May 25, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender by S.D. Nelson | SLJ Review

NELSON, S.D. Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender. 64p. bibliog. illus. notes. photos. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781419723131.

Gr 4-6 –Chief Red Cloud (1822–1909) is known as an Oglala Lakota leader who acquiesced to the demands of United States and entered into a treaty despite opposition from other Lakota leaders. The treaty forever changed the lifestyle of the Lakota and forced them to relinquish their freedom, homelands, and indigenous ways of being to live […]

13 Must-Read Titles for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with novels and works of nonfiction that highlight the Asian American experience.

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by Susan Goldman Rubin | SLJ Review

RUBIN, Susan Goldman. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. 56p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Abrams. Jun. 2017. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781419721311.

Gr 6 Up –A quilt “represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history.” In this handsomely designed volume, Rubin shares the history of the Gee’s Bend families, who, for more than 100 years, have been designing and creating bold and brilliant quilts. From 1845, when plantation owner Mark Pettway and his household settled in […]

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins & Stan Yogi | SLJ Review

ATKINS, Laura & Stan Yogi. Fred Korematsu Speaks Up. illus. by Yutaka Houlette. 112p. (Fighting for Justice). bibliog. chron. index. notes. photos. Heyday. Jan. 2017. Tr $18. ISBN 9781597143684.

Gr 4-8 –A compelling blend of free verse, expository text, and artwork illuminates the life and times of Japanese American activist Fred Korematsu. Growing up in Oakland, the child of Japanese immigrants, Korematsu was a typical American kid, joining the Boy Scouts and dancing to big band music. Following Pearl […]

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale | SLJ Review

LEATHERDALE, Mary Beth. Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees. illus. by Eleanor Shakespeare. 64p. chron. websites. Annick. Apr. 2017. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781554518968; pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781554518951.

Gr 4-7 –Across time, desperation has driven people from their homes in search of refuge—and the only way out is often through a stormy passage on the sea. Ruth was one of 900 Jewish people who boarded a ship, hoping to escape Nazi Germany; Mohammed, orphaned during the civil war in […]

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson | SLJ Audio Review

STELSON, Caren. Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story. 3 CDs. 3:27 hrs. Dreamscape. Dec. 2016. $29.99. ISBN 9781520063034. digital download.

Gr 5-8 –Sachiko Yasui was six years old when an atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown of Nagasaki: this is the account of her survival. She experienced the death of family members, homelessness, and ill health, but the unrelenting encouragement of her father gave her the strength and willpower to face the future. He had told her always […]

Real Friends by Shannon Hale | SLJ Review

HALE, Shannon. Real Friends. illus. by LeUyen Pham. 224p. First Second. May 2017. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781626724167; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781626727854. POP

Gr 3-6 –Hale revisits her elementary school years in this insightful exploration of the ups and downs of friendship. Young Shannon meets her BFF Adrienne in kindergarten, and the two bond until Adrienne moves away. When Adrienne returns, Shannon is thrilled—until Adrienne joins a clique. In over her head, Shannon copes with feelings of inadequacy as she […]

Motor Girls!: How Women Took the Wheel and Drove Boldly into the Twentieth Century by Sue Macy | SLJ Review

MACY, Sue. Motor Girls!: How Women Took the Wheel and Drove Boldly into the Twentieth Century. 96p. further reading. notes. photos. websites. National Geographic. Feb. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781426326974.

Gr 6 Up –This meticulously researched account of early automobiles and women is an excellent companion to Macy’s previous title Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way). Macy delves into early automobile history through the use of primary […]

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin | SLJ Review

SHEINKIN, Steve. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. 288p. bibliog. ebook available. notes. photos. Roaring Brook. Jan. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781596439542.

Gr 6 Up –Proclaimed “the greatest all-around athlete in the world” by legendary football coach Glenn “Pop” Warner, Jim Thorpe dominated sports in the early 1900s. His natural athleticism, in tandem with Warner’s innovative coaching style, helped establish the Carlisle Indian Industrial School’s football program as one of the nation’s best, eclipsing perennial […]

Super Hummingbirds | SLJ DVD Review

Super Hummingbirds. (Nature). 54 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. UPC 0841887030106. Blu-ray $29.99. ISBN 9781627899086.

