November 24, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom by Gigi D.G.

Publisher’s description What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction? World domination, obviously. The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic […]

The Antlered Ship

The Antlered Ship Written by Dashka Slater and Illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan Published in 2017 by Beach Lane Books ISBN 978-1-4814-5160-4 Grades PreK-2 Book Review When a mysterious antlered ship arrives at Emerald Lagoon, a philosophical fox named Marco is suddenly filled with quixotic questions: Why do some songs make you happy and […]

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 […]

Adam Gidwitz’s Illuminating Medieval Adventure | Under the Covers

Gidwitz, author of the popular “Tale Dark and Grimm” series, discusses his latest work, an ambitious and well-crafted historical adventure set in medieval France.

Review: ‘Compass South’

The worst part of this book? That I already finished. After all, when I first noticed it was 224 pages, I thought, even in comic form this might keep me busy for a little while—but before I knew it the book was done and I wanted more! The good news? There are three more planned […]

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz | SLJ Review

Gidwitz, Adam. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. illus. by Hatem Aly. 384p. Dutton. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525426165.
Gr 5-10–What is a miracle? Is a miracle what happens when, faced with murderous bandits, a teenage monk rips a leg off his donkey, beats them to death with it, then restores the donkey’s leg? Or is it a miracle when a cranky innkeeper is so moved by a little girl’s friendliness that he risks his […]

A Sneak Peek at the 2016 New York International Children’s Film Festival

The New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF), the largest such event for kids and teens in North America, runs this year from February 26 through March 20. Think of the NYICFF as the movie equivalent of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Book Review: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange

Publisher’s description The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked and tattooed wild child. The Bully: Sick of being the less favorite son, York bullies everyone, especially his brother. The Geek: Boston, York’s brother, and obsessed with getting into an Ivy League school. The Pariah: Sam, now that her mom is sober, she just […]

The Wrinkled Crown by Anne Nesbet | SLJ Review

NESBET, Anne. The Wrinkled Crown. 400p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Harper. Nov. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062104298.
Gr 3-7–Linny is approaching her coming-of-age “twelve ceremony,” when she will at last be able to touch a lourka—the almost magical, exquisitely toned, stringed instrument, named for Linny’s village in the wrinkled hills. The instrument has been forbidden to her until now. The trouble is, Linny has already broken this strict rule and made her own lourka, which she plays in secret, and only her best […]

My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson | SLJ Review

Anderson, Jodi Lynn. My Diary from the Edge of the World. 432p. S. & S./Aladdin. Nov. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442483873.

Gr 4-7–Gracie Lockwood is a spirited girl and journal writer, who lives with her parents, brother, and sister right down the street from a T.J.Maxx that was recently burned down by dragons. Her world mirrors ours, in that there is a Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s off of Route 1. It differs, however, because Sasquatches roam the forests, depressed ghosts […]

Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Book II of the Raven Cycle. Sequel to Book I – The Raven Boys. Scholastic. 2013. Reviewed from ARC. The Plot: In Book I, Blue Sargent became friends with the “Raven Boys” — Richard Campbell Gansey III, Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, and Noah Czarny. All had become involved in […]

Review: Dark Triumph

Dark Triumph: His Fair Assassins, Book II by Robin LaFevers. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Nantes, Brittany, 1489. Lady Sybella is deep in danger and intrigue. Part of it is because she has been trained by the convent of Saint Mortain to be an assassin. Part of it is […]

JLG’s On the Radar: New Mystery and Adventure Titles for Elementary Students

Time travel, 200-year-old clues, and a gaggle of atypical princes round out Junior Library Guild’s picks of new mystery and adventure novels for school-aged readers. Perfect for summer reading, check out the latest offerings from Kate Messner, Andrew Clements, and Christopher Healy.