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February 7, 2016

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Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff | SLJ Review

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic

Rockliff, Mara. Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 48p. Candlewick. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763668419.

Gr 2-5 –From the team responsible for Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France (Candlewick, 2015) comes another excellent picture book biography, this time about someone less well known but truly intriguing. Adelaide Herrmann (1853–1932) never wanted to be like other girls: she was […]

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy | SLJ Review

Coy, John. Their Great Gift Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land.

Coy, John. Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land. photos by Wing Young Huie. 32p. ebook available. Carolrhoda. Mar. 2016. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9781467780544.

K-Gr 4 –An attractive and inspiring look at immigration to the United States, sure to spark discussions at home or in the classroom. Coy takes a simple approach with the text, employing only a few words per page, while Huie uses his mostly black-and-white photographs to illuminate […]

Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang | SLJ Review

Lang, Heather. Fearless Flyer Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

LANG, Heather. Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine. illus. by Raúl Colón. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. websites. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916506.

Gr 1-3 –A decade before Amelia Earhart entered the public’s consciousness, Ruth Law (1887–1970) was performing stunts at aerial shows. By 1916, she “longed to fly to get somewhere…somewhere far away.” Emphasizing Law’s competitive and risk-taking nature, Lang builds suspense with comparisons and questions. Victor Carlstrom had recently set the record […]

Gregory Maguire’s “After Alice,” Speculative Fiction, and More | Adult Books 4 Teens

After Alice

Mark Flowers looks at a wide assortment of speculative fiction titles and a book that seems like it should be science fiction but is actually nonfiction.

Getting Schooled: Nonfiction authors tell all about class visits

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Three nonfiction authors deliver personal essays about their experiences visiting schools and libraries and meeting face-to-face with their young readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

1493 for Young People: From Columbus’s Voyage to Globalization by Charles C. Mann | SLJ Review

1493 for Young People by Charles C. Mann

Mann, Charles C. 1493 for Young People: From Columbus’s Voyage to Globalization. adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. 416p. chron. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. Seven Stories. Jan. 2016. Tr $40. ISBN 9781609806309; pap. $18.95. ISBN 9781609806637.

Gr 7-10 –Stefoff abridges and simplifies Mann’s adult title 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (Knopf, 2011), objectively describing how European exploration and the resulting Columbian Exchange of plants, animals, and diseases rapidly made the world “global” in outlook and […]

Selecting and Promoting Nonfiction in Your Library | Nonfiction Notions

aaa Sniffer Dogs

Welcome to Nonfiction Notions, a new column devoted to exploring and recommending middle grade nonfiction. If you and your readers have always thought that nonfiction meant boring textbooks, dry as dust tomes, or—gasp!—factoid books with no redeeming qualities, think again! There’s a whole world of amazing middle grade narrative and expository nonfiction waiting to entice readers.

Our Bodies, Our Shelves | SLJ Spotlight

Higgins.Feminism_Reinventing the F Word

From sex and gender to reproductive rights, these recent offerings make complex topics accessible and ensure that teenagers will be informed about issues that affect them.

You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter | SLJ Review

You Never Heard of Casey Stengel by Jonah Winter

Winter, Jonah. You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! illus. by Barry Blitt. 40p. ebook available. glossary. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375870132.

Gr 2-4 –The “You Never Heard of…” picture books are back with this interesting look at a baseball personality known more for his managerial style than for his years as a player. In a relaxed, conversational tone, Winter ushers readers through the life of Casey Stengel, whose childhood dream was to […]

Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer | SLJ Review

Echo by Marilyn Singer

Singer, Marilyn. Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths. illus. by Josée Masse. 32p. Dial. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803739925. 

