The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks Carolrhoda Lab/Penguin, March, 2015 Reviewed from a final copy So way back a few weeks ago, Karyn mentioned that she found Tightrope Walkers too dark and oppressive to really sit with. I immediately began to wonder, what did I miss? Why didn’t the darkness affect me? Was I fooled […]
Robo-Sauce By Adam Rubin Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri Dial (an imprint of Penguin Books) $18.99 ISBN: 978-0525428879 Ages 4-6 On shelves October 20th. When I whip out the old we’re-living-in-a-golden-age-of-picture-book-creation argument with colleagues and friends, they humor what I’m sure they consider to be my hyperbole. Suuuuuure we are, Betsy. Not prone to exaggeration or […]
Audacity by Melanie Crowder Penguin/Philomel, January 2015 Reviewed from ARC I have a copy all marked up with post its; Audacity is full of lovely language, creatively placed text (srsly, such nice design), and strong recurring images, and I want to put lots of quotes in for oooh-ing and aww-ing purposes. However, I GUESS […]
SLJ contributing editor Rocco Staino shares highlights from this past spring’s NYC publisher previews and offers a peek into some of the books coming out this fall season.
This summer I challenged myself to read as much as I could. I made sure to keep my house inundated with books, which between the loads of reserves I placed at the public library and the many books I still have from Book Expo America, is not a problem. I also wanted to do a […]
Dory and the Real True Friend By Abby Hanlon Dial (Penguin) ISBN: 9780525428664 $14.99 Grades 1-3 Out July 7, 2015 *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Why review a particular book? I was asked this recently and my answer was pretty simple: I like to review books I’m excited about. […]
A circus-themed event at Penguin’s Preview in New York City underlined its featured book Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley—and other titles with animals of the possum-kind.
Castle Hangnail By Ursula Vernon Dial (an imprint of Penguin Group) ISBN: 978-0803741294 Ages 8-11 On shelves April 21st These are dark times for children’s fantasy. Dark times indeed. Which is to say, when I pick up a fantasy novel for kids, more often than not I find the books filled with torture, violence, bloody […]
Roller Girl By Victoria Jamieson Dial Books (Penguin) ISBN: 9780803740167 $12.99 Grades 4-8 Out Now *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Before I begin this review, let me set the right tone: That’s better. Sometimes you can find a lot of truth in unexpected places. Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl takes […]
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower By Greg Pizzoli Viking (Penguin) ISBN: 9780670016525 $17.99 Grades 2-4 Out March 10, 2015 *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library The Big Con. It’s an idea so captivating that countless books have been written about pulling […]
Around this time of the year, John Schumacher and I get all reflective. While it would be cool if we shined brightly when you pointed a flashlight at us, I don’t mean that kind of reflective. I mean we looked back on the year in children’s literature. We reflected with a purpose: over the next […]
Penguin Random House (PRH) is slated to launch the #GiveaBook campaign on November 29. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter before December 25, PRH will donate a book to Save the Children.
A Time to Dance, Padma Venkatraman Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), May 2014 Reviewed from ARC Joy referenced the #weneeddiversebooks movement a few posts back, when she talked about two black ballerinas, one fictional and one actual. In some ways, A Time to Dance could have been included in that post: it’s a book about a […]
We’ve suffered from a dearth of adult nonfiction for teens this year, but today I am thrilled to bring you a great recommendation. In fact, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels shares some of the very best qualities of Mary Roach’s iconic Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, especially a gross-out curiosity factor and great story-telling. Add a larger-than-life subject and […]
Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters By Oliver Jeffers Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $26.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16791-1 Ages 6 and up On shelves now Beware ever becoming a brand, my sweet, for that way lies nothing but unhappiness and ruin. Or not. I think the only real and true problem with […]
Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer Dutton, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC There’s always some weird dance of anticipation and dread when an author you respect as an author for adult readers dips into the YA world. Happily, Meg Wolitzer is very clear eyed about YA and about why she writes YA — it’s not to jump on […]
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)? […]
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 […]
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 […]