January 18, 2018

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Heavy Medal Finalist – All’s Faire in Middle School

Long List Title:  ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL (Titles on our long list will be included in our online conversation and balloting, alongside the short list titles.) I’ve been a strong supporter of ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL from the start. I found the plot more compelling, emotionally, than that of REAL FRIENDS, our other […]

Post-It Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

Now that I work in an elementary library, I’m reading a lot more titles for younger readers. Rather than review all of them like I usually do, I’m stealing Karen’s Post-it note review idea and sharing the titles with you that way. It’s been super interesting to me to see what the students (grades K-5) […]

Anger, inspiration, and the stories we tell, a guest post by Marieke Nijkamp

Before I Let Go tells the story of two girls in the arctic heart of Alaska. Two girls who were best friends, who were discovering who they could be, who were each other’s center of gravity. It tells of  grief and ice, of mystery and mental illness. And it was, at least in part, born […]

Pyrite Time Is Here Again!

Yes, you read that right: It’s Pyrite time! In case this is your first rodeo: The Pyrite is Someday’s Mock Printz. Instead of gold, we award fool’s gold — because mock/fool, right? (Puns may be the lowest form of humor to some, but I never met one I didn’t like.) We have no affiliation with […]

MakerSpace: DIY Metal Stamping (A metal stamping kit review)

Jewelry making has been pretty popular in our Teen MakerSpace, and I really wanted to give metal stamping a try. However, the individual components always seemed more expensive then something I wanted to spend just to try something out. Fortunately, I found a complete metal stamping kit at Target for only $24.99, and that seemed […]

Review: ‘Gumby: 50 Shades of Clay’

Gumby: 50 Shades of Clay Writers: Jeff Whitman, Eric Esquivel, Ray Fawkes, and others Artists: Jolyon Yates, Kyle Baker, Veronica Fish and others Papercutz; $8.99 Boomer era animated icon Gumby has returned to comics for the first time in a decade, and, as per his previous comics engagement, what the stop-motion clay hero loses in […]

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 […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – Orphan Island

Short List Title:  ORPHAN ISLAND (Titles on our short list will be included in the live Mock Newbery in Oakland.) There is maybe no more controversial title on our list, and I really look forward to the discussion of this title, here, and in person in Oakland.  For the purposes of this post, I’m going to […]

Cover Reveal: Quiet by Tomie dePaola

Before we get to today’s reveal, let me share something about my own background. Though not a Quaker myself, I attended a small Quaker college during my undergraduate years. While there I made many Quaker friends and came to appreciate the particular kind of mindfulness that comes when you attend a Quaker service. There, you […]

Review: ‘The Golem’s Mighty Swing’

The Golem’s Mighty Swing By James Sturm Drawn and Quarterly The Golem’s Mighty Swing is a story set in an earlier, simpler time, when old men lounged on the porch of the general store, kids wore knickers and newsboy caps, and people lived in small towns where everybody knew everybody. You can almost smell the […]

The 2018 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

from O’Dell committee chair Deborah Stevenson: The 2018 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk, published by Dutton Books for Young readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The isolated world of the Elizabeth Islands off of mainland Massachusetts in 1925 comes to life as our narrator, […]

Heavy Medal Finalist: Loving vs. Virginia

Long List Title: LOVING VS VIRGINIA ( (Titles on our long list will be included in our online conversation and balloting, alongside the short list titles.) The book is subtitled: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case — a “documentary” “novel,” not a “verse novel” and not a nonfiction.  So, I read it […]

The Book of Dust

This isn’t necessarily a big book in Printz speculation terms, but it’s a big book in the kidlit field; lots of excited librarians, lots of buzzing adults, lots of stars, lots of sales. Which means it’s the kind of book the RealCommittee is likely to look at, and it’s also the kind of book that […]

Penguin Young Readers Showcase and Giveaway

Beyond the people I work with and the people this blog has led me to get to know, by far the best aspect of blogging for TLT is the constant influx of books. All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom […]

Penguin Young Readers Showcase and Giveaway

Beyond the people I work with and the people this blog has led me to get to know, by far the best aspect of blogging for TLT is the constant influx of books. All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom […]

Watch the Youth Media Awards LIVE

It’s an annual tradition. The unveiling of my favorite modified creative commons licensed image of all time. The occasion? The upcoming Youth Media Awards webcast. The image has become as well-known (and honored) as the awards themselves. So . . . You can watch the announcements of the 2018 Newbery, Caldecott, and many more from the […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2018: Final Prediction Edition

I was all prepped to begin today by saying that the entire reason I’m doing this post in January is because the ALA Youth Media Awards are slated to go live in February this year . . . but then I looked at last year’s Final Prediction Edition and saw that it was posted on […]

Orbis Pictus Honor Book: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix Written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Published by Readers to Eaters, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Grades 2 and Up Book Review On the very first page of this innovative and immensely relevant picture book biography, readers are presented with a “Ramen […]

Heavy Medal Finalist: I’m Just No Good At Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

Short List Title:  I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING AND OTHER NONSENSE FOR MISCHIEVOUS KIDS AND IMMATURE GROWN-UPS (Titles on our short list will be included in the live Mock Newbery in Oakland.) I often distrust the age-designation “For All Ages” on recommended book lists. For, no doubt, each book must have a target audience: by the author’s choices […]

YA A to Z: Bullying by Michelle Biwer

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied in 2015. Notably, those statistics skyrocket for LGBTQ students. In 2013, 70.8% of LGBTQ students were verbally bullied because of their sexual orientation and 54.5% were bullied due to their gender expression (National School Climate Survey, 2015). […]