November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Diversity explored and celebrated in “Same, Same but Different” | Audio Pick

KOSTECKI-SHAW, Jenny Sue. Same, Same but Different. 1 CD. 6 min. Weston Woods. 2015. $12.95. ISBN 9780545842426.
K-Gr 2–When Elliott draws a picture of his world in art class, his teacher sends it across the globe to another classroom and a beautiful story is born. Elliott from America and Kailash from India have very different lives, but through their letters and drawings they see how much they have in common. Kostecki-Shaw teaches listeners about the beauty of diversity and sends the […]

Dual narrators excel in gripping supernatural thriller “The Walls Around Us” | Audio Pick

Suma, Nova Ren. The Walls Around Us. 8 CDs. 8:45 hrs. Recorded Books. 2015. $87.75. ISBN 9781490664613. digital download.
Gr 9 Up–In alternating narratives that ultimately converge in supernatural ways, two girls share a connection, though, ostensibly, their stories are separated by three years. Violet is an 18-year-old ballet dancer, recently graduated and soon to start at Juilliard. Amber is incarcerated at a juvenile detention center for allegedly killing her abusive stepfather. Tying them together is Orianna, Violet’s best friend, who […]

Rollicking “Ratscalibur” a sure favorite among young fantasy fans|Audio Pick

LIEB, Josh. Ratscalibur. 3 CDs. 3:36 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $27. ISBN 978101915301. digital download.
Gr 3-6–Joey, a soon-to-be seventh grader, has recently moved to New York City with his mother. He is not particularly enthralled by big city life. Soon though, Joey’s uncle brings home a special new friend for him—a rat, just like the creatures he has seen about the city. To Joey’s surprise, his new pet rodent begins speaking to him from his cage. He learns that the […]

Stunning images of our “Invisible Universe” are brought to life in NOVA’s new documentary | DVD Pick

Invisible Universe Revealed. (NOVA) 54 min Dist. by PBS. 2015. $24.99. ISBN 9781627893619.
Gr 4-8–This 25th-anniversary tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope combines jaw-dropping deep space photographs with an unusually detailed account of how the defective mirror that nearly derailed the entire project was fixed. The story begins with the discoveries of early 20th-century astronomer Edwin Hubble. Veteran scientists—notably NASA’s chief astronomer Nancy Roman, now in her nineties and known as the “Mother of Hubble”—describe how the telescope was designed, manufactured, […]

A young boy helps his dog and his village in “Belle and Sebastien”|DVD Pick

Belle and Sebastian. 99 min. Dist. by Omnibus Entertainment. Filmmovement.com. English dubbed audio. French audio with English subtitles. 2013. $24.95. UPC 857692005222.
Gr 3-8–Set in the French Alps during World War II, this movie is based on the 1965 French novel of the same name. It chronicles one boy’s journey to redeem a dog and help his village. Sebastian, six, befriends an enormous stray sheepdog who he names Belle, even though the townspeople think that the dog is responsible for the […]

“The Last One” explores fascinating history of AIDS quilt and community|DVD Pick

The Last One. 71 min. Dist. by the Video Project. 2014. $89. ISBN unavail.
Gr 7 Up–This documentary covers the history of the AIDS Quilt and Names Project, while providing a revealing look at the effects of ignorance, stigma, and discrimination, which cause the disease to spread. Conceived by San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones, the AIDS Quilt began in 1985 with a single panel dedicated to Jones’s lover, Marvin Feldman. The quilt now numbers more than 48,000 panels and […]

SLJ’s Starred Reviews | March 2015

Visit old friends and new with this month’s SLJ stars. Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans will delight in finally seeing TIny Cooper’s masterpiece come to life, and Avi fans are in for a treat with Catch You Later, Traitor. Graphic novel fans have a wonderfully gruesome new series with “The Lunch Witch,” while YA fans looking for a new voice will find it with Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Pick of the Day: The Hypnotists | Audio

In this funny, fast-paced tale of supernatural suspense, Jackson “Jax” Opus never thought too much about his color-changing eyes until strange things began happening to people who looked into them.

Pick of the Day: Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again. By Thanhha Lai. 2 cassettes or 2 CDs. 2:30 hrs. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4640-2089-6, CD: ISBN 978-1-4640-2088-9. $25.75.
Gr 4-8—Spanning one Têt to the next from 1975 to 1976, Thanhha Lai’s semi-autobiographical novel (HarperCollins, 2011) is divided into four chapters: “Saigon,” “At Sea,” “Alabama, “From Now On.” Hà, her mother, and her three brothers live in Saigon and her father has been missing in action for nine years. The threat of invasion from the […]