Gr 6 Up –They are the smallest birds in the world, but what makes hummingbirds so difficult to see is their speed of flight. With the assistance of special high-speed photography and creative camera work, viewers will finally be able to observe the unique and fast-paced world of this fascinating species. Probably too few realize that hummingbirds have “superpowers,” such as flying backward […]

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle | SLJ Review

ENGLE, Margarita. Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics. illus. by Rafael López. 48p. Holt. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780805098761.

Gr 4-7 –Engle highlights 18 Latinxs from a range of ethnic backgrounds and countries of origin, all of whom lived in what is now the United States or its territories. Each person made a positive impact on U.S. history, and although some are not well-known, their contributions warrant an important place in the U.S. collective cultural knowledge. Engle’s masterly first-person […]

Bats: Learning To Fly by Falynn Koch | SLJ Review

KOCH, Falynn. Bats: Learning To Fly. illus. by Falynn Koch. 128p. (Science Comics). further reading. glossary. First Second. Feb. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781626724099; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781626724082.

Gr 3-7 –This latest in the science-related graphic novel series turns its focused eye to the world of bats. A little brown bat is lost in a Southwestern desert at night, just as a group of nature lovers are out for a tour. Injured in a commotion with the humans, the […]

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure | SLJ Review

LOSURE, Mary. Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d. 176p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. reprods. Candlewick. Feb. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763670634.

Gr 6-8 –Losure brings a world-renowned scientist to life. Isaac Newton’s story, from his tough formative years through the end of his life, is ably told and peppered with a mix of Old English and scientific terms. Fascinating details, such as experiments with mercury that involved him tasting the poisonous element, humanize him and will keep […]

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack | SLJ Review

MCKISSACK, Patricia C. Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood. illus. by Brian Pinkney. 184p. bibliog. ebook available. index. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Jan. 2017. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780375870880; lib. ed. $27.99. ISBN 9780375970887.

Gr 2-6 –Children’s literature powerhouses McKissack and Pinkney team up for the second time, creating a dynamic collection of songs, rhymes, and stories with origins in the African American diaspora. McKissack recalls […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 28 – 2016 Great Nonfiction Chapter Books for Kids

I peer into the darkness and at long last I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re almost there!  Almost at the end of this month’s 31 Days, 31 Lists challenge.  I’m certainly delighted, not least because I’ve managed to keep it up so far (knocking on wood now as hard as […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 24 – 2016 Science and Nature Books for Kids

There were no science books on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for 2016.  Nor in 2015.  Nor 2014.  Bomb in 2013 was sort of a science book, so we’ll count that.  And Moonbird that year certainly was.  Yet it’s often surprising how consistently science and nature get overlooked when they’re handing out awards […]

Under Water, Under Earth by Aleksandra Mizielińska & Daniel Mizieliński | SLJ Review

MIZIELIŃSKA, Aleksandra & Daniel Mizieliński. Under Water, Under Earth. illus. by Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski. 112p. Candlewick/Big Picture. Oct. 2016. Tr $35. ISBN 9780763689223.

Gr 3-6 –Using a mix of brief text and detailed illustrations, this large-format book provides an informational feast. It is designed to be opened vertically like a calendar so that pages are flipped upward. As a result, readers get a sense of the great depths shown and the size of people, animals, and objects […]

Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice by Susan Goldman Rubin | SLJ Review

RUBIN, Susan Goldman. Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice. 144p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. photos. Holiday House. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780823436460; ebk. $18.95. ISBN 9780823437085.

Gr 6-8 –In a highly readable narrative, this title tells the story of the monumental 1954 Supreme Court decision that mandated desegregation in public schools in the United States. In short, comprehensible chapters, Rubin describes the development of five individual cases as they were strategically fought and often […]

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin | SLJ Review

MARRIN, Albert. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II. 256p. ebook available. further reading. index. notes. photos. websites. Knopf. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553509366; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780553509373.

Gr 7 Up –The Japanese American internment during World War II is the subject of National Book Award finalist Marrin’s latest historical nonfiction for adolescents. He ties together chronological events with thematic elements (how racism operated during World War II) to tell the story of this dark […]

How To Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture by Tonya Bolden | SLJ Review

BOLDEN, Tonya. How To Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 64p. index. notes. photos. Viking. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451476371.

Gr 5 Up –One hundred years ago, the National Memorial Association was formed to establish a monument honoring African American veterans of the Civil War. It took years to get Congressional support, but finally, in the late 1920s, a bill was passed to create a committee to establish a museum dedicated to […]