September 24, 2017

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Patina by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review

REYNOLDS, Jason. Patina. 240p. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481450188.

Gr 5-8 –Twelve-year-old Patina Jones not only loves to run, she needs to run—and win. She’s a gifted athlete, and since the death of her father and her mother’s life-altering health problems, Patty’s track club has become the focal point of her life. Running helps her to navigate the changes she and her younger sister, Maddy, are experiencing. They have left their urban neighborhood to live in a different part […]

Ten Titles Make the 2017 National Book Award Longlist for Young People’s Literature

The 2017 longlist in the Young People’s Literature category includes two previous National Book Award finalists. Nine of the ten authors are women, and two are debut novelists.

Top-Shelf Chapter Book Read Alouds for A New School Year

Looking for books to recommend as read alouds? Our readers and reviewers weigh in on new books worth sharing.

49 Fantastic New Titles | September 2017

Native American Women share their stories in #NotYourPrincess; Anne of Green Gables gets a graphic novel makeover; a children’s bilingual picture book celebrates a Mexican holiday; and two middle grade audiobooks.

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

Middle Grade: New Titles from Jason Reynolds, Alan Gratz, Robert Beatty, & More | September 2017 Xpress Reviews

Strong female protagonists survive and thrive in Beatty and Reynolds’ sequels; fiction and math mix in a bilingual “One Minute Mysteries” installment.

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

Middle Grade Authors on Family, Connection, and Representation | SLJ Day of Dialog 2017

A riveting conversation with Tracey Baptiste, Paul Griffin, Katherine Paterson, Jason Reynolds, and Karina Yan Glaser.

“A Flame in Water”: Jason Reynolds on Writing for Middle Grade Readers

Award-winning author Jason Reynolds talks about his transition from writing YA to penning middle grade stories.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Audio Review

REYNOLDS, Jason. Ghost. digital download. 3:29 hrs. S. & S. Audio. Aug. 2016. $14.99. ISBN 9781508230472.

Gr 5-9 –Guy Lockard has assumed the mantle of narrator-of-choice for Reynolds’s fiction: Ghost (2016 National Book Award finalist) is Lockard’s third Reynolds title, following As Brave as You and Rashad’s chapters in All American Boys. Here, as seventh grader Castle “Ghost” Crenshaw, Lockard performs with excitable bravado, ruminating honesty, and trash-talking speed. Ghost runs fast with good reason, having escaped his father, […]

PEN America To Hold NYC Rally in Defense of Free Expression

“Writers Resist: Louder Together for Free Expression” will be held on the steps of the New York Public Library on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

The Episode Where We Interview The Coolest Author On The Planet: Jason Reynolds

Colby: Jason Reynolds may be the coolest person I have ever met. Interviewing him was nerve racking and inspiring. We talked about his National Book Award Finalist book Ghost. Jason and I discussed his career, his mentors, and his fascination with The Guinness Book of World Records. My favorite part of the episode comes at […]

“March: Book Three” Takes 2016 National Book Award

“This is unreal!” shouted Congressman John Lewis, accepting the award for his graphic memoir of the civil rights movement.

The Yarn is Headed to #NCTE16

Colby: The National Council for Teachers of English Annual Conference is one of my favorite conferences. Last year, in Minneapolis,  I spent the Saturday of NCTE conducting interviews. I interviewed book creators non-stop from 8 AM until 4 PM. It was a rewarding and exhausting day. This year I’m spreading things out a bit more. If […]

Cover Reveal: One Shadow On the Wall by Leah Henderson

So often a cover reveal is just that.  A reveal.  Here’s your cover, batta bing, badda boom. Today is different. Today, we’re shaking things up a tad.  But a little backstory first. About half a year ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the MD/DE/WV SCBWI Conference in Frederick, Maryland.  I like doing SCBWI Conferences.  […]

Finalists Announced for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Here are the five finalists for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, with the corresponding SLJ reviews. Winners of the 67th annual NBAs will be revealed November 16.

Ten Contenders Make the 2016 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature

The titles represent diverse voices and writing styles, addressing issues such as first love, violence in the home, sexual identity, immigration, interracial dating, social activism, and the effects of war on children.

Review of the Day: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost By Jason Reynolds Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves August 30th This is a generalization, but in my experience librarians really enjoy reading within their comfort zones. They’ll travel outside of them from time to time but always they return to the books that they like […]

Brendan Kiely’s and Jason Reynolds’s CSK Author Honor Speeches for “All American Boys”

Coauthors Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds each delivered remarks about their Coretta Scott King (CSK) Author Honor win for All American Boys on June 26 during the CSK Award’s Breakfast at the American Library Association’s Annual Meeting in Orlando. SLJ presents both speeches, published together for the first time.

Middle Grade Xpress Reviews | June 2016

Jason Reynolds makes his middle grade debut, Wendy Spinale takes on Peter Pan, and Henry Cole tells a “somewhat true” mouse tale.

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

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review

REYNOLDS, Jason. As Brave as You. 410p. S. & S./Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481415903.
Gr 5-8–Reynolds’s engaging middle grade debut stars 11-year-old African American Genie Harris, an inveterate worrywart who considers Google his best friend, and his older brother Ernie, who is well on his way to being a cool dude (sunglasses and all). The born and bred Brooklynites are to spend a month with their grandparents in rural Virginia while their parents take a long overdue […]

“When I Was The Greatest” Book Cover Provokes Concern From Brooklyn Parents

Despite complaints from a contingent of parents about a photo of a gun on the cover, the New York City Department of Education has no plans to remove Jason Reynolds’s YA novel from lists of suggested reading material for seventh and eighth graders.