Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero Knopf Books for Young Readers, July 2015 Reviewed from a ARC Karyn started out the week gushing about what a banner year for fantasy it is. I’m a little closer to Joy’s wavelength because I’ve got some (historical) realistic fiction to cover in this post. Joy also talked about SIGNIFICANCE […]
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 […]
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, April 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Last week, I spent my time talking about unusual formats. This week, I’m not dealing with an unsual format — just straight up prose here, folks — but this title does have a unique feel. It’s like […]
The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond Candlewick, March 2015 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, I am conflicted about this one. This is gorgeous, gorgeous writing — even the first line pulls you in and lets you know that you’re in for something unusual here (“I was born in a hovel on the banks of the […]
The diversity in the 2015 Youth Media Awards selections was a critical step in the right direction, though barriers remain. Perhaps we will look back and recognize this as a turning point.
This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
The American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards were announced Monday morning at the ALA mid-winter meeting in Chicago, and for the first time ever, graphic novels received both Newbery and Caldecott honors. Established in 1921, the Newbery Medal recognizes the most distinguished American book published for children. This year, El Deafo by Cece Bell was […]
Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover and Dan Santat’s The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend took home the medals for the Newbery and the Caldecott awards, respectively. Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun captured the Printz award.
We’ve got a small list of nonfiction titles to go through today — all with starred reviews, and two on year’s best lists. These are all good non-fiction, solid reads. I liked them. Understand: these are no frogs here, and I enjoyed the kisses very much. Buuuuuut… I’m not convinced that they’ll be talked about […]
Althea and Oliver by Cristina Moracho Viking, October 2014 Reviewed from final copy This book really amazed me by being a story that is bigger and harder and rougher and rawer than I thought it would be. It’s been named for two year’s best lists, and garnered three starred reviews, so it’s not just me […]
Printz winners Nick Lake and Marcus Sedgwick are back. Lake spins a tale featuring the ultimate unreliable narrator, in There Will Be Lies, while Sedgwick weaves together plots spanning centuries in his latest.
This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston Published by Carolrhoda Lab, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy You know we’re not going to get out of here without a Trogdor reference, right? I mean, that’s not in any way the point or even relevant, but it’s still burninating me up […]
Threatened by Eliot Schrefer Scholastic, February 2014 Reviewed from an ARC The art of reading for Printz is an interesting one; the pile adds and drops titles throughout the course of the year. With two stars and some buzz, Threatened was a back-and-forther for me — sometimes in the pile, sometimes to the side, sometimes […]
The Hit by Melvin Burgess Scholastic, February 2014 Reviewed from an ARC Melvin Burgess, Melvin Burgess, Melvin Burgess! So much love for Melvin Burgess, who can do dark and devious and subversive. The Hit has two starred reviews, an action-filled plot, unexpected twists, and a killer idea: a drug that will kill you after giving […]
Three stars! Two plots for the price of one! Paranormal romance WITH commentary on the paranormal romance genre! A book for book lovers! Publishing trivia sprinkled throughout! Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is a door stopper of a book with a lot to say — about the intricacies of publishing, the craft of writing, the art […]
Through the Woods, Emily Carroll McElderry Books, July 2014 Reviewed from final copy Just yesterday, we had our annual visit from an NYPL teen librarian to get students public library cards and do a bunch of booktalks. The book that got the strongest reaction? Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods. Both classes had teens verbally enjoying […]
Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable […]
A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014 Reviewed from ARC This is a book that, I’m pretty sure, was written just for me. I love fantasy, I love courtly politics, I love dragons and willful ladies. Somehow, though, even though my review is due, I have to confess that I’m […]
Children of the King, Sonya Hartmett Candlewick, March 2014 Reviewed from ARC Luxuriant prose, complicated and resonant themes, contemplative characters — Hartnett’s historical fiction is actually a bit of a genre-blender with thin fantasy elements woven in. Traditionally, the Printz committee rewards books that mix genres — but RealCommittee choices also tend to skew older, […]
I Remember Beirut, Zeina Abirached Graphic Universe, August 2014 Reviewed from final copy I’m struggling to remain even semi-impartial here. This is a book that I loved reading. But when I put it on the list, I was pretty sure I was doing it