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August 4, 2015

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Review: Dory and the Real True Friend by Abby Hanlon

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 Penguin Kind of Circus | Summer Preview

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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.

Review of the Day: Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

Review of the Day: Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

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 […]

Review: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Review: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

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 […]

Nonfiction Monday: Tricky Vic by Greg Pizzoli

Nonfiction Monday: Tricky Vic by Greg Pizzoli

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 […]

Top 20 Books of 2014: 20-16

Top 20 Books of 2014: 20-16

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 […]

#GiveaBook: Penguin Random House to Launch Book Donation Campaign with Save the Children

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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

A Time to Dance

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 […]

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

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 […]

Review of the Day: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Review of the Day: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

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

Belzhar

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 […]

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

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

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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, […]