October 1, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Real World Readers: Attention-Grabbing Titles | Focus On


Loaded with surefire kid appeal, these fiction and nonfiction series are meant to entertain, reinforce skills, and, more importantly, create a lifelong love of reading.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds | SLJ Review


REYNOLDS, Luke. The Looney Experiment. 208p. Blink. Aug. 2015. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780310746423.
Gr 5-8–Eighth-grader Atticus Hobart is having a rough time. He is short and unathletic; his courage (and his voice) routinely fail him, especially when he’s around his crush Audrey Higgins; and he is the primary target of a blowhard class bully, who calls him “Fatticus.” To make matters worse, his father has just left the family to “figure things out” and the boy can’t help but feel that […]

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by Hal Johnson and Tom Mead | SLJ Review


JOHNSON, Hal. Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: 20 Chilling Tales from the Wilderness. illus. by Tom Mead. 176p. Workman. Aug. 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780761184614.
Gr 5-7–Look out for what’s lurking around every corner. The book is told from the perspective of a cryptozoologist who focuses on the lumberwoods of North America and who recounts many painful and horrifying incidents he witnessed during his years of seeking the most bizarre creatures. He begins with the very dangerous hodag, a rhinoceros critter […]

Next Up for Fantasy Readers!

Next Up for Fantasy Readers!

Today we review the first in one fantasy series and the second in another. Randy Henderson’s debut novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy, is fantasy with a good dose of humor, something that can be hugely popular with teens if it hits them right. (Our reviewer notes call-outs to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams!) The first three […]

Gretel All Grown Up

Gretel All Grown Up

At the opposite end of fairy-tale retellings from the gritty 2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, comes this delightful cozy mystery, the first in a prospective series starring the same Gretel, grown-up and solving crimes. Regular readers know my affection for fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, and while I haven’t read this one yet, […]

Zombillenium Vol. 2: Human Resources

Zombillenium Vol. 2: Human Resources

Zombillenium, Vol. 2: Human Resources Written and Illustrated by Arthur de Pins NBM Publishing, 2014 ISBN 978-1-56163-850-5 $14.95 When you build a horror-themed amusement park in a region where there’s double digit unemployment and you only hire the monstrous living dead (and one witch) as your employees, there’s bound to be some friction with the […]

Geeks vs. Jocks in an Epic Battle | ‘Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders’ Giveaway

Fat Boy Vs The Cheerleaders

It’s geeks versus jocks in an epic battle of the beverages. Read on to find out how you can win one of 10 signed copies of FAT BOY VS. THE CHEERLEADERS, the latest from the very funny and teen-tuned-in Geoff Herbach.

Jacksonville (FL) Public Library’s Collaborations Are a Win-Win for Students, Library, and Community

Jacksonville PL Humor Festival

Humor can be a powerful tool when it comes to encouraging children to read. Read on to learn about Jacksonville (FL) Public Library’s outreach activities that are putting smiles on a lot of faces.

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

Anyone who cares about narrative, movies, or both should be reading Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan blog. He spends most of his time there deconstructing the narrative structure of Hollywood movies and explaining how and why movies do (and don’t) work. But while he only discusses movies (and usually big-budget Hollywood ones at that), his insights […]

The Different Shades of Horror

I am writing this on the Sunday evening of a weekend during which the movie “Insidious: Chapter 2″ made $41 million dollars at the box office. Tomorrow evening “Sleepy Hollow” premieres on Fox and CBS airs the finale of the first season of “Under the Dome”. “The Walking Dead” is on the cover of this […]

Fusenews: “There are no good books which are only for children” – W.H. Auden

Morning, fellow plebes!  And isn’t the weather just fine and dandy these last few days?  It has been in New York anyway.  Which is to say, it feels like we briefly stole San Francisco’s temperatures for our own use this week.  Giving it back is going to be awful.  To take my mind off that, […]

Humor That is Seriously Funny | Focus On


Writing about humor is a good way to suck all the fun out of it, so please—feel free to skip straight to the booklist.

Review: Bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey. Reagan Arthur Books, an imprint of Little, Brown. 2011. Audiobook narrated by Tina Fey (Little, Brown 2011). Listened to audiobook, borrowed from the library. Vacation reads (aka, when I talk about books for grownups and post them before holidays. St. Patrick’s Day counts.) It’s About: Tina Fey writes about her life. The […]

Pick of the Day: The Monsters’ Monster

Book cover of Frankenstein and little monsters

MCDONNELL, Patrick. The Monsters’ Monster. illus. by author. 40p. Little, Brown. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-04547-6. LC 2011042742.
PreS-1–Three little monsters love to CRASH!, BASH!, and SMASH! Every day they argue over who is the best monster, until they join forces to “make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!” At first, their efforts look successful, but to their horror, the creature’s first words after tearing off his bandages are “Dank you.” The enormous Frankenstein look-alike contents himself with breathing […]