November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Review of the Day: Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say

Silent Days, Silent Dreams By Allen Say Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $21.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-92761-1 Ages 8-12 On shelves October 31st I have never written a biography, nor have I any inclination to do so. Biographical subjects don’t interest me, but the people that choose to write the biographies of others? Those […]

The Thin Line

I’m going to cheat a little today, and deviate from our attempts to review in roughly calendar order. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about middle grade and YA and all ages and the fine line between the Newbery and the Printz. We’ve had books on all ends snag awards, yes, but […]

Morris and Turner Contendas

Hello! It’s roundup time, today focused on contendas for awards other than the Printz. One of these awards is a real actual award, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award; the other is imaginary but no less real in my heart. The Morris you all know about, of course, and we’ve been covering several debut/Morris […]

The Memory of Light

The Memory of Light, Francisco X. Stork Arthur A. Levine Books, January 2016 Reviewed from ARC How can I assess The Memory of Light in the context of the Printz Award? In some ways, it’s too real, too honest, and too close-to-home. It’s also surprisingly uninteresting and predictable. I struggled with these contradictory reactions throughout […]

Cover Reveal: What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine

It’s a cloudy February here in Illinois.  Yesterday the heavens opened up and let loose a downpour.  Today it is wet if not actively raining.  We are in the thick of winter, albeit an oddly warm one.  With all this in mind, I think we need some cheering up. Now a friend recently pointed out […]

Shadowshaper

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older Arthur A. Levine Books, June 2015 Reviewed from an ARC And now we are at the review I’ve been most excited about all year! The one that made me curse the linear nature of the calendar year, and the September publication date (editing note: I just found out Amazon listed this […]

The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, April 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Last week, I spent my time talking about unusual formats. This week, I’m not dealing with an unsual format — just straight up prose here, folks — but this title does have a unique feel. It’s like […]

Review of the Day: The Case for Loving by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage By Selina Alko Illustrated by Sean Qualls Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $18.99 ISBN: 978-0545478533 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. When the Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015 that same-sex couples could marry in all fifty states, I found myself, like many […]

Picture Books for … Teens?

It’s rare that there are true all-ages picture books. This year, we have two of note. Both are beautiful, thought-provoking, unusual, and skew way up. All the way to adolescence and beyond. I’ll eat my hat if either receives a silver from the RealCommittee. Hell, I’ll eat all y’all’s hats. BUT. These are gorgeous books […]

Drugged by Love?

Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC So, I think I made it pretty clear last year that I really like Alaya Dawn Johnson’s style. She’s smart and she writes books that appeal to me as a reader. But if you dismiss this as just another fangirl […]

Hidden Like Anne Frank

Hidden Like Anne Frank by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis, translated by Laura Watkins Published by Arthur A Levine, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy Hidden Like Anne Frank is a collection of 14 stories collected by Prins and Steenhuis, translated by Laura Watkins. The chapters each read like memoirs; they’re all presented in […]

Video Sunday: Not that anyone doubed LeVar’s godlike qualities

A couple thoughts on that video. First off, it is sung by author Deborah Underwood (whatta pretty pretty voice, eh?) and editor Arthur A. Levine (whatta pretty pretty voice, eh?) at what Vimeo calls an “agency retreat in Brandon, Vermont”. So I had to wonder what precisely an “agency retreat” really is.  Well, there’s a […]

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2014

You never know how these preview things are going to turn out. Sometimes there’s a bunch of lesser-known books that jump out, other times it’s stuff that’s already been building some buzz. Today is more latter than former. What follows are 10 books for the summer season that look promising. Picture Books Peanut Butter and […]

Review of the Day: The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

The Great Greene Heist By Varian Johnson Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-52552-7 Ages 10 and up On shelves May 27th What is the ultimate child fantasy? I’m not talking bubble gum sheets or wizards that tell you you’re “the chosen one”. Let’s think a little more realistically here. When […]

Review of the Day: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Rules of Summer By Shaun Tan Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $18.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-63912-5 Ages 4 and up On shelves April 29th When I was a young teen my favorite book was Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. Steeped in Bradbury’s nostalgia for his youth, I was in the throes of adolescence, probably on […]

Review: Superworm by Julia Donaldson

Superworm By Julia Donaldson Illustrated by Axel Scheffler Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic) ISBN: 9780545591768 $16.99 Grades PreK-2 In stores January 28, 2014 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library There’s a rhyme battle going on in children’s literature. It’s a battle between fans of non-rhyming Sendak and MC Seuss. You can like both, of […]

Death and Love: Sorrow’s Knot & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Today, I’m talking about two books that are in my personal top 10 of the year. And both revolve around death and love, two primal, powerful pieces of life. And they’re both fantastic. Other than that, they’re really different, and I suspect neither of them has much chance at a Printz nod, which is sort […]

The Summer Prince, a Printz Indeed (says I)

The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), March 2013 Reviewed from ARC and finished ebook I’ve already gone on record saying that this is my personal frontrunner this year. It’s the book, above all other books, that worked for me as a reader and that I can support as a critic. If […]

Pictures of the Week: New Book Cover Unveiled for Harry Potter 7

On July 31, 2013 (Harry Potter and author J. K . Rowling’s birthday), Scholastic unveiled a new look for ​Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Author/illustrator Kazu Kibuishi created new covers for each of the titles in the beloved series. The book covers were revamped in time for the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Rowling’s series opener.