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April 16, 2014

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Review of the Day: Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson

Boys of Blur By N.D. Wilson Random House Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-449-81673-8 Ages 9-12 On shelves April 8th. I like a kid’s book with ambition. It’s all well and good to write one about magic candy shops or goofy uncles or simpering unicorns or what have you. The world is big and [...]

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 of the Day: Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

Review of the Day: Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

Grandfather Gandhi Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus Illustrated by Evan Turk Atheneum (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4424-2365-X Ages 4-8 On shelves now. Are you familiar with the concept of booktalking? It’s a technique librarians developed to get people interested in books they might otherwise not pick up. The whole concept is [...]

Review of the Day: Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Curiosity By Gary Blackwood Dial (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-3924-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves April 10th Blackwood’s back, baby! And not a minute too soon. Back in 1998, the author released The Shakespeare Stealer which would soon thereafter become his best-known work. A clever blending of historical fiction and adventure, [...]

Review of the Day: The Fox and the Crow by Manasi Subramaniam

Review of the Day: The Fox and the Crow by Manasi Subramaniam

The Fox and the Crow By Manasi Subramaniam Illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox Karadi Tales $17.95 ISBN: 978-81-8190-303-7 Ages 4 and up On shelves now In the classic Aesop fable of The Fox and the Crow where do your loyalties lie? You remember the tale, don’t you? Long story short (or, rather, short story shorter) [...]

Review of the Day – Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko

Review of the Day – Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems Selected by Paul B. Janeczko Illustrated by Melissa Sweet Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-4842-8 Ages 4-8 On shelves now Is reviewing works of poetry essentially a ridiculous thing to attempt? I’m not trying to be facetious or anything, I honestly want to know. It took me a [...]

Review of the Day: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Review of the Day: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The Night Gardener By Jonathan Auxier Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1144-2 Ages 10 and up On shelves May 20th For whatever reason, 2014 is a dark year in children’s middle grade fiction. I speak from experience. Fantasy in particular has been steeped in a kind of thoughtful [...]

Review of the Day: Sparky! by Jenny Offill

Review of the Day: Sparky! by Jenny Offill

Sparky! By Jenny Offill Illustrated by Chris Appelhans Schwartz & Wade (an imprint of Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-375-87023-1 Ages 4-8 On shelves March 11th The sloth is not a noble animal. Few people spend time contemplating their heroic qualities and distinguished countenances. Had I an Oxford English Dictionary on hand I’d be mighty interested [...]

Review of the Day: The Griffin and the Dinosaur by Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor

Review of the Day: The Griffin and the Dinosaur by Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor

The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science By Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor Illustrated by Chris Muller National Geographic $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-4263-1108-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves April 8th. I remember back in 2007 when the American Museum of Natural History in NYC premiered a show called [...]

Review of the Day: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Review of the Day: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Nightingale’s Nest By Nikki Loftin Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISNB: 978-1-59514-546-8 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. Magical realism in children’s novels is a rarity. It’s not unheard of, but when children’s authors want fantasy, they write fantasy. When they want reality, they write reality. A potentially uncomfortable mix of the two is harder [...]

Review of the Day: Anna Carries Water by Olive Senior

Review of the Day: Anna Carries Water by Olive Senior

Anna Carries Water By Olive Senior Illustrated by Laura James Tradewind Books $18.95 ISBN: 978-1-896580-60-9 Ages 3-7 On shelves now. I was recently engaged in a high-energy search at my library to locate as swiftly and surely as possible a listing of any and all children’s books set in the Caribbean. We were eventually able [...]

Review of the Day: Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

Review of the Day: Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

Three Bears in a Boat By David Soman Dial (a division of Penguin Young Readers Group) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-3993-2 Ages 3-7 On shelves May 20th I always suspected there was more to David Soman than met the eye. That’s the problem with success. Folks just dismiss you out of hand. If the man’s name is [...]

Outstanding Books for the College Bound

Outstanding Books for the College Bound

Every five years, YALSA publishes new Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Readers lists. The 2014 lists were announced last week. The selection committee is asked to determine five broad categories, and this year they stuck with the traditional ones (which work very well): Arts and Humanities, History and Cultures, Literature and Language [...]

Review of the Day: Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

Review of the Day: Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons By Jon J. Muth Scholastic $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-16668-3 Ages 4-8 On shelves February 25th I have a colleague who is mighty careful when regarding haiku. She’s Japanese-American herself, and one thing she simply cannot stand is when someone takes a set of words, slaps them into five/seven/five syllable lines, [...]

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman By Aaron Starmer Farrar Straus & Giroux (an imprint of Macmillan) $15.99 ISBN: 978-0-374-36309-3 Ages 11 and up On shelves March 18th When a book has worked its way into your cranium and is making a home for itself within the darker recesses of your very soul, the natural inclination is to talk [...]

Maybe Hubris Isn’t Such a Bad Thing After All

Maybe Hubris Isn’t Such a Bad Thing After All

The 2014 Alex Awards have been announced – and they are an excellent group. We managed to predict one! Lexicon by Max Barry. That’s down from two in 2013 which I joked was a result of my hubristic claim to scientific accuracy. Maybe hubris isn’t such a bad thing after all. All joking aside, here’s [...]

Review of the Day – Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann

Review of the Day – Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse By Torben Kuhlmann Translation by Suzanne Fitzgerald Levesque NorthSouth $19.95 ISBN: 978-0735841673 Ages 4-8 On shelves May 1st The mouse, as hero, is an easy children’s book hero. With its diet so nearly identical to that of humans, its cute and cuddly face (sorry rats), and the sense [...]

Fangirl — Finally!

Why isn’t Fangirl getting more Printz buzz? It’s earned five stars and has appeared on a couple best of 2013 lists. Is the subject too niche? Are readers putting all their support behind Eleanor & Park? Whitney Winn of Youth Services Corner did a useful roundup of Mock Printz lists. While E&P appeared on all nineteen [...]

An Exceedingly Humble Discussion About the Alex Awards

An Exceedingly Humble Discussion About the Alex Awards

MARK: Last year at this time, I tempted the fates by titling our pre-Alex Awards post “Extremely Scientific Predictions of the Alex Awards”, and the fates promptly put me in my place, as Angela and I each managed to predict only a single title correctly.  I’ve also already gone on record as stating that “this [...]

Sex & Violence

Sex & Violence, Carrie Mesrobian Carolrhoda LAB, October 2013 Reviewed from ARC Time for a true confession: of the five 2014 Morris Award nominated titles, I’ve read only one. All of the books had been on my to-read list before becoming Morris finalists, but we all know what happens with to-read lists and then you’ve [...]