanish language selections.

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

Kittens & Deathstalker Scorpions: 14 Animal Series Sure To Pique Interest

Lure students into the library with books on unusual creatures, such as axolotls and Polish chickens.

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

The Pond by Nicola Davies | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –The first thing one notices about this picture book is the black pages, sometimes appearing as solid backgrounds, at other points layered with textured, mixed media compositions. A relatively rare choice in children’s books, but one that supports the despondency and rage a boy experiences when his dad dies.

Book Review: Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Publisher’s description For fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, Emery Lord’s When We Collided, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl,Anna Priemaza’s debut novel is a heartwarming and achingly real story of finding a friend, being a fan, and defining your place in a difficult world. Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to […]

Book Review: I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, and John Jennings

Publisher’s description Alfonso Jones can’t wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school’s hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for […]

Sim Cell by Touch Press | Touch and Go

A new app from Touch Press puts students inside a cell on a mission.

Book Review: Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer

This book will rip your heart right out of your chest. Several times. Literally. Publisher’s Book Description: Fishkill Carmel fends for herself, with her fists if need be — until a thwarted lunch theft introduces her to strange, sunny Duck-Duck and a chance for a new start. Born in the backseat of a moving car, […]

Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 7 Up –Taking photographs of rare animals and habitats that might become extinct is the focus of this three-part program.

Review: Brave

Middle School is brutal. I know. I’ve been there for the last 15 years. (They won’t let me graduate!) Watching the ups and downs of my students is a real eye opener, and though it’s been a long time since I was really that age, it’s hard not to remember that sometimes lonely and confusing […]

Becoming Kareem by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Raymond Obstfeld | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, traces his path to becoming a basketball superstar and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Review of the Day: I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, ill. Lane Smith

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups By Chris Harris Illustrated by Lane Smith Little, Brown and Company $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-316-26657-4 Ages 7 and up On shelves now What exactly constitutes a celebrity children’s book these days? See, it all used to be so simple when it […]

Review of the Day: I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, ill. Lane Smith

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups By Chris Harris Illustrated by Lane Smith Little, Brown and Company $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-316-26657-4 Ages 7 and up On shelves now What exactly constitutes a celebrity children’s book these days? See, it all used to be so simple when it […]

Kids Marching and Organizing for Civil Rights | SLJ Spotlight

Two nonfiction picture books that channel strong kids in history for contemporary young readers.

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

Freedom Over Me | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 4-6 –Ashley Bryan takes readers back to the brutal reality of American slavery, using primary source documents from an 1828 estate appraisal as his launching point to bring the 11 enslaved people listed to life.

Book Review: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Publisher’s description Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions—the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her […]

Book Review: The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster

Let me begin by saying this: It has been a long time since I have been so very conflicted about a book. If you have read this book, I really would like to discuss it with you. PLEASE NOTE: THIS BOOK DEALS WITH SOME VERY TRIGGERING ISSUES INCLUDING SUICIDE AND EATING DISORDERS. ALSO, I CAN’T […]

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

Gr 6 Up– Makepeace is raised in a strict Puritanical environment by her single mother in 17th-century England at the brink of civil war.

Steps in the Right Direction | Series Nonfiction Editorial

The latest edition of Series Made Simple features two all new sections: early learning and Spanish language.

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

Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day.

Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

I have to admit, I didn’t exactly remember all the details of where I had left off in volume 1 of the Mighty Jack series. But it didn’t make a difference. While this is a solid volume 2 that doesn’t exactly stand on its own, it’s easy to pick up the pieces and move on […]