September 25, 2017

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SLJ Fiction Reviews

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Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner Crown Books for Young Readers, March 2017 Reviewed from an ARC And now it’s somehow time to speculate about Printz? How can that be?? Ready or not, though, here we are, and it’s time to read, review, debate, and decide! (I am sure many of you are far more ready […]

At the Edge of the Universe

At the Edge of the Universe, Shaun David Hutchinson Simon Pulse, February 2017 Reviewed from ARC Two stars 2017 is zipping along at a brisk pace and it’s hard to believe that it’s already time to talk Printz. This time last year, I was reviewing Shaun David Hutchinson’s We Are the Ants. Hutchinson’s latest, At […]

A List of Cages

Before I dive into the first review of the year, a few housekeeping notes. We are, as we have been doing, plan to review in roughly chronological order. So for the next month, we’ll focus on Q1 books, those published between January and March 2017. We’re not going to be super strict about this — […]

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Written by Rita Williams-Garcia Published by Amistad, 2017 ISBN 978-0-06-221691-8   Grades 3 and up   Book Review   “When, Cool Papa, when?” For young Clayton Byrd, all that matters is when he’ll get finally the chance to play a twelve-bar solo on his blues harp (harmonica) with his grandfather’s blues […]

Felix Yz

Felix Yz Written by Lisa Butler Published by Viking Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-425-28850-4 Grades 5-8 Book Review Being thirteen can be hard even on the good days. Protagonist Felix Yz faces bullies, strives to please his teachers, and tries to get to know his crush Hector a little better. But he has even bigger problems, […]

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | SLJ Review

LOCKHART, E. Genuine Fraud. 272p. Delacorte. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780385744775.

Gr 9 Up –Jule West Williams is at a fancy resort in Mexico. Someone is looking for her, but she can do a pretty stellar job of taking care of herself, paying a bartender to smuggle her out in his car, then fighting back when he tries to extort more money. That’s where Lockhart’s latest novel begins. Jule was recently in London. Her best friend, Imogen Sokoloff, […]

Bronze and Sunflower

Guest blogger Fang Jia jointly authored this week’s entry with Mary Ann. In China, Fang teaches Chinese language and literature. Currently, she studies Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College. Bronze and Sunflower Written by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang, illustrated by Meilo So Published by Candlewick Press, 2017 Originally published in Mandarin, 2005 ISBN: […]

Middle Grade: An Immigrant’s Story, Lucha Libre, and More | May 2017 Xpress Reviews

A young Congolese refugee faces her first year in America; Xavier Garza throws down another installment in the “Lucha Libre Adventures”; and more.

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

Wolf in the Snow

Wolf in the Snow Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell Published in 2017 by Feiwel and Friends ISBN 978-1-250-07636-6 Grades preK-3   Book Review Get ready to challenge all of your assumptions about stories of girls in red-hooded jackets and wolves. Counter to traditional fairy tales that caution (and condition) us to be fearful of […]

Ashes

Ashes (The Seeds of America Trilogy) Written by Laurie Halse Anderson ISBN: 978-1-4169-6146-8 Grades 7 and Up Book Review The Seeds of America trilogy that began in New York City in 1776 with the National Book Award finalist Chains, and continued at Valley Forge in 1777 with Forge, concludes at the Battle of Yorktown in […]

The Reader

The Reader by Traci Chee Putnam, August 2016 Reviewed from an ARC This is a book I’ve been saving the whole season, saving until the end because I knew I’d love it and I wanted to savor it. I’m not alone in loving it — it has four stars, it’s on the SLJ Mothership’s year […]

Scythe

Sometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to […]

Last Licks

There are so many great books, and every year we’re reading until the 11th hour to get in as many as possible. This year, between last minute reads and beloved books that didn’t seem like true contenders but deserve a shout-out, we find ourselves down to the final days before the YMAs with quite a […]

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled Written and Illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins Published in 2016 by Greenwillow Books ISBN 978-0-06-237345-8 Grades K-6 Book Review Take a romp through the school disciplines with Frank and his exuberant dog, Lucky. In this innovative picture book, Newbery award winning author Lynne Rae Perkins sends a strong message: opportunities […]

Thrillers

People, it’s close to midnight and while something may not be lurking in the darkness of my hallway, it is getting late. I want to scream, but my terror of waking the small humans in the apartment takes the sound from me. Yeah…I wanted to write up a hilarious but dark introduction that played with […]

Readers make the case for their faves

If you’re a regular reader, you know that we’re constantly asking for your opinions, picks, and predictions. You’re our weather vein, out in the world bringing us vital information about books that have flown under our radar (or ones that we simply haven’t had the chance to read). And as a mock committee, we’re not too […]

Historical(ish)

So much fun! History is full of so many unexplored paths! What if you were a child of immigrants who bribed her way into a posh school? What if you were a doomed teenage king? What if you were a doomed teenage queen? What if you survived the San Francisco earthquake? What if you took […]

Tales from Mother Russia

We’re back from a few days of rest, travel, and so much family, with yet another double post — always, as the year draws to a close, the double posts, because the good books just keep piling up. Today’s books in many ways have nothing in common — one historical fiction, absolutely realistic despite some […]

Lucy and Linh

Lucy and Linh, Alice Pung Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, September 2016 4 stars; Reviewed from an ARC Lucy and Linh, in addition to being a quintessential coming-of-age story, is a novel about power, class, and racial microaggressions. It’s about the hard work of adjusting our sense of self when we land in […]

A romantic rendezvous

Actually, this is a romantic roundup, but rendezvous sounded catchier. In the context of Printz reviewing, romance has actually fared well in recent years with both the RealCommittee and the Pyrite Committee (aka: all of us). I’ll Give You the Sun was the Real and Pyrite winner in 2015, and in 2014 Eleanor & Park was a Real and Pyrite honor. This […]