November 17, 2017

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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.

Tying Up Loose Ends | Adult Books 4 Teens

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

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

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 […]

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham | SLJ Review

LATHAM, Jennifer. Dreamland Burning. 384p. ebook available. Little, Brown. Feb. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316384933.

Gr 8 Up –Latham follows up Scarlett Undercover with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death. As she digs into the mystery, Rowan’s contemporary perspective alternates with that of another […]

The Passion of Dolssa

The Passion of Dolssa, Julie Berry Viking, April 2016 Reviewed from final copy 2016 has been, by and large, a strong year. Strong enough that I’ll be hard pressed to come up with my top 5 at the end of the season. But my top 2 are already decided, and after rereading The Passion of […]

YA Xpress Reviews | November 2016

Cindy Pon follows up Serpentine with the deeply satisfying Sacrifice, Jo Knowles delivers a “realistic and sensitive depiction of a family in crisis,” and Edward Stanton explores Polynesian history.

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

Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina Candlewick, March 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Can I rave for a minute? What a title! And what a cover, too. Medina manages to blend a lot of elements beautifully and smoothly. With four stars and a place on the NBA longlist, this read has a lot going for […]

More questions than answers here

Like Joy, I’ve got a double feature: two titles with strong reviews (My Name is Not Friday has three stars; The Bitter Side of Sweet has four), good writing, and memorable characterization. These two titles are both important reads. But are they Printz contenders? My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter Scholastic, January 2016 […]

The Inquisitor’s Tale

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog By Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly Published by Dutton Children’s Books Grades 5-8 Book Review “Whether you go your separate ways or stay together, you will continue to witness— against ignorance, against cruelty, and on behalf of all that is beautiful about […]

Hook Them with Historical Fiction | Adult Books 4 Teens

Historical fiction may not be every teen’s idea of a gripping read, but these titles are bound to immerse readers—and may even please educators, too.

Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story

 Steamboat School: Inspired by  a True Story Written by Deborah Hopkinson      Illustrated by Ron Husband Published in 2016 by Disney-  Hyperion Grades K-6 ISBN: 978-142312196-1 Book Review “I always thought being brave was for grown-up heroes doing big, daring deeds. But Mama says that sometimes courage is just an ordinary boy like me […]

The Gallery

 The Gallery Written by Laura Marx Fitzgerald Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016 ISBN #978-0-525-42865-7 Grades 5 and up Book Review It’s said that what happened to the once vibrant, brazen heiress “Wild Rose” Pritchard is “What happens to most girls . . . She got married. She settled, eventually. And then—” But […]

Review of the Day: Makoons by Louise Edrich

Makoons By Louise Erdrich Harper Collins $16.99 ISBN: 9780060577933 Ages 7-12 On shelves now They say these days you can’t sell a novel for kids anymore without the book having some kind of “sequel potential”. That’s not really true, but there are a heck of a lot of series titles out there for the 7 […]

Adam Gidwitz’s Illuminating Medieval Adventure | Under the Covers

Gidwitz, author of the popular “Tale Dark and Grimm” series, discusses his latest work, an ambitious and well-crafted historical adventure set in medieval France.