November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

7 Dazzling Debuts | Adult Books 4 Teens

From Middle Eastern–set epic fantasy to gritty memoir to thought-provoking speculative fiction, these seven unforgettable works from first-time authors are sure to enthrall.

Winning Is Contagious: Saul Ramirez on “The Champions’ Game”

Saul Ramirez, a middle school art teacher in Texas, challenged his mostly Latinx student population to becomes chess champions, setting them on a path to victory.

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

Interview: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham on ‘Real Friends’

I’m a sporadic social networker. On the rare day, when I have a few minutes of down time, I will go online and try and catch up on either Twitter or Facebook. So the other day, when I had a few minutes (read: procrastinating), I realized that the release date of Shannon Hale and LeUyen […]

Reyna Grande on Immigration and “The Distance Between Us”

A timely call for awareness and understanding. Reyna Grande on her upcoming young readers edition of her memoir The Distance Between Us.

The Perils of Love | Adult Books 4 Teens

Teens will appreciate this genre- and format-spanning assortment of tales about love gone wrong; included are Daniel Clowes’s romantic time-traveling adventure, a thriller about Mata Hari, and Rebecca Traister’s astute feminism perspective on marriage and relationships.

Review: Child Soldier

This title offers young readers a glimpse of a turbulent region that is in another part of the world—but it’s not for sensitive readers. Child Soldier: When boys and Girls are used in War By Jessica Dee Humphreys & Michel Chikwanine. Claudia Davila Kids Can Press. 2015. ISBN 9781771381260 hc, $17.95. 48pp. Grades 5 and […]

Honor Girl

Honor Girl, Maggie Thrash Candlewick Press, September 2015 Reviewed from final copy I was distracted while reading Honor Girl. The first two chapters orient the reader in the early days of the new millennium; there’s a list of celebrity crushes including Leonardo DiCaprio, Usher, and Justin Timberlake, our narrator is reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of […]

Memoirs

We’ve spent the week looking at Printzbery books: the stuff that falls on the young end here, but is still eligible and worth the conversation. But here for our Friday read, I’ve got a totally different direction to take: two memoirs with distinctive voices: two very different reads. Ironically, the only thing they may have […]

Teens’ True Stories Examine the Causes and Effects of Bullying

These five nonfiction works will inspire and empower young people who have been bullied.

Book Review: The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos

Publisher’s description: This fiery autobiographical novel captures a pivotal week or two in the life of fourteen-year-old Jack Gantos, as the author reveals the moment he began to slide off track as a kid who in just a few years would find himself locked up in a federal penitentiary for the crimes portrayed in the […]

“Honor Girl” Graphic Novelist Maggie Thrash on Identity and Girls’ Spaces

SLJ caught up with debut author Maggie Thrash, whose graphic memoir Honor Girl focuses on an experience she had at summer camp when she was 15. Thrash shared how she went from comics newbie to full-fledged author, described the challenges of writing a memoir, and emphasized the importance of all-girl’s spaces.

Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano | SLJ Review

SLJ’s starred review of Sonia Manzano—Sesame Street‘s “Maria”—YA memoir.

Video: Daniel José Older Talks to Sonia Manzano, Sesame Street’s ‘Maria,’ About Her Memoir

SLJ had the opportunity of pairing two Latino authors—Daniel José Older and Sonia Manzano, an award-winning author and acclaimed actress who originated the iconic role of “Maria” on Sesame Street—in a conversation about Manzano’s first memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Inspirational Memoirs

One of my favorite books of 2011 was Little Princes by Conor Grennan. It made that year’s AB4T best list, and Grennan is in demand around the country at schools and colleges where his book is a great Common Read choice. I say all of this to give context to the first of today’s books. […]

Two Very Different Memoirs

When I picked up An Age of License a couple months ago, I had not read Lucy Knisley’s Alex Award-winning graphic novel Relish. (We did not review Relish for AB4T last year–we thought it was a YA publication.) I read An Age of License all in one sitting, and basically fell in love with it. The next morning I checked Relish out of […]

Review: El Deafo

This title made it to our Top 10 2014 Best Graphic Novel list for good reason, it’s been cited on many other lists as well, including the Parents Magazine best books of the year. El Deafo By Cece Bell. Color by David Lasky Abrams. September 2014. ISBN 978-1-4197-1217-3 $10.95 244 pp. Recommended for grades 4 […]

We Need Diverse Books (Ballet Edition)

Diversity in YA has received a lot of attention recently, thanks to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag that’s evolved into a formal organization for activism and awareness. Brandy Colbert’s debut YA novel, Pointe was published just two weeks before the influential hashtag was born. Excellent timing because Pointe isn’t only a novel with a narrator of color; it’s a novel […]

Mythology Percy Jackson–Style, a Side-splitting Memoir, and Ghouls Galore | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

The intrepid Percy Jackson tries his hand at retelling Greek mythology, with hilarious results, while Paralympic ski racer Josh Sundquist pens a laugh-out-loud memoir of his dating life. And for those looking for some spooky selections, check out Kelly Milner’s Ghostly Evidence.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Transgender Teen Memoir, a Guide to Puberty, and Guys vs. Girls | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

The latest nonfiction for older readers spotlights gender and bodies, from a frank and original look at puberty to a memoir by a transgender teen.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

On the Cusp

High school is behind you, but you’re not quite an independent adult. Today’s reviews cover one book of essays and stories written during–and one graphic novel memoir written about–the college years. Marina Keegan was a talented writer who died days after graduating from Yale. She had lined up a position as an editorial assistant at The […]