April 28, 2017

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Assorted Spring Loves | Adult Books 4 Teens

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Tying Up Loose Ends | Adult Books 4 Teens

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After a few months absence, the Adult Books 4 Teens column returns, with historical fiction from Cat Winters, science fiction/horror from Jay Kristoff, and an investigation of the case at the center of the podcast Serial.

Teens Review “Dreamland Burning,” New Fantasy, and More

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The Kitsap YA reviewers take on new thrillers and fantasy titles and Jennifer Latham’s Dreamland Burning, among other recent releases.

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 […]

Golden Boys

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett Candlewick, April 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, friends, I may not be the person to write this review — not least because I haven’t technically finished reading this quite short book. I mean, I’ve read most of it, and what I’ve missed, I have skimmed through as I was […]

YA Xpress Reviews | December 2016

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A handful of novels in a variety of genres and with an intriguing array of settings for voracious YA readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Steep and Thorny Way

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters Amulet Books, March 2016 Reviewed from a final copy Not a roundup, not a Best Of list, not a bird OR a plane, it’s a review! With three stars and a shout out in the comments of our original list, this is historical fiction with a twist […]