October 8, 2015

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Book Review: Breakaway by Kat Spears

Publisher’s description: When Jason Marshall’s younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates–Mario, Jordie, and Chick–to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who’s not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a […]

Book Review: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

  Imagine you could go back in time and relive 5 days of your life. Would you make the same choices, knowing what you know now? Would you hope you were altering the future? Would you want to maybe stay in the past? These are the questions the characters in Proof of Forever by Lexa […]

Friendship: Real, Imagined, and Spare │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go


If keeping friends is difficult, making them must seem insurmountable for some kids. The following intermediate chapter books selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild offer all kinds of situations that will make readers laugh, cry, and feel as if they’ve found new friends.

Book Review: Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

In Will Walton’s Anything Could Happen, 15-year-old Tretch realizes he is in love with Matt, his straight best friend, while sitting together in church and hearing the message “hold fast to that which is good.” Tretch isn’t out yet, even though he suspects that Matt, who has two gay dads (and is often assumed to […]

Roundup: Books That Pass the Bechdel Test

Roundup: Books That Pass the Bechdel Test

For years in my teens and early twenties, I read chick-lit like it was going out of style. I didn’t mind the label or the candy colored covers or the many many headless women — I was young, and not in love, and these books filled a hunger. I now scorn the love triangle in […]

Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine, Brenna Yovanoff Razorbill, January 2013 Reviewed from final copy Rereading Paper Valentine, I saw a lot of Printz-worthy elements. In fact, there’s a serious contender here. Except for one small problem: it’s two stories jammed into one book, and only one of those two is contender material. Let’s talk about the good stuff […]

Review: Doll Bones

Doll Bones by Holly Black. McElderry Books. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Zach, Poppy, and Alice  get together nearly everyday to play an elaborate game with dolls, action figures, and stories that grow and twist and turn, all related to the “Great Queen” doll that Poppy’s mother keeps locked in a cabinet. […]

Pick of the Day: The Great Unexpected (Audiobook)

Audiobook cover of girls on tree

“Rich symbolism abounds, and many common threads are woven together” in Sharon Creech’s The Great Unexpected. Read SLJ’s starred review of the audiobook version.

On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: New Books for Back- to-School

Book cover: girl's legs on a limb with 3 chickens

The start of a new school year is the perfect moment for taking chances—trying out for cheerleading, going against the crowd, or learning how to get along with your new teachers. This fall’s releases are all that and more. Read these school stories and keep them close to your newly sharpened bouquet of pencils.