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September 19, 2014

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Review of the Day: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Review of the Day: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Dory Fantasmagory By Abby Hanlon Dial (an imprint of Penguin) $14.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-4088-4 Ages 6-8 On shelves October 9th Which of the following types of children’s books are, in your opinion, the most difficult to write: Board books, picture books, easy books (for emerging readers), early chapter books, or middle grade fiction (older chapter books)? [...]

Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’

photo by Sonya Sones

Former literary agent Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film version.

Historical Kids: What the HECK is Going On With Nonfiction Bios These Days?

Maybe it’s Common Core.  Maybe not.  I’m not always quite certain how far to place the blame in these cases.  However you look at it, children’s nonfiction bios are getting weird these days.  In some ways it’s quite remarkable.  I’m the first one to say that nonfiction for kids is better now than it has [...]

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Absolutely Almost By Lisa Graff Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16405-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. In the stage musical of Matilda, lyricist Tim Minchin begins the show with the following lines about the state of children today: “Specialness is de rigueur. / Above average is average. Go fig-ueur! / Is it some [...]

Mixed-Race Relationships

Mixed-Race Relationships

Today we have two stand-out novels involving race and immigration that are told from multiple points of view. Both involve the weight of parental expectations. Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng‘s debut novel, and our starred review joins other stars from LJ, Booklist and PW.  This is a dysfunctional family story in which [...]

Librarian Preview: Penguin Books (Summer 2014)

There is a certain element of mystery that accompanies each and every librarian preview here in New York City.  When the larger publishers gather the librarians to their proverbial bosom, those same librarians walk in with just one question in your mind: How long is this going to take?  If you’re lucky you’ll be out [...]

Penguin Spring Books 2014 | Spring Preview

Everything

Diversity, bears, ninjas, and celebrities all characterized the rich array of new titles at a recent Penguin preview.

How Late-Author Jean Craighead George’s Last Book Got Finished Thanks to Her Surviving Children

large_Ice_Whale

Jean Craighead George passed away in 2012, leaving her book Ice Whale incomplete. Her two children, Twig and Craig, took it upon themselves to finish their mother’s work and share the story behind its completion. Book available April 3.

Review of the Day: Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Curiosity By Gary Blackwood Dial (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-3924-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves April 10th Blackwood’s back, baby! And not a minute too soon. Back in 1998, the author released The Shakespeare Stealer which would soon thereafter become his best-known work. A clever blending of historical fiction and adventure, [...]

School Libraries Can Now Access Over 17,000 Ebook Penguin Titles through OverDrive

Penguin Ebooks Return to OverDrive, Go National on Axis 360

What was now only available to public libraries is now open to school libraries. Beloved authors—including Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, John Green, and many others—are now at school libraries’ fingertips.

Pick of the Day: The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

The author admirably touches upon profound issues related to identity and race and tenderly conveys intergenerational bonds.

On the Run

On the Run

Last week I observed that it’s been quite a winter for science fiction, and today we share two more SF recommendations. Both feature an alternate history aspect and siblings on the run. In Daniel Price’s The Flight of the Silvers, six people watch as our world is destroyed before being whisked away to an alternate America. [...]

Review of the Day: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Review of the Day: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Nightingale’s Nest By Nikki Loftin Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISNB: 978-1-59514-546-8 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. Magical realism in children’s novels is a rarity. It’s not unheard of, but when children’s authors want fantasy, they write fantasy. When they want reality, they write reality. A potentially uncomfortable mix of the two is harder [...]

Raw Honesty | Author Jay Asher Talks to SLJ About ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

Jay Asher Pic

In anticipation of the live event with New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why on March 3, SLJ caught up with Jay Asher to chat about his work and inspiration for the popular YA novel.

Follett Launches Collection of 17,000 Penguin Ebooks for Libraries and Schools

the Fault In our stars collector's edition

Nearly 17,000 children’s books published by Penguin USA will be available in the ebook format for schools and libraries through a partnership with Follett. The Penguin collection is available through Titlewave and includes popular titles such as The Westing Game by Ellen Rasking, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2014

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2014

Book hope springs eternal. It’s time to take a look at ten titles that I’m excited about for spring. Picture Books Help! We Need a Title! by Hervé Tullet May 13, 2014 | Candlewick Press | Grades PreK-1 I’m a sucker for inventive picture books and Hervé Tullet is the master of this realm. This [...]

Penguin Spring Kids 2014 | Preview Peek

EHPenguin2014Spring_TN

The Penguin Young Readers Group celebrated the holidays with good cheer, a host of spring titles to get excited about, and the launch of a new imprint, Kathy Dawson Books. Dawson, a publishing veteran of more than 20 years, was most recently vice president and editorial director for Dial Books.

All the Truth That’s In Me

All the Truth That’s In Me

Another guest post, this time on a book that has been getting a ton of positive press. Guest poster Maureen Eichner is a children’s assistant at a public library in the Indianapolis area. She has excellent taste in fantasy and is a thoughtful careful reader, so after reading and replying to this, do take a [...]

Review: Obsidian Mirror

Review: Obsidian Mirror

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher. Dial Books for Younger Readers, a member of Penguin Group. 2013. Library copy. The Plot: Time travel with a magical mirror. You want more? There are also the Shee. You know, the cold blooded not-human beings of legend who steal human children and never really age. You want more? A [...]

A Trio of Thrillers

A Trio of Thrillers

Three great suspenseful reads today. Joyce Maynard bases her latest on a true crime spree that took place in the 1970s, the “Trailside Killings”. Her young teen narrator and her even younger sister decide to help their detective father catch the serial killer. The father-daughter relationship is a highlight of this one. Maynard created a [...]