November 18, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Review: The Waking Dark

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman. Knopf. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: One day, a small town: Oleander, Kansas. Like so many other small towns, where everyone thinks they know everyone. Where everyone has secrets. Some secrets they don’t even know about. A handful of people, with no connections to each other, go […]

Longbourn

Jane Austen lovers are in for quite a treat. Oh wait, make that Jane Austen lovers and Downton Abbey fans. Oh yes, buy multiple copies because Longbourn has arrived at last. Imagine that among the Bennet family servants there is one just about the same age as Elizabeth. Sarah is a hard worker, solid and […]

Community and Poverty

We review two books today, both set in very specific communities overshadowed by poverty and tragedy. Let’s start with Men We Reaped, a memoir by Jesmyn Ward. Ward’s fierce, poetic debut novel, Salvage the Bones, won the National Book Award and a 2012 Alex Award. It follows a pregnant teenage girl and her family through […]

Pick of the Day: Toys in Space

This is an offbeat story-within-a-story about an alien who collects abandoned toys.

Pick of the Day: Far Far Away

The ghost of Jacob Grimm narrates a story about complex characters who have conflicted motivations.

Review: Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball by Charise Mericle Harper

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball By Charise Mericle Harper Alfred A. Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780307977076 $4.99 Grades K-3 In stores May 14, 2013 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library “I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” -Ursula Nordstrom, Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom Getting into […]

Pick of the Day: Out of Nowhere

Soccer is certainly an element, but the novel is rich and multidimensional, addressing the Muslim experience in America

Pictures of the Week: Bankstreet Students Debate Diversity; Elizabeth Eulberg at TEDxTeen 2013

Students at the Bankstreet School discuss diversity and book covers with editors from Knopf; author Elizabeth Eulberg reunites with a fan at TEDXTeen.

Weekly Reviews: Nonfiction

This is Sonia Sotomayor’s 8th week on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list, up to #4 from #5 last week. (Sandra Day O’Connor’s book, Out of Order, debuts at #11.) I am particularly excited to write about My Beloved World this week because I recently had a chance to booktalk it to a […]

Weekly Reviews: Postmodernism

Today we look at two examples of the postmodern novel. Postmodernism has gotten a bad rap–almost from the beginning–for being purposefully obscure, denying the existence of meaning, and encouraging moral relativism.  But, while I concede that many postmodern works of art can be infuriatingly vague, for me at least the best postmodern novels (like the […]

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2013

It’s time to once again to look at the season before us and say “that looks good”. What follows are books coming out in March, April, and May that appear to have promise. Picture Book Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird; illustrated by Brandon Dorman April 23 | Greenwillow | Grades K-2 Ever heard of […]

Review: The Brides of Rollrock Island

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House. 2012. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Misskaella Prout is the witch of Rollrock Island, so ugly and disagreeable and witchy that no man would have her for a wife. Misskaella has her revenge on those who keep her […]

All You Never Wanted

Another (and last for the year) guest post from pinch-hitter Joy Piedmont. This time, Joy raves about a book that made the contenda list with three stars but mostly deserves recognition as a serious buzz book. I’m a long time fan of Adele Griffin’s, and this is, I think, a stronger candidate than her last […]

Review: Love And Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2012. Review copy from publisher. YALSA Morris Award Finalist. The Plot: Amelia, fifteen, is in love with Chris. Chris is her co-worker at the local supermarket. Chris is twenty-one years old. Chris is finishing up university, trying to get over Michaela, figuring out what […]

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The first big breakout novel of 2013 was actually published in 2012, thanks to Oprah’s Book Club. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was originally scheduled to be published this month, but after Oprah’s big announcement, Knopf moved up the publication date. With recent reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, you name […]

The Brides of Rollrock Island

The Brides of Rollrock Island, Margo Lanagan Knopf, September 2012 Reviewed from ARC My first draft for this post, which sat in WordPress for two weeks, taunting me, read as follows: “So much to say! And none of it coherent!” You know how I delayed and delayed writing about The Raven Boys? And then was […]

every Unwholly day

every day by David Levithan
Published by Knopf, August 2012
Reviewed from a final copy
You know a book’s a big deal when the visiting public librarian gives it a shiny booktalk and then all the students want to do is keep hearing about that book, to the exclusion of all the other books said librarian brought. […]

Pick of the Day: The Fire Chronicle

STEPHENS, John. The Fire Chronicle. Bk. 2. 436p. (The Books of Beginning Series). Knopf. Oct. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86871-9; PLB $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96871-6; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-89956-0.
Gr 4-7–Fifteen-year-old Kate, almost 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Emma don’t know why Dr. Pym sent them back to the dreadful orphanage at the end of The Emerald Atlas (Knopf, 2011), but Kate, who learned to control the power of the Atlas to travel through time, knows they need to leave as soon as […]

Review: The FitzOsbornes at War

The FitzOsbornes at War, the Montmaray Journals, Book III by Michelle Cooper. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2012. Sequel to Sequel to A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile. Reviewed from ARC from publisher.
The Plot: Life in Great Britain during World War II, as told by Sophie FitzOsborne. The FitzOsborne story began in the mid 1930s in A Brief History of […]