Gr 2-5 –A companion volume to this team’s Mirror Mirror (2010) and Follow Follow (2013, both Dial), this imaginative work is a symphony of cannily composed verse intensified by a palette of Aegean blues, sunlit golds, and delicate greens. Through reverso poems rendered in an elegant font on split blue and white pages, Singer presents […]

Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See by Megan Dowd Lambert | Professional Reading

Reading Picture Books with Children by Megan Dowd Lambert

Lambert, Megan Dowd. Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See. 176p. ebook available. Charlesbridge. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781580896627. Lambert’s Whole Book Approach challenges librarians to think differently about how they share a picture book in a group setting. It asks adult readers to value the opinions of young listeners and to engage them to become active participants as they try to make meaning of […]

Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future by Allan Drummond | SLJ Review

Green City by Allan Drummond

Drummond, Allan. Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future. illus. by Allan Drummond. 40p. notes. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374379995.

Gr 1-5 –On May 4, 2007, a treacherous tornado destroyed Greensburg, KS, “in nine-minutes flat.” Eleven people died; the school, “hospital, nine churches, the water tower, the drugstore with its soda fountain, the grocery store, the two hotels, the three banks, the theater, and everything […]

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh | SLJ Review

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

Burleigh, Robert. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor. illus. by Raúl Colón. 40p. bibliog. ebook available. glossary. websites. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Jan. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481416009. LC 2014010158.

Gr 2-4 –In this excellent biography of scientist Marie Tharp, Burleigh, writing in the first person, allows this adept geologist and oceanographic cartographer to tell her own story. Map lover Tharp became one of the 20th century’s most important […]

Book of Nature Poetry by Patrick J. Lewis | SLJ Review

Book of Nature Poetry by Patrick J. Lewis

Lewis, J. Patrick, ed. Book of Nature Poetry. 192p. further reading. index. photos. National Geographic. 2015. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781426320941.

K-Gr 4 –Compiled by former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Lewis, this assortment of nature-themed verse is, in a word, breathtaking. The selections represent a variety of styles, time periods, countries of origin, lengths, and themes; all are set against a stunning backdrop of full-bleed photographs. Offerings are divided into sections such as “In the sky,” “In […]

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner | SLJ Review

Samurai RisingThe Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner

Turner, Pamela S. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune. illus. by Gareth Hinds. 256p. bibliog. chron. glossary. index. notes. Charlesbridge. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781580895842.

Gr 7 Up –Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the 12th-century Heian hero who defeated the rival Taira clan only to be undone by another member of the Minamoto group, is a samurai legend. His rise from obscurity, reckless brilliance in battle, and gruesome end (which helped establish seppuku as part […]

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine By Laurie Wallmark | SLJ Review

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine By Laurie Wallmark

Wallmark, Laurie. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. illus. by April Chu. 40p. bibliog. chron. Creston. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781939547200. 

Gr 1-4 –This well-written and handsomely illustrated picture book biography details how Ada Lovelace Byron was able to write the first computer program more than 100 years before the first computer was built. Ever since she was a young girl, Lovelace was fascinated by numbers. As she was growing up, she filled her journals […]

Hillary: Beyond the Headlines | SLJ Spotlight

Hillary Rodham Clinton A Woman Living History

Several recently reviewed books take a close look a presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton.

Beyond the Whodunit: Sarah Miller Takes a Deep Dive into the Infamous Lizzie Borden Case

BORDEN

Sarah Miller relates the challenges of researching and writing The Borden Murders and discusses the moments and discoveries that surprised her.

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P. J. Lynch | SLJ Review

theboywhofell

Lynch, P.J. The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune. illus. by P.J. Lynch. 64p. bibliog. websites. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763665845.

Gr 3-6 –Lynch brings to vivid life the well-known story of the Pilgrims through the adventures and voice of John Howland. As a young man, Howland came across the Atlantic on the Mayflower as an indentured servant of John Carver, who would later become the first governor of the […]

When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis by Simon Winchester | SLJ Review

whentheeaerthshakes

Winchester, Simon. When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis. 80p. diags. filmog. further reading. index. maps. photos. websites. Viking. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780670785360.

Gr 5-8 –Winchester, a journalist and former geologist, examines earth-shaking phenomena. In the opening pages, the author discusses his experience on a university research team that confirmed the key scientific theory of continental drift; his powerful writing conveys the excitement of discovery. After this first chapter, descriptions of earthquakes, volcanos, and […]