August 15, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas by Pénélope Bagieu | SLJ Review

BAGIEU, Pénélope. California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas. illus. by Pénélope Bagieu. 272p. bibliog. ebook available. First Second. Mar. 2017. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781626725461.

Gr 9 Up –Long before she was a singing icon, Ellen Cohen was a middle child in an average Baltimore family. Shortly after finishing high school, she went full-force into her quest to become a musical star, adopting the moniker Cass Elliot. Set primarily against the backdrop of the 1960s, this […]

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michal Basquiat – 2017 Caldecott Medal Winner

Winner of the 2017 Caldecott Award Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Written and Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe Published in 2016 by Little Brown ISBN 978-0-316-21388-2   Grades PreK – Grade 12 Book Review “Somewhere in Brooklyn, between hearts that thump, double Dutch, and hopscotch and salty mouths that slurp sweet ice, […]

Fascinating Past (and Present) Lives: Biography | Series Nonfiction

A rich and diverse lineup of biographies showcase fascinating subjects, from Alan Turning to Misty Copeland.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Their Lives Are an Open Book: Biography | Series Nonfiction

Covering everything from trailblazing pilots to exceptional artists to infamous bandits, these titles are sure to inspire students and get them thinking about some of their favorite figures of the past and present.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Roundup of Excellent Graphic Nonfiction | Focus On

Superlative examples of the versatile format used for biography, memoir, and informational books.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel by Betsy Harvey Kraft | SLJ Review

Kraft, Betsy Harvey. The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris. illus. by Steven Salerno. 42p. bibliog. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627790727. LC 2014044914.

Gr 1-3–The planners of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair were looking for a spectacular, extraordinary, and never-before-seen attraction that would draw in huge crowds. The idea they eventually accepted was George Ferris’s huge observation wheel—what we now call the Ferris wheel. An amazing and awe-inspiring crowd-pleaser, the wheel was 264 feet […]

Tell Me a (Life) Story: Biographies | Series Made Simple Fall 2014

How many ways can you tell the story of someone’s life? These titles prove that there are truly countless approaches, as they cover the lives of great artists, scientists, writers, and more.

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

Spotlight on Musicians and Fine Artists | Focus On

Here’s a collection of picture-book biographies that introduces musicians and fine artists to children. The authors and illustrators have created engaging, child-friendly profiles that will hopefully lead readers to explore and seek out other materials about these amazingly talented individuals.

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

Picture Book Biographies | Portals to the Past

Superb choices for sharing aloud or reading independently, picture book biographies make useful starting points for investigations of subjects that span the curriculum. This year’s selections includes artists, activists, and an aviatrix.

Review: Mad Girl’s Love Song

Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson. Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster. 2013. Personal copy. One of my “vacation reads” — books for the grown ups, reviewed around holidays, when you may want to take time off from reading young adult books. It’s About: Sylvia Plath before […]

Review: Pain, Parties, Work

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder. HarperCollins. 2013. Personal Copy. Vacation reads — when I review not-teen books that people may be interested in reading! It’s About: In June, 1953, Sylvia Plath was a guest editor for the fashion magazine, Mademoiselle.  The guest editor program was prestigious. The […]

Pick of the Day: On a Beam of Light

A picture book that focuses on Albert Einstein’s intellect hrough the concepts that puzzled and excited him. Check out SLJ’s starred review.

With ‘42’ in Theaters, Here’s a Free Movie Starring Jackie Robinson

Alfred Green’s 1950 film, made at the height of Robinson’s career, is in the public domain…

Q: How to Connect Critical Thinking, Research, and Information Literacy? A: Fandom

The task for educators is not to drain this sense of open-ended exploration from student-fans but rather to make sure that it is accompanied by the Jiminy Cricket-like voice of critical literacy…

Review of the Day – Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People by Susan Goldman Rubin

Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People By Susan Goldman Rubin Abrams Books for Young Readers $21.95 ISBN: 978-0-8109-8411-0 Ages 10 and up On shelves now National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th. How many folks could tell you that off the top of their heads? Meanwhile, few awards are specifically […]

SLJ Talks to Author Andrea Cheng: Her latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter | Under Cover

Author Andrea Cheng’s latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter, a 19th-century slave who became an accomplished artist.

Review: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal. Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. 2012. Review copy from publisher. Finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. It’s About: A biography of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, Inc. The Good: Reading books like Bomb, Titanic or We’ve Got a Job […]

Review of the Day: The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős By Deborah Heiligman Illustrated by LeUyen Pham Roaring Brook (an imprint of Macmillan) ISBN: 978-1-59643-307-6 Ages 6 and up On shelves June 25th Make a beeline for your local library’s children’s biography section and learn firsthand the shocking truth about picture book bios of […]

Review: Listening for Madeleine

Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices by Leonard S. Marcus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. Review copy from publisher. It’s About: Madeleine L’Engle, beloved author of A Wrinkle In Time (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1962). The Good: How to write a biography of Madeleine L’Engle, especially when so many people […]

Pick of the Day: Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

GOLIO, Gary. Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey. illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. 48p. bibliog. discography. further reading. websites. Clarion. 2012. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-23994-1.
Gr 4-6–
A well-conceived marriage of art and text breathes life and passion into this picture biography. Swirling strokes of vibrant colors give the book an almost cinematic quality, animating Coltrane’s passionate journey from a joyous, nurturing early childhood with a loving extended family to the despair of losing too many loved ones in a short time. The […]