November 27, 2015

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More Lists!

Later today Joy will be posting about the pretty amazing A Song for Ella Gray, David Almond’s third (third! Does the man not sleep?) book out this year. In the meantime, I wanted to say a few words about the awesome SLJ Best Books list. Sometimes I forget to highlight it, because you’re here, and […]

A Thousand Praises for A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights, E.K. Johnston Hyperion, October 2015 Reviewed from ARC I already told you this is a great year for fantasy, and I’m back to today to continue building the case. And this is probably the one that most deserves the Printz, because for all the brilliance of The Scorpion Rules, the originality of […]

Review of the Day: Emu by Claire Saxby

Emu By Claire Saxby Illustrated by Graham Byrne Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7479-3 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. Alas for poor emu. Forever relegated to be consider a second rate ostrich, it encompasses all of the awkwardness and none of the stereotypes. Does anyone ever talk about burying your head in the sand like an […]

All the Rage

A few thoughts. One: I planned to cover two books tonight, linked by the fact that they both feature girls who have been harmed by their worlds but who won’t go down without a fight, and who both, through perseverance and pain, succeed. But it diminished both texts and I especially didn’t want to risk […]

PW Launches List Season!

Probably the exclamation point was unnecessary, since (A) PW always kicks off the pack and (B) it’s November when the season always launches. BUT! It’s still exciting. And full of surprises! And books I haven’t read, which is always a concern. Why are there so many books? Why must we all have to pick and […]

Review of the Day: Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Gone Crazy in Alabama By Rita Williams-Garcia Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0062215871 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. I’m a conceited enough children’s librarian that I like it when a book wins me over. I don’t want them to make it easy for me. When I sit down to read something I […]

SLJ Editors Reveal Best of 2015 via Weeklong Social Media Celebration


This year the SLJ editors are leading up to the big reveal of the Best Books of 2015 with a Twitter roll-out of the Top 10 Lists, all culminating in a live broadcast on November 23 at 6pm ET.

Printzbery Part 2, This Time on Wheels

Yesterday we gave you a twofold twofer: two titles with potential for both Printz and Newbery. Today we’re back with another, Roller Girl, in what looks like it might be a weeklong series. Let’s get to it! Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson Dial Books, March 2015 Reviewed from ARC This one is technically a potential Printzecott […]

Review of the Day: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Hired Girl By Laura Amy Schlitz Candlewick Press $17.99 ISBN: 978-0763678180 Ages 12 and up Bildungsroman. Definition: “A novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.” A certain strain of English major quivers at the very term. Get enough Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man shoved down your gullet and […]

Review of the Day: Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin

Robo-Sauce By Adam Rubin Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri Dial (an imprint of Penguin Books) $18.99 ISBN: 978-0525428879 Ages 4-6 On shelves October 20th. When I whip out the old we’re-living-in-a-golden-age-of-picture-book-creation argument with colleagues and friends, they humor what I’m sure they consider to be my hyperbole. Suuuuuure we are, Betsy. Not prone to exaggeration or […]

Review of the Day: The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch By Chris Barton Illustrated by Don Tate Eerdmans Books for Young Readers $17.00 ISBN: 978-0-8028-5379-0 Ages 4-8 On shelves now “It’s the story of a guy who in ten years went from teenage field slave to U.S. Congressman.” Come again? That’s the pitch author Chris Barton pulled out […]

Review of the Day: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

The Nest By Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Jon Klassen Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-3232-0 On shelves October 6th Oh, how I love middle grade horror. It’s a very specific breed of book, you know. Most people on the street might think of the Goosebumps books or similar ilk when they […]

Review of the Day: Hypnotize a Tiger by Calef Brown

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything By Calef Brown Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-8050-9928-7 For ages 9-12 Why do I do this to myself? Let me tell you something about how I review. Board books? Pshaw. I can take one and write a nine-paragraph review parsing […]

Review of the Day: Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall

Mars Evacuees By Sophia McDougall Harper Collins $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-229399-2 Ages 9-12 I’ve a nasty habit of finishing every children’s book I start, no matter how dull or dire it might be. I am sort of alone in this habit, which you could rightly call unhealthy. After all, most librarians understand that their time on […]

Review of the Day: Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Boats for Papa By Jessixa Bagley Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1626720398 Ages 4-7 On shelves now So I’m a snob. A children’s literature snob. I accept this about myself. I do not embrace it, but I can at least acknowledge it and, at times, fight against it as much as […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: Hilo by Judd Winick

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth By Judd Winick Random House Children’s Books $13.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-38617-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 1st Relentless cheer. You can use it for good. You can use it for evil. You can use it in the name of humor too, but that’s a trickier game to play. I’m […]

Review of the Day: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer By Kelly Jones Illustrated by Katie Kath Alfred A. Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-75552-8 On shelves now The epistolary novel has a long and storied history. At least when it comes to books written for adults. So too does it exist in […]

Review of the Day: On the Shoulder of a Giant by Neil Christopher

Review of the Day: On the Shoulder of a Giant by Neil Christopher

On the Shoulder of a Giant: An Inuit Folktale By Neil Christopher Illustrated by Jim Nelson Inhabit Media $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-77227-002-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves now My daughter is afraid of giants. She’s three so this isn’t exactly out of the norm. However, it does cut out a portion of her potential reading material. Not […]

Review of the Day: Beastly Verse by Joohee Yoon

Review of the Day: Beastly Verse by Joohee Yoon

Beastly Verse By Joohee Yoon Enchanted Lion Books $18.95 ISBN: 978-1-59270-166-7 Ages 3 and up On shelves now Poetry. What’s the point? I say this as a woman who simultaneously gets poetry and doesn’t get it. I get that it’s important, of course. I only need to watch my three-year-old daughter come up with an […]