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November 24, 2014

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Behind the Scenes: The 2014 SLJ Best Books List

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An inside look at how the SLJ book review editors chose the 70 Best Books of 2014. View a slideshow of our favorite titles and download a printable version of the list.

Review of the Day: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

Review of the Day: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands By Katherine Roy David Macaulay Studio – Roaring Brook (Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 9781596438743 Ages 7-12 On shelves now. When you’re a librarian buying for your system, you come to understand that certain nonfiction topics are perennial favorites. You accept that no matter how many [...]

SLJ’s Best Books Cover Gallery

2009 | Cover by Jerry Pinkney

A look back at SLJ’s December covers. In a tradition since 1998, the magazine has commissioned a top illustrator for the assignment, all on the theme of “stars.”

Review of the Day: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Review of the Day: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters By Oliver Jeffers Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $26.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16791-1 Ages 6 and up On shelves now Beware ever becoming a brand, my sweet, for that way lies nothing but unhappiness and ruin. Or not. I think the only real and true problem with [...]

Review of the Day: Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, el Agua Sube by Pat Mora

Review of the Day: Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, el Agua Sube by Pat Mora

Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, el Agua Sube By Pat Mora Illustrated by Meilo So Children’s Book Press (an imprint of Lee & Low Books) $17.95 ISBN: 978-0892393251 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. Sometimes I wonder what effect the televised ephemera I took in as a child has had on my memories and [...]

Review of the Day: Caminar by Skila Brown

Review of the Day: Caminar by Skila Brown

Caminar By Skila Brown Candlewick Press $15.99 ISBN: 978-0763665166 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Survivor’s guilt. Not the most common theme in children’s books these days. Not unheard of certainly, but it definitely doesn’t crop up as often as, say, stories about cupcakes or plucky orphans that have to defeat evil wizards. Serious works of [...]

Review of the Day: Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam

Review of the Day: Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam

Fox’s Garden By Princesse Camcam Enchanted Lion Books ISBN: 978-1-59270-167-4 $14.95 Ages 3-6 On shelves now. Have you ever read a picture book multiple times, enjoying it with each and every read, and then find later that it was wordless . . . and you didn’t even notice? Now THAT is the mark of an [...]

Review of the Day: At Home in Her Tomb by Christine Liu-Perkins

Review of the Day: At Home in Her Tomb by Christine Liu-Perkins

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Trasures of Mawangdui By Christine Liu-Perkins Charlesbridge $19.95 978-1-58089-370-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now When I say the word “mummy” what springs into your mind? Movies starring Brendan Fraser? Egypt and scarabs and rolls of crumbling papyrus? Absolutely. But what if I told you [...]

And Now We Are 60: SLJ, the profession, and culture from 1954 to today

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To mark School Library Journal’s 60th year as an independent magazine, a look back at some highlights—including some favorite covers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Review of the Day: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Review of the Day: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Dory Fantasmagory By Abby Hanlon Dial (an imprint of Penguin) $14.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-4088-4 Ages 6-8 On shelves October 9th Which of the following types of children’s books are, in your opinion, the most difficult to write: Board books, picture books, easy books (for emerging readers), early chapter books, or middle grade fiction (older chapter books)? [...]

Review of the Day: Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood

Review of the Day: Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood

Bad Bye, Good Bye By Deborah Underwood Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-547-92852-4 Ages 3-7 On shelves now As a mother who recently spent the better part of twenty hours in a car with a three-year-old and a three-month-old baby, I feel a special kinship with parents who have also engaged in the ultimate endurance [...]

Review of the Day: El Deafo by Cece Bell

Review of the Day: El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo By Cece Bell Amulet (an imprint of Abrams) $21.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1020-9 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 2nd We appear to exist in a golden age of children’s graphic novel memoirs. Which is to say, there are three of them out this year (El Deafo, Sisters, and The Dumbest Idea Ever). How to account [...]

Review of Day: The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg

Review of Day: The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee By Barry Jonsberg Chronicle Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-3351-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 9th It often takes a while to figure out when you’re falling in love with a book. A book is a risk. You’re judging it from page one onward, informed by your own personal prejudices and [...]

Review of the Day – Issun Bôshi: The One-Inch Boy by Icinori

Review of the Day – Issun Bôshi: The One-Inch Boy by Icinori

Issun Bôshi: The One-Inch Boy By Icinori Little Gestalten ISBN: 978-3-89955-718-3 $19.95 Ages 4-8 On shelves now In the past, determining a bias in the publication of folk and fairytales was a fairly straightforward business. Too many European maids of hair as fair as the silk of corn on your shelves? Bias. But now we’re [...]

Review of the Day: The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

Review of the Day: The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Madman of Piney Woods By Christopher Paul Curtis Scholastic ISBN: 978-0-545-63376-5 $16.99 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 30th No author hits it out of the park every time. No matter how talented or clever a writer might be, if their heart isn’t in a project it shows. In the case of Christopher Paul Curtis, [...]

Review of the Day: Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider

Review of the Day: Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider

Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover By Josh Schneider Clarion (an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-544-14228-2 Ages 3-7 On shelves now Sometimes I’ll just sit back and think about how the advent of the internet has affected literary culture. I don’t mean book promotion or reviews or any of that. I’m talking about [...]

Review of the Day: Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Review of the Day: Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegretation By Duncan Tonatiuh Harry N. Abrams $18.95 ISBN: 978-1419710544 Ages 7-12 On shelves now If I blame my childhood education for anything I suppose it would be for instilling in me the belief that the history worth learning consisted of a set of [...]

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Absolutely Almost By Lisa Graff Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16405-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. In the stage musical of Matilda, lyricist Tim Minchin begins the show with the following lines about the state of children today: “Specialness is de rigueur. / Above average is average. Go fig-ueur! / Is it some [...]

A Morning with John Searles

A Morning with John Searles

Last Sunday in Las Vegas, on a ridiculously hot morning which eventually made it up to 108° F, I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Alex Award Program. Ordinarily–as say, last year–at least 3 or 4 of the winning authors manage to make it to the program, but this year, after a brief introduction [...]

Review of the Day: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

Review of the Day: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

The Mermaid and the Shoe By K.G. Campbell Kids Can Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1554537716 Ages 3-7 On shelves now Why are magical creatures so hard to write? I’m a children’s librarian. That means that a goodly portion of my day can consist of small starry-eyed children asking for an array of otherworldly cuties. “Do you [...]