July 23, 2017

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The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater | SLJ Review

SLATER, Dashka. The 57 Bus. 320p. Farrar. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374303235.

Gr 6 Up –On November 4, 2013, Sasha, a high school senior from Oakland, CA, was napping on the 57 bus home from school. Shortly thereafter, Richard, another Oakland teen, boarded the bus with his two friends. When the trio’s jokes took a dark turn, Richard’s and Sasha’s lives were forever changed. Slater, who originally covered the crime for the New York Times magazine, here breaks down the series of events into […]

The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes | SLJ Review

NOYES, Deborah. The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead. 160p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Viking. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803740181.

Gr 6 Up –Harry Houdini is best remembered as a magician and escape artist, but he also spent more than half his life tirelessly investigating mediums and séances—charlatans in disguise. Noyes’s narrative blends the history of the spiritualism movement in the early 20th century with a biographical account of Houdini. Early in Houdini’s […]

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre | SLJ Review

SAYRE, April Pulley. Full of Fall. photos by April Pulley Sayre. 40p. bibliog. S. & S./Beach Lane. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481479844.

PreS-Gr 2 –The pages in this beautiful tribute to autumn virtually throb with color at every turn. A seasonal companion to Raindrops Roll and Best in Snow, this title highlights the glorious show that is performed each year by trees around the world. Simple, elegant poetry leads readers through the progression of changing leaves as the […]

Nonfiction: Career Guidance, Garbage Galore, and Homework Help | July 2017 Xpress Reviews

This month’s nonfiction Xpress Reviews include a volume aimed at students in need of some tips on doing homework, a primer on careers working with animals, and much more.

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

Book Review: Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation by Anthony & Annmarie Young

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of School Library Journal.    ROBINSON, Anthony & Annemarie Young […]

5 Nonfiction Titles To Stave Off the Summer Slide | Adult Books 4 Teens

From an account of crimes committed against the Osage Nation in the 1920s to a quick overview of astrophysics from Neil deGrasse Tyson, these titles are bound to keep students learning, and having fun, during the summer months.

Standout STEM Reads | SLJ Spotlight

Most children’s and YA books on STEM subjects can be a tad didactic; however, these recent offerings are anything but dull.

How To Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy | SLJ Review

ROY, Katherine. How To Be an Elephant. illus. by Katherine Roy. 48p. diag. filmog. further reading. photos. websites. Roaring Brook/David Macaulay Studio. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781626721784.

Gr 3-6 –Roy follows her masterly Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands with a stunning look at how a newborn elephant matures into a capable member of the herd. The work adroitly covers anatomy, environment, family life, and other topics. Roy emphasizes how elephants, with their […]

Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy | SLJ Review

OTHEGUY, Emma. Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad. illus. by Beatriz Vidal. 32p. bibliog. Lee & Low. May 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780892393756. BL

Gr 2-5 –The life of poet, writer, and freedom fighter José Martí (1853–95) comes alive in this lyrical, bilingual retelling of his everlasting impact on the people of his native Cuba. Growing up, Martí was an admirer of nature and fell in love with the beauty of the Cuban countryside. As […]

Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation by Anthony & Annmarie Young | SLJ Review

ROBINSON, Anthony & Annemarie Young . Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation. photos by Anthony Robinson. 144p. chron. filmog. further reading. maps. websites. Interlink. Jul. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781566560153.

Gr 7 Up –A number of Palestinian kids and teens discuss their hopes and dreams and what it is like living in an occupied country. An introductory chapter explains the Occupied Territories, provides an overview of the history of the Palestinian land, and explores the impact of occupation on […]

Download SLJ’s Sneak Peek Guide to Fall 2017 Books

Download this handy guide to over 150 of the most hotly anticipated fall titles, curated by SLJ editors. With info on ALA author signings and galley giveaways.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: James L. Swanson’s “Chasing King’s Killer”

James L. Swanson’s new biography, Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassin, out next spring from Scholastic, marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. See SLJ’s exclusive cover reveal.

Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough | SLJ Review

BROCKENBROUGH, Martha. Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary. 384p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250123190.

Gr 7 Up –Brockenbrough engagingly re-creates the complex character and eventful life of Alexander Hamilton in her nuanced biography. The author explores this eloquent, passionate, and principled founding father, from his illegitimate birth on the Caribbean island of Nevis to his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. The chronological narrative relies on thorough research to present details of Hamilton as an […]

Nonfiction Creators on Inspiration, Research, and More | SLJ Day of Dialog 2017

Insight into writing and illustrating nonfiction from Steve Sheinkin, Sue Macy, Michelle Markel, Alexandra Siy, and R. Gregory Christie.

Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space by Alexandra Siy | SLJ Review

SIY, Alexandra. Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space. 80p. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Charlesbridge. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781580897280.

Gr 4-8 –Forty years after the launch of the twin space probes, Siy’s well-researched and enthusiastic title depicts their conception, construction, major discoveries, and lasting legacy. After two introductory chapters, the narrative settles into a pattern: each chapter opens with a historical breakthrough, such as Galileo discovering four of Jupiter’s moons, and then […]

Becoming Bach

Becoming Bach Written and illustrated by Tom Leonard Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2017 ISBN #978-1-62672-286-6   Grades K and up   Book Review   “New sounds, happy sounds, quiet sounds, yellow sounds, red sounds, blue sounds. All the sounds in my head.” In Becoming Bach, a picture book biography written and illustrated by Tom […]

Nonfiction: The Buzz on Bees, Dipping into Chocolate | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

The latest nonfiction titles cover a variety of topics, from chocolate to bees, from eccentric inventors to Jackie Kennedy.

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

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams | SLJ Review

WILLIAMS, Lily. If Sharks Disappeared. illus. by Lily Williams. 40p. bibliog. glossary. websites. Roaring Brook. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626724136.

K-Gr 2 –Young audiences learn conservation vocabulary and concepts through an illustrated examination of what might happen if sharks were to become extinct. A brown-skinned girl in a boat acts as a guide for this predictive exercise. She first introduces sharks as part of a healthy ocean, then describes the ways in which sharks influence our ecosystem. In […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Readers to Eaters $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now. A kid walked up to my Reference Desk. Looked me square in the eye. Said, “I need a biography…” “Sure thing!” I chirruped. That’s […]