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December 19, 2014

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A Debut Novel by Indie Rock Darling John Darnielle

A Debut Novel by Indie Rock Darling John Darnielle

As a (and often the only) member of the indie rock band The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle is responsible for some of the most literate music of the 2000s and early 2010s. This year he turned to the in-no-way-guaranteed-to-succeed extension of that literate nature: a novel. But succeed it does, and I’m not the only […]

Exotic Global Settings

Exotic Global Settings

The Caribbean, Tasmania, Afghanistan… Sense of place and culture dominate today’s books, two novels and one collection of poetry. Tiphanie Yanique is a native of St. Thomas who now divides her time between the Virgin Islands and Brooklyn. I enjoyed learning (from the author’s website) that both her mother and grandmother were librarians in the Virgin […]

The Ongoing Saga of The Southern Reach

The Ongoing Saga of The Southern Reach

Today we look at Authority, the second book in Jeff VanderMeer’s extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy.  Since I raved about Annihilation in February, it has only grown in my estimation, and Authority lives up to the high standard set by the first novel, while wisely strikes out in an utterly different direction. As I mentioned in my […]

Decoded

Decoded

Mai Jia has published three novels and a novella in his native China and has won several awards for them. But Decoded (2002) marks the first time his work has been published in English, and based on this one, we can only hope the rest of his work isn’t far behind. Some readers may be […]

Pick of the Day: Moonbird (AUDIO)

Moonbird audiobook

Phillip Hoose describes a year in the life of a rufa red knot in the audiobook Moonbird and does a superb job of narrating the text.

Pick of the Day: Fourmile

Book cover with Boy and dog

KEY, Watt. Fourmile. 228p. Farrar. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-35095-6; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-374-32441-4.
Gr 5-8–As punishment for throwing a brick into Dax’s truck windshield, 12-year-old Foster has to paint the fence that surrounds the Alabama farm where he lives with his mother. Dax, her boyfriend, is just plain mean and dangerous–even Joe, Foster’s dog, knows that the man is bad news. Foster is out painting when Gary, a traveler on his way to Texas, walks up the road carrying […]

SLJ Talks to Legendary Book Editor Frances Foster

Frances Foster accepting her Carle Honor. Photo by Johnny Wolf.

School Library Journal sat down with renowned children’s book editor Frances Foster to discuss her long, illustrious career working with children’s book stars like Roald Dahl and Peter Sís, her experiences coming across the manuscripts of a fourteen-year-old Polly Horvath, and how it felt editing the Newbery-award winner Holes.