July 23, 2016

Subscribe to SLJ

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 […]

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 […]

The Tightrope Walkers

  The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond Candlewick, March 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, I am conflicted about this one. This is gorgeous, gorgeous writing — even the first line pulls you in and lets you know that you’re in for something unusual here (“I was born in a hovel on the banks of the […]

Four NYC Publishers, One Epic Season: Rocco Staino’s Peek at Upcoming Fall Titles

Rocco

SLJ contributing editor Rocco Staino shares highlights from this past spring’s NYC publisher previews and offers a peek into some of the books coming out this fall season.

“Honor Girl” Graphic Novelist Maggie Thrash on Identity and Girls’ Spaces

Photo by Nico Carver

SLJ caught up with debut author Maggie Thrash, whose graphic memoir Honor Girl focuses on an experience she had at summer camp when she was 15. Thrash shared how she went from comics newbie to full-fledged author, described the challenges of writing a memoir, and emphasized the importance of all-girl’s spaces.

Finding a Creative Frequency: Tuning in to Pat Schmatz’s “Lizard Radio”

Pat_Schmatz_feat

Pat Schmatz’s Lizard Radio comes at a key social moment, with trans identities and gender fluidity gaining increasing mainstream recognition. The YA author spoke with SLJ on the nuances of that well-wrought term dystopia and letting characters speak for themselves, including the work’s 15-year-old protagonist, ‘bender’ Kivali.

Review: ‘Baba Yaga’s Assistant’

A little realism. A little creepiness. Fairy tale stepmothers and stepsisters. This book has a little bit of everything to attract all type of readers and will leave all of them more than satisfied. Baba Yaga’s Assistant By Marika McCoola, art by Emily Carroll Candlewick Press Grades 6 and up Masha was mostly raised by […]

Book Expo America 2015 (Part II)

On Thursday, May 28th, I was lucky enough to be released from my regular duties as a middle school librarian so I could hop over to the City and spend a day at Book Expo America. I walked up and down the Convention Floor for five hours without a break. I only felt it when […]

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon, Gregory Maguire Candlewick Press, September 2014 Reviewed from final copy What an ingenious little (okay, big) book this is. Maguire is at his best when he’s being sly and subverting tropes and expectations; he did it to genius effect in Wicked, which remains one of my favorite novels, and while his overall […]