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October 1, 2014

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SLJTeen Speaks with the Wizard of Kazam, Jasper Fforde

Eye of Zoltar

How does Jasper Fforde come up with the magnificent characters, creatures, and settings in his “Chronicles of Kazam” series? He relies on “stuff—the exciting smorgasbord of weird stuff that happens to us, around us, and in us.”

Bellweather Rhapsody

Bellweather Rhapsody

A mystery that takes place during a high school music festival set in an old resort hotel during a snowstorm? The Bellweather is certainly less terrifying than The Overlook of The Shining fame, but it holds its own secrets–especially room 712. In the introduction to her novel’s playlist on Largehearted Boy, Kate Racculia shares that she played the bassoon [...]

Pick of the Day: Eye to Eye

Eye to Eye

Large, colorful pictures of more than 20 animal eyes are accompanied by a small illustration of the entire creature and a brief paragraph of intriguing information.

Victorian Violence

Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson published The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886, and the next year Arthur Conan Doyle published A Study in Scarlet, the first novel to feature Sherlock Holmes–both works set in the heart of London. And in September of 1888, the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper began [...]

Pick of the Day: Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like?

dinosaur profile, open moutn

A stellar look at the methods paleoartists employ to bring dinosaurs to life on paper

Pick of the Day: Twelve Kinds of Ice (Audio)

twelvekindsofice

In Twelve Kinds of Ice, Ellen Bryan Obed presents a joyful celebration of winter. Twenty short chapters skim over each type of ice and the activities that follow. Be sure to read the starred review of this audiobook version.

Pick of the Day: The Adventures of South Pole Pig

smiling pig to left of image

Flora, a pig, dreams of going to Antarctica and becoming a sled pig.

Pick of the Day: Gone Fishing

three figures in profile carrying fishing rods

A novel in verse about fishing and sibling rivalry

Weekly Reviews: Setting

Weekly Reviews: Setting

We write a lot about genre and the types of books that teens enjoy reading. But what about setting? Do teen readers care about sinking into the setting of a book? This is an element that teens rarely mention when they share what they enjoy reading, or how much they liked a particular book. But [...]

Pick of the Day: Dear Life, You Suck

Black background, yellow letters for book title

A first novel about an angry young man turned role model for younger boys

Pick of the Day: Wild Horse Scientists

wild horse scientists

FRYDENBORG, Kay. Wild Horse Scientists. 80p. (Scientists in the Field Series Series). diags. further readig. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-547-51831-2.
Gr 5 Up
–Focusing on the wild horses of Assateague Island, Frydenborg effectively combines scientific facts such as coloration and size, as well as the actual definition of a wild animal, with a compelling narrative about several of the scientists who are working to protect and maintain the wild horse population there. A large [...]

Pick of the Day: Twelve Kinds of Ice

skaters in foreground

OBED, Ellen Bryan. Twelve Kinds of Ice. illus. by Barbara McClintock. 64p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-618-89129-0.
Gr 3-6
–The coming of winter in the rural north brings ice. The first ice “came on the sheep pails…a skim of ice so thin that it broke when we touched it.” Gradually as the weather grows colder, the ice becomes field ice, “short-lived but glorious…,” stream ice, black ice from “water shocked still by the cold before the snow.” The ice and [...]

Pick of the Day: Sleep Like a Tiger

tiger wearing crown

LOGUE, Mary. Sleep Like a Tiger. illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. 40p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-64102-7.
PreS-Gr 1–The common theme of a child not ready for bed receives fresh treatment here. When a young girl repeatedly declares that she is not sleepy, her parents remain calm. She dutifully dresses in pajamas and washes up. After climbing into bed, she again proclaims that she is wide awake and questions her parents about how things in the world go to sleep. [...]