August 20, 2017

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Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafszai | SLJ Review

YOUSAFZAI, Malala. Malala’s Magic Pencil. illus. by Kerascoët. 48p. photos. Little, Brown. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316319577. POP

Gr 3 Up –Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigner for the rights of all children to attend school, has written her first picture book. It is an autobiographical account of her life designed for younger readers. She gently introduces her childhood in Pakistan and recounts a favorite TV show where a young boy has a magic pencil that he uses […]

Reading on the Go! Two Transportation Titles | SLJ Spotlight

Two picture books about public transit for kids on the move.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Sandwiches! by Alison Deering | SLJ Review

DEERING, Alison. Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food. illus. by Bob Lentz. 144p. Capstone. Aug. 2017. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781623708160.

Gr 4 Up –A tasty offering with more than 50 recipes covering five skill levels—there’s something here for everyone. The book spices up basic staples like PB&J and grilled cheese by adding historical facts in special “Between the Bread” sections, as well as challenges to experiment called “We Dare You” (mayonnaise plus peanut butter […]

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton | SLJ Review

BARTON, Chris. Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion. illus. by Victo Ngai. 36p. chron. further reading. photos. Millbrook. Sept. 2017. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781512410143.

Gr 2-5 –During World War I, the British were in danger of starving because so many German U-boats were sinking American and British supply ships. Eventually, Norman Wilkinson, a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lieutenant-commander, had the idea to paint boats in such a manner as to confuse the German submarine captains, and the concept […]

Katherine Roy on a Pachyderm’s Baby Steps | Up Close

An expansive illustrated interview about the genesis and development of nonfiction book How to Be an Elephant.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Strong as Sandow by Don Tate | SLJ Review

TATE, Don. Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth. illus. by Don Tate. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. Charlesbridge. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781580896283.

Gr 1-4 –Sparked by his own passion for bodybuilding and physical fitness, Tate recounts the story of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925) in this inspirational picture book. The biography begins during Sandow’s childhood in Prussia, where he used sports and exercise to develop from a frail, skinny child into a robust, physically active young man and […]

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre | SLJ Review

SAYRE, April Pulley. Full of Fall. photos by April Pulley Sayre. 40p. bibliog. S. & S./Beach Lane. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481479844.

PreS-Gr 2 –The pages in this beautiful tribute to autumn virtually throb with color at every turn. A seasonal companion to Raindrops Roll and Best in Snow, this title highlights the glorious show that is performed each year by trees around the world. Simple, elegant poetry leads readers through the progression of changing leaves as the […]

Standout STEM Reads | SLJ Spotlight

Most children’s and YA books on STEM subjects can be a tad didactic; however, these recent offerings are anything but dull.

Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy | SLJ Review

OTHEGUY, Emma. Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad. illus. by Beatriz Vidal. 32p. bibliog. Lee & Low. May 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780892393756. BL

Gr 2-5 –The life of poet, writer, and freedom fighter José Martí (1853–95) comes alive in this lyrical, bilingual retelling of his everlasting impact on the people of his native Cuba. Growing up, Martí was an admirer of nature and fell in love with the beauty of the Cuban countryside. As […]

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams | SLJ Review

WILLIAMS, Lily. If Sharks Disappeared. illus. by Lily Williams. 40p. bibliog. glossary. websites. Roaring Brook. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626724136.

K-Gr 2 –Young audiences learn conservation vocabulary and concepts through an illustrated examination of what might happen if sharks were to become extinct. A brown-skinned girl in a boat acts as a guide for this predictive exercise. She first introduces sharks as part of a healthy ocean, then describes the ways in which sharks influence our ecosystem. In […]

Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender by S.D. Nelson | SLJ Review

NELSON, S.D. Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender. 64p. bibliog. illus. notes. photos. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781419723131.

Gr 4-6 –Chief Red Cloud (1822–1909) is known as an Oglala Lakota leader who acquiesced to the demands of United States and entered into a treaty despite opposition from other Lakota leaders. The treaty forever changed the lifestyle of the Lakota and forced them to relinquish their freedom, homelands, and indigenous ways of being to live […]

5 Nonfiction Titles (and a Graphic Novel!) for Those Who Love the Sea

Just in time for summer are a number of well-written titles for beachgoers and budding marine biologists alike

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & June Jo Lee | SLJ Review

MARTIN, Jacqueline Briggs & June Jo Lee. Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. illus. by Man One. 32p. bibliog. further reading. photos. websites. Readers to Eaters. May 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780983661597.

Gr 1-5 –Spicy, sweet, colorful, tangy—all the words that authors Martin and Lee use to describe Roy Choi’s Korean Mexican cuisine apply just as accurately to the book they’ve created along with L.A. street artist Man One. Choi’s parents came to the United States from […]

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith | SLJ Review

SMITH, Hope Anita. My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads. illus. by Hope Anita Smith. 32p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805091892.

PreS-Gr 3 –Dedicated to “every man ‘fathering’ a child,” this volume spotlights the bond between dads and their kids. Written in a child’s voice, the poems depict dads snoring, making breakfast, giving a haircut or guitar lesson, wrestling, playing catch, teaching a child to ride a bike, and reading. “Love Letter” is about […]

10 Titles to Promote Clean Water Awareness

Books for little ones highlight how water functions as part of an ecosystem, while selections for older readers emphasize the pressing need to protect the world’s clean water supply.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent by Anne Rockwell | SLJ Audio Review

ROCKWELL, Anne. A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent. 1 CD. 14 min. Dreamscape. Jan. 2017. $14.99. ISBN 9781520066172.

Gr 2-5 – The true story of James Lafayette, a Revolutionary double agent, will captivate and anger young listeners as they learn about the incredible dangers that James, an American enslaved person, took while trying to secure America’s freedom from the British and earning his own from his masters. At great danger to […]

SLJ’s April 2017 Popular Picks

The latest thriller from Cristin Terrill, a feminist primer for little ones, and a heartfelt memoir by a BuzzFeed editor.

Eco-conscious Poetry Books for Earth Day

Just in time for April, here are two titles that are perfect for both National Poetry Month and Earth Day–related lessons.

How Are Children’s Publishers Talking About President Trump? | Opinion

Sorting through the euphemisms, misconstructions, and omissions popping up in Trump biographies for kids and teens.

3 “STEM”-ulating Biographies

These recent titles tackle complex STEM topics suitable for any classroom.