November 18, 2017

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

TURNER, Pamela S. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune. 4 CDs. 4:51 hrs. Recorded Books. Oct. 2016. $46.75. ISBN 9781501936265.

Gr 7 Up –Combining action, history, and excellent descriptions, this book shares the story of Yoshitsune, a most unlikely samurai. Spared after his father attacked a rival, Yoshitsune was raised by monks and later received instruction in the way of the samurai. Yoshitsune pledged his loyalty to his half brother Yoritomo and performed many heroic feats. Unfortunately, […]

9 Refugee Stories for Kids and Teens

These nine titles—from picture books to YA—explore the many dangers, factors, and effects that refugees and immigrants face every day.

3 “STEM”-ulating Biographies

These recent titles tackle complex STEM topics suitable for any classroom.

A Time To Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech by Shana Corey | SLJ Review

COREY, Shana. A Time To Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 48p. bibliog. further reading. notes. photos. NorthSouth. Apr. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780735842755.

Gr 3-5 –On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave an eloquent speech in which he made a plea for civil rights for African Americans. He was lauded for his blunt but sincere appeal to ensure equality for all Americans. Corey begins with biographical information on Kennedy, including his […]

Come On in, America: The United States in World War I by Linda Osborne | SLJ Review

OSBORNE, Linda Barrett. Come On in, America: The United States in World War I. 176p. bibliog. index. photos. reprods. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419723780.

Gr 9 Up –What begins as an overview of U.S. involvement in World War I expands into how the Great War impacted the lives of Americans at home and on the battlefield. Osborne effectively juxtaposes issues such as censorship, propaganda, prejudice, discrimination, and violence that arose in the United States against the democratic […]

The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith | SLJ Review

SMITH, Danna. The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 40p. further reading. index. websites. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763679927.

K-Gr 3 –A serene journey through a medieval landscape with a falconer and his daughter. Each spread features a four-line stanza that describes an aspect of falconry and ends with “the castle”: “This is the glove with scratches and flaws/which protects Father’s hand from razor-sharp claws/that grasp with ease and hold […]

Vincent and Theo: The van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman | SLJ Review

HEILIGMAN, Deborah. Vincent and Theo: The van Gogh Brothers. 464p. bibliog. chron. ebook available. index. notes. reprods. Holt. Apr. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780805093391.

Gr 7 Up –Central to understanding the artist Vincent van Gogh was his relationship with his younger brother Theo, recorded for posterity in the nearly 700 surviving letters they wrote to each other. Here, Heiligman delivers an exquisitely told, heartfelt portrayal of that deep emotional and intellectual bond. It was an attachment solidified in the […]

Nonfiction Xpress Reviews | March 2017

Simone Biles soars; a primer on gender identity; and an overview of reptiles.

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

New Professional Development Titles on Latino Texts and Connecting Young Readers with Nonfiction

Mentor texts that focus on Latino culture, ways to make nonfiction texts relevant and accessible to your youngest patrons, and the library commons.

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

Talking Baby: Helping Your Child Discover Language by Margaret MacLagan & Anne Buckley | SLJ Review

MACLAGAN, Margaret & Anne Buckley. Talking Baby: Helping Your Child Discover Language. 192p. Finch. Nov. 2016. pap. $18.95. ISBN 9781925048605.

In this puddle-jumper from down under, child language development lecturer ­Maclagan and speech-language therapist Buckley set forth a just-technical-enough look at how children acquire language and how to best support its development. Beginning with infancy, the authors encourage parents to talk, talk, talk about anything and to leave time for “response” (anything the baby does is her “turn” in […]

An Antidote for the Winter Blues | SLJ Spotlight on Nonfiction

Cold, blustery days got elementary students down? These spring-related titles are just the ticket to get kids energized for longer and warmer days ahead.

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin W. Sandler | SLJ Review

SANDLER, Martin W. The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found. 176p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Candlewick. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763680336.

Gr 6 Up –Sandler dispels many popular pirate-related myths and offers a more realistic and factual view of the era of piracy in the New World. Instead of living in abject poverty at the mercy of kings and nobles, many men embraced piracy as a means to support their families and live a comfortable life, […]

SLJ’s February 2017 Popular Picks

These materials will fly off the shelves, from a story about a young boy who loves his green pants to a timely YA novel centered on gun violence and Islamophobia by Barry Lyga.

Noah Webster’s Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer | SLJ Review

MAURER, Tracy Nelson. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words. illus. by Mircea Catusanu. 40p. bibliog. chron. ebook available. further reading. notes. websites. Millbrook. Jan. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781467794107.

Gr 3-5 –Maurer and Catusanu have created a wonderfully clever and humorous depiction of Noah Webster as an outspoken, driven man who endlessly advocated for weaning Americans from British influence by producing a lexicon of truly American words with American pronunciations. For example, at that time, the terms skunk, hickory, and chowder […]

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 […]

Nonfiction Xpress Reviews | February 2017

A truly vast array of informational materials, from a glimpse at the inspiring female athletes of the 2016 Olympic Games to a Chickasaw astronaut’s story to Donna Jo Napoli’s Tales from the Arabian Nights.

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

The Champ is Here | SLJ Spotlight

A mix of picture book and YA biographies that focus on well-known athletes who not only excelled in their respective leagues but also created lasting cultural change.

Download SLJ’s Sneak Peek Guide to Spring/Summer 2017 Titles

Over 150 of the most hotly anticipated spring and summer titles, hand-picked by the SLJ editors. With info on ALA author signings and galley giveaways.

The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species by Sandra Markle | SLJ Review

MARKLE, Sandra. The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species. 40p. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Jan. 2017. lib. ed. $30.65. ISBN 9781512410150.

Gr 3-6 –“Nothing new under the sun,” goes the old saying, but apparently there is. Consider the first “new” carnivore spotted in the Americas in 35 years—the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina), a small furry member of the raccoon family, hiding in plain sight (though nocturnal in nature) in the Ecuadorian rain […]