November 17, 2017

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YA Novels Go to the Movies | Media Mania

From a soul-searing work of historical fiction to an array of dystopic tales that envision the not-so-distant future, four much-lauded young adult novels have been adapted for the big screen, all slated to premiere in November. Help teens make the connection between book and film by displaying, booktalking, and discussing these attention-worthy offerings.

Teens Review John Mayer’s ‘Paradise’, ‘Madden 25’, and More

I’m not sure what was more of a surprise to me—that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for 30 years, or that the John Madden videogame football franchise goes back twenty five years! John Mayer has some ground to make up; his first album debuted in 2001, an Internet only album titled ​Room for Squares​. Hopefully he’ll have the longevity of the turtles and one particular earthbound former football coach.

Pick of the Day: Hero on a Bicycle | Audio

Hero on a Bicycle is set in Italy in 1944 presents the story of a 13-year-old boy and his encounters with the Partisans in Nazi occupied Florence during World War II. Narrator Simon Vance’s incomparable vocal style is a perfect fit for this intense and suspenseful work of historical fiction. Check out the starred review of this audiobook.

Teens Review ‘Crash My Party’, ‘The Civil Wars’ | Music

Both Luke Bryan and The Civil Wars are award-winning country western artists. After all, what’s not to like about an album titled Crash My Party? But a mid-tour breakup has fans wondering if The Civil Wars will ever make another album. SLJ’s teen reviewers weigh in.

Page to Screen: From YA Bestsellers to Big-Screen Blockbusters

While the jury is still out on the big screen adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, reviewers are raving about the surprise indie hit The Spectacular Now, based on Tim Tharp’s young adult novel. Children’s books continue to be Hollywood’s go-to source for inspiration, and librarians couldn’t be happier. As readers and movie fans await the book-to-film entries coming this fall, such as Suzanne Collins’s Catching Fire and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, SLJ looks ahead to future releases in this latest installment of Page to Screen.

A Summer App Recap | Touch and Go

For those of you who have been sitting under a shady tree or on a beach these past two months—and we hope that’s most of you—we’re offering a summary of the app reviews published over the summer. The list includes picture books, poetry, music, a reference guide or two, and some beloved characters and timeless stories. These are titles you want to load onto your school devices ASAP.

Connections That Count: Audiobooks that Highlight Kids’ Meaningful Relationships | Listen In

With another school year on the horizon, the focus of August’s Listen In column is on the relationships that children and teens make—with other kids and with adults—to help them navigate the stormy waters of growing up. The ten audiobooks featured are excellent for group listening and for generating discussions about what’s happening to the young people in the stories, from the poignant depiction of friendship in The Other Side to the real drama wrought by abuse in Eleanor and Park.

Pick of the Day: Darius & Twig (Audio)

Darius and Twig both dream of leaving their poor neighborhood for better and safer lives. Narrator Brandon Gill does a great job differentiating between the two boys as they make their way through the obstacles set before them. Be sure to read the review of the audiobook version of Walter Dean Myers’s novel.

‘War Horse’: Novel, Play, Film, and App | Touch and Go

Michael Morpurgo’s poignant ‘War Horse,’ first published as a novel for children, has seen many incarnations. It’s now an interactive, enhanced book for IOS devices. Watercolor illustrations, archival photos, and videos make this a production for both fiction lovers and history buffs.

Books to Enhance Class Trips and Learning Adventures | Focus On

The books presented in this month’s collection development column have been selected to support and enhance expeditions to favorite preschool and elementary-aged destinations: farms and other food-producing enterprises; museums (both natural history and art); nature reserves and outdoor-observation areas; community institutions; and zoos and aquariums. A mix of fact-filled offerings and fictional adventures, all of these titles give kids a break from the routine and encourage interactive learning experiences.

Pick of the Day: Joshua Dread (Audio)

Find out what happens when Joshua, a sixth grader, becomes “gyfted” with the power of spontaneous combustion in Joshua Dread, a starred audiobook review. Narrator Maxwell Glick perfectly captures the comic antics of author Lee Bacon’s superheroes and villains.

Pick of the Day: Deep Sea Diver (Audio)

Performed by Recess Monkey, Deep Sea Diver is an ocean-themed album of terrific songs for kids, set in a submarine, that travels the seven seas discovering musical treasures. Check out the starred review.

Olympian Family Matters | SLJ Reviews ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ Film

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Sea of Monsters comes roaring into theaters on August 7. SLJ reviews this page-to-screen adaptation of the second installment of Rick Riordan’s ultra-popular series.

Pick of the Day: The Last Flight of Petr Ginz (DVD)

The Last Flight of Petr Ginz is a unique biography of a Czech boy living during the Nazi occupation. The film is a powerful testament to a positive and talented young man.

A Brace of Apps | Touch and Go

What child can resist a book or app about animals? Incorporating vocabulary-rich texts and gentle environmental lessons, these apps will also find favor with teachers and parents.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books | August 2013

Our favorite apps this month include a tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony,’ and a rhyme based on a classic children’s song. If summer’s lovely weather hasn’t got you humming, these productions will.

Pick of the Day: Doll Bones (Audio)

Be sure to check out the starred audiobook review of Holly Black’s Doll Bones, a tale of friendship and the trials of growing up set against the backdrop of a spooky ghost story. Nick Podehl expertly voices all the characters.

Pick of the Day: LMNO Peas (DVD)

Never has the alphabet been more entertaining than in the animated DVD version of Keith Baker’s picture book, LMNO Peas. Be sure to check out the starred review.

A Fraught First Love, Straight Up | SLJ Reviews ‘The Spectacular Now’ Film

Director James Ponsoldt’s sharp take on Tim Tharp’s 2008 novel (Knopf) gives The Spectacular Now a higher level of maturity and complexity than most young adult book-to-movie adaptations. The film, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, arrives in theaters on August 2.

Teens Review ‘Talk a Good Game’, ‘Encore’, ‘The Last of Us’ | Music and Games

Our teens review music for R&B listeners as well as country/western fans; Kelly Rowland, well-known for her affiliation with Destiny’s Child, dishes out tasty tunes on her lastest album ​Talk a Good Game​, while relative newbie Hunter Hayes hits the mark with his special release, ​Encore. Looking for a videogame experience that promises a “gut-wrenching journey full of action, horror, combat, and stealth?” Cue up ​The Last of Us​, a new release for Playstation 3.