November 30, 2016

Subscribe to SLJ

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 […]

Golden Boys

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett Candlewick, April 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, friends, I may not be the person to write this review — not least because I haven’t technically finished reading this quite short book. I mean, I’ve read most of it, and what I’ve missed, I have skimmed through as I was […]

Review of the Day: Snow White by Matt Phelan

Snow White: A Graphic Novel By Matt Phelan Candlewick Press $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7233-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now I’d have said it couldn’t be done. The Snow White fairytale has been told and retold and overdone to death until there’s not much left to do but forget about it entirely. Not that every graphic novel […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina Candlewick, March 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Can I rave for a minute? What a title! And what a cover, too. Medina manages to blend a lot of elements beautifully and smoothly. With four stars and a place on the NBA longlist, this read has a lot going for […]

Review of the Day: Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Cloud and Wallfish By Anne Nesbet Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8803-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Historical fiction is boring. Right? That’s the common wisdom on the matter, certainly. Take two characters (interesting), give them a problem (interesting), and set them in the past (BOOOOOORING!). And to be fair, there are a LOT of dull-as-dishwater […]

Review of the Day: Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Cloud and Wallfish By Anne Nesbet Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8803-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Historical fiction is boring. Right? That’s the common wisdom on the matter, certainly. Take two characters (interesting), give them a problem (interesting), and set them in the past (BOOOOOORING!). And to be fair, there are a LOT of dull-as-dishwater […]

Review of the Day: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale By Kate DiCamillo Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8117-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves now My relationship to Kate DiCamillo’s books is one built entirely on meaning. Which is to say, the less emotional and meaningful they are, the better I like ‘em. Spaghetti loving horses and girls that live in tree houses? Right up […]

Sizzling Seventies: Meg Medina on “Burn Baby Burn”

EH160301_Megmedina

Meg Medina tackles burgeoning feminism, first love, disco music, and family violence in her stellar Burn Baby Burn. SLJ chats with the award-winning author.

Review of the Day: Jazz Day by Roxane Orgill

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph By Roxane Orgill Illustrated by Francis Vallejo Candlewick Press $18.99 ISBN: 9780763669546 Ages 9-12 On shelves March 8th Some books for kids have a hard road ahead of them. Here’s a secret. If you want a book to sell just oodles and oodles of copies to the […]

So many books they never end oh god too many books (Hanging Chad part 1)

This year is just full of books, and so many of them are worth talking about. Sadly, we’re not going to get to everything we hoped to read before Monday’s award announcements, despite valiant efforts. I’m mourning Leavitt’s Calvin, loaded on my Nook but sadly unread; Seneca Village; Lizard Radio, with a premise so unusual […]

Honor Girl

Honor Girl, Maggie Thrash Candlewick Press, September 2015 Reviewed from final copy I was distracted while reading Honor Girl. The first two chapters orient the reader in the early days of the new millennium; there’s a list of celebrity crushes including Leonardo DiCaprio, Usher, and Justin Timberlake, our narrator is reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of […]

Graphic Novels, redux

OK, I know I’ve already said it’s been quite a year for historical fiction (and, you know, I stand by that), but we’ve had some amazing graphic novels to read this year, too. I don’t know if we’ll replicate This One Summer’s total dominance at the YMAs (OK, maybe I’m slightly overstating there!), but I […]

Review of the Day: A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen

A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young By Michael Rosen Illustrated by Chris Riddell Candlewick Press $19.99 ISBN: 978076368116 Ages 0-4 On shelves now. Did you know that, generally speaking, Europeans have absolutely no interest in the works of Dr. Seuss? It’s true. For years his works have been untranslatable (though great inroads […]

Symphony for the City of the Dead

Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson Candlewick Press, September 2015 Reviewed from ARC One of my favorite books last year was Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Despite having a ton of critical praise for its tight, thrilling narrative and thoughtful approach to complex history, it […]

It’s Historical! (Fiction, that is)

Today, two historical fiction books I’d love to talk to about, both set during World War II (making this an apt post to publish on the first night of Hannukah). One is a lovely novel in verse that I don’t think has gotten much attention — zero stars, no buzz — but I was deeply […]

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 […]

Printzbery Part 1

Printzbery: could be one, could be the other, might even end up both.* By popular demand: today we’re talking about all those maybe kidlit, maybe YA books from the first three quarters of the year. On the table for the potential Printzbery*: Roller Girl; Echo; Goodbye, Stranger; The Hired Girl, Cuckoo Song, and Orbiting Jupiter. […]

X: A Novel

X: A Novel, Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon Candlewick Press, January 2015 Reviewed from final copy X: A Novel made the NBA longlist and is one of five YA novels to receive six stars this year. (For reference, the other titles are: Challenger Deep, The Tightrope Walkers, Goodbye Stranger, and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. All […]