December 11, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Double Lives of Artists

I’ve been calling this post “double life/art ladies,” which doesn’t quite flow off the tongue as a post title, but does hint at what these two have in common — two intense teenage girls who prefer a hidden or secret life so that they can make their art. And both of these titles have a […]

Intertwined Stories

Here’s a day of intertwined stories — stories told through multiple points of view, offering many perspectives on a single converging plot. Yay! I do love novels with multiple POVs; it can give the read a rhythmic, regular pace through to the end. Here we have straight up realistic, historical fiction and we have a mostly realistic but […]

Review of the Day: Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Orphan Island Laurel Snyder Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-244343-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now *spoiler alert on the whole darn review, basically* I spend more time than I’d like thinking about what makes a person and how that person is an entirely new creation at different stages of life. […]

Places No One Knows

Places No One Knows, Brenna Yovanoff Delacorte Press, May 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Maybe here is a good time to say, I love Brenna Yovanoff. I love her writing, her dark and delicious fantasies. This fifth title is more along the lines of magical realism than straight out fantasy. The slow and sweet Waverly/Marshall […]

Book Review: When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Publisher’s description To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for […]

The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, April 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Last week, I spent my time talking about unusual formats. This week, I’m not dealing with an unsual format — just straight up prose here, folks — but this title does have a unique feel. It’s like […]

Ghost Stories That Aren’t: Moïra Fowley-Doyle on “The Accident Season”

Author Moïra Fowley-Doyle chats with SLJ about her haunting YA debut, The Accident Season.

The Importance of Girls’ Stories: SLJ Chats with Nova Ren Suma About “The Walls Around Us”

YA novelist Nova Ren Suma shares what inspired her to write about killer ballerinas and a bookish incarcerated teen in her latest work, which explores feminism, friendship, and unlikable narrators.

Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’

Former literary agent Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film version.

Review of the Day: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Nightingale’s Nest By Nikki Loftin Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISNB: 978-1-59514-546-8 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. Magical realism in children’s novels is a rarity. It’s not unheard of, but when children’s authors want fantasy, they write fantasy. When they want reality, they write reality. A potentially uncomfortable mix of the two is harder […]

Review: Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. Little, Brown. 2012. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Astrid lives in a small town where everyone knows, or thinks they know, everyone’s business. Everyone judges. So Astrid keeps some things to herself: like that her father is smoking pot. Like how she and her younger sister Ellis are […]

Pick of the Day: Summer of the Mariposas

MCCALL, Guadalupe Garcia. Summer of the Mariposas. 354p. Lee & Low/Tu. 2012. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-1-60060-900-8.
Gr 7-9–While swimming in the Rio Grande, the five Garza sisters find a dead man, and, against the better judgment of Odilia, the eldest, decide to return his body to his family in El Sacrificio, Mexico. Their decision is partly altruistic and partly personal, for their paternal grandmother, whom they have rarely seen, lives nearby. Thus begins their journey, guided by supernatural forces, both […]