September 21, 2017

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Glow by Megan E. Bryant | SLJ Review

BRYANT, Megan E. Glow. 272p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807529638; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780807529652.

Gr 8 Up –Two young women, a century apart, find themselves drawn to the same dangerous glow. Julie, a young woman in the present day, is unable to pay for college after sacrificing her savings to help save her family’s home. In her desperate attempt to forget about her circumstances, Julie looks for a project to occupy her thoughts. During a visit to a thrift store, […]

Blast from the (Recent) Past: 13 Great Middle Grade and YA

Set between 1969 and 2010, these works of historical fiction take readers back to a time that seems at once modern and long ago

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

One Last Summer Trip | Adult Books 4 Teens

Pack your bags! The latest crop of can’t-miss Adult Books 4 Teens take readers everywhere from rural Idaho to small-town England to 1950s Appalachia.

Review of the Day: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Beyond the Bright Sea By Lauren Wolk Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers) $16.99 ISBN: 978-11-101-99485-6 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. No author gets a free pass. Your last book have been a spot-on bit of brilliance, lighting up the literary landscape like a thousand Roman candles. Pfui. A writer is only as good […]

A World of Hurt: 7 Dark, Compelling Titles | Adult Books 4 Teens

Teens with an appreciation for gritty, intense reads will appreciate these selections that range from a 19th-century murder mystery to the nonfiction account of two Baltimore teenagers’ scheme to distribute opiates.

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: […]

Laurie Halse Anderson Reflects on the “Seeds of America” Trilogy

Pat Scales speaks with the prolific author about conducting historical research, creating authentic voices, and approaching our nation’s history with honesty.

Assorted Spring Loves | Adult Books 4 Teens

From a dark novel about an obsessive crush to a sci-fi thriller about two teens on the run who fall for each other, the latest offerings for teens represent genre diversity, but all center on love.

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Audio Book Xpress Review | April 2017

A historical romance that takes place in 14th-century England.

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

Middle Grade Xpress Reviews | April 2017

A fictional account of real-life Civil War spy, Mary Bowser; a brand-new series that takes place in the Star Wars universe; and the second installment of Kate O’Hearn’s Norse mythology-inspired series

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

Beck by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff | SLJ Review

PEET, Mal with Meg Rosoff. Beck. 272p. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763678425.

Gr 9 Up –This final novel from the deceased Peet, completed by Rosoff, is a not-quite-YA, not-quite-adult historical fiction story of hardship after hardship. Beck is a Liverpudlian orphan, the son of a white prostitute and an African sailor. Through no choice of his own, Beck is shipped off to Canada with several other orphans to work with the Catholic Brothers. After enduring physical and […]

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 […]

Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of School Library Journal.      ★ The Gentleman’s Guide to […]

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown | SLJ Audio Review

BROWN, Skila. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party. 3 CDs. 3:51 hrs. Brilliance. Oct. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781522656296. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –For 19-year-old Mary Ann Graves, and her family, the journey from Illinois to California in 1846 meant an arduous walk through mountains and deserts, alongside livestock and wagons. Following Graves’s actual reports, the chapters of this novel, which is based on actual events, relate the party’s day-to-day struggles […]

Book Review: Leaving Kent State by Sabrina Fedel

Publisher’s description On May 4, 1970, the campus of Kent State University became the final turning point in Americans’ tolerance for the Vietnam War, as National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed student protesters, killing four and wounding nine. It was one of the first true school shootings in our nation’s history. A new young adult […]

Book Review: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

Publisher’s description Some bodies won’t stay buried. Some stories need to be told. When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present. Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided […]

March: Book Three – National Book Award, Sibert Medal, YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award

March: Book Three Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell Published by Top Shelf Productions ISBN: 978-1-60309-402-3 Grades 7-Up Book Review Many Americans outside of the black community may only understand the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s through the actions of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Many have never […]

Blast from the Past | SLJ Spotlight on Middle Grade

Are your patrons itching to revisit days of yore and bygone eras? These recent novels take on historical fiction from varied perspectives, from a narrative set during the 1950s that tackles bias and prejudice to a tale of medieval London that incorporates fantasy and magic.