Google+

October 22, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ


Recent Posts:


Halloween Reading

Halloween Reading

The days grow shorter. The evenings grow darker. You’re trying to figure out a costume to wear to school next Friday. In the spirit of the season, we review three new novels for those seeking a thrill this Halloween. Edgar Cantero’s first book in English, The Supernatural Enhancements, is a secret society mystery/haunted house gothic [...]

The 9th Annual Carle Honors – 2014

The 9th Annual Carle Honors – 2014

Traditionally I tend to attend the Carle Honors secretly pregnant.  I’m not sure why this is but at least twice I have walked about, discretely refusing any and all alcoholic beverages.  One of those times I’d discovered the pregnancy mere hours before the event. No hidden incipient heirs were on display this time around, and [...]

Books on Film: Fuse #8 TV

Books on Film: Fuse #8 TV

Do you find yourself wishing A Fuse #8 Production was a TV show? Well, how about this, Travis: Stop joking around, man. A real show. All joking aside, yes. Good! You got your wish. Great! Let’s see it. Here it is – Fuse #8 TV. I even make a cameo in the intro:

Preview: Costume Quest

Preview: Costume Quest

Costume Quest is a new, Halloween-themed graphic novel from Oni Press that’s apparently based on a video game, although you don’t have to be familiar with the game to enjoy the book—I can testify to this personally. Here’s the blurb: Hot on the heels of the freshly announced video game Costume Quest 2, Oni Press [...]

Announcing the Debut of Fuse #8 TV

Announcing the Debut of Fuse #8 TV

Got me a blog. Got me a library job. And now I’ve got me a TV show. Sorta kinda. The nice folks here at SLJ took a gander at that little Newbery/Caldecott pre-game/post-game show I created with Lori Ess last January (and I just rewatched the post-game show which I would like to play at [...]

Announcing: YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Announcing: YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Teen Read Week just ended, but the celebration continues. Today, Willow Shields (aka Primrose Everdeen), announced YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten titles. This teen choice list engaged Teens’ Top Ten book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country in reading and voting. The selected titles will also be included on the must-have [...]

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Today I review two books that have the potential to be wildly popular with teens–and wildly challenging for school librarians. Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham are media forces, women who excel in professions dominated by men. They both succeed through the sheer force of their personalities, and to some extent through their willingness to say [...]

Links: New York Comic Con… and Beyond!

Links: New York Comic Con… and Beyond!

I had a busy time last week at New York Comic Con, which has now become the biggest comic convention in the U.S., with 151,000 attendees. I did a quick roundup of the kids’ comics news for Publishers Weekly, shared my picks for the five coolest things at NYCC (with some added commentary on the [...]

Press Release Fun: Hervé Tullet – The Exhibit

Press Release Fun:  Hervé Tullet – The Exhibit

My 3-year-old daughter is currently an Hervé Tullet fan, but not in the sense you might think.  It’s not Press Here that strikes her fancy (though she enjoys it well enough) but his board books with Phaidon.  Who knew?  Now there’s an exhibit up over in Brooklyn I need to take her to. Brooklyn Public [...]

Belzhar

Belzhar

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer Dutton, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC There’s always some weird dance of anticipation and dread when an author you respect as an author for adult readers dips into the YA world. Happily, Meg Wolitzer is very clear eyed about YA and about why she writes YA — it’s not to jump on [...]

Link Du Jour: Author vs. Online Critic

Link Du Jour: Author vs. Online Critic

The latest outrage in the book world comes from Kathleen Hale and her article for The Guardian ‘Am I being catfished?” An author confronts her number one critic. Aside from making the author look terrible, it brings up all kinds of questions about the current state of online book reviewing. (Warning: the article contains occasional [...]

The Family Romanov

The Family Romanov

First of all, you need to know something about me as a reader to understand why I find this one quite possibly the most distinguished contribution of American literature for children this year.  I like biography, but it can often feel too claustrophobic for me to inhabit a single viewpoint with a very linear narrative [...]

Video Sunday: Meet Jbrary for All Your Hand Rhyme Needs

Video Sunday: Meet Jbrary for All Your Hand Rhyme Needs

So here’s the deal.  In libraries nationwide there are systems where trained children’s librarians are a scarcity.  There are any number of reasons for this.  It could be that the city or system is low on funds and isn’t hiring.  It could be that there isn’t a reliable library school in the state.  Whatever the [...]

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable [...]

Preview: Mishka and the Sea Devil

Preview: Mishka and the Sea Devil

Mishka and the Sea Devil is a new release from the small publisher Action Lab (known around these parts as the publisher of Princeless) that came out during New York Comic Con last week. I can’t find a catalog page on the site for it, but here’s the info from their marketing e-mail: Eleven days [...]

Placeit and a round-up of image mockup tools

Placeit and a round-up of image mockup tools

I love playing around with images. I use mock-ups for customized screensavers, posters, signs, presentation slides, for telling digital stories, for visual announcements on websites. I just discovered a cool little tool that will come in handy for our more techie displays. Placeit.net is an image generator that allows you to upload an image, or [...]

This Week’s Comics: Real Life Skylanders

This Week’s Comics: Real Life Skylanders

Halloween is still two weeks away. There should not be Christmas comics yet! DC Comics has the right idea with the release of the first trade of Batman ’66. First Second releases a box set of Olympians, putting all six volumes together in a nice slipcover box, and Titan Comics continues the adventures of Doctor [...]

I Feel Smart: On Wordless Picture Books and Perception

I Feel Smart: On Wordless Picture Books and Perception

Just thinking out loud here… It’s another great year for wordless picture books. What draws us to stories told exclusively through illustration? A good story is paramount, of course, but I think there’s something about our brains that respond to visuals first. It’s how we take in the world. I keep coming back to the [...]

National Book Award Finalists

National Book Award Finalists

And we have finalists! With yesterday’s announcement of the National Book Award Finalists in the Young People’s Literature category it’s really starting to feel like awards season. Last month, Karyn wrote about the longlist, observing that social conscience seemed to be a common thread among the nominees. Now that we’re down to five titles, her [...]

Brown Girl Dreaming, and How I Discovered Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming, and How I Discovered Poetry

In another interesting pair of subject-matter-coincidences, we have two works in verse from African American female writers this year that are memoirs of their childhood experiences which prepared them for their writing careers.  (These both follow closely on last year’s Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes, for a triple coincidence.) Jacqueline Woodson’s BROWN GIRL DREAMING is [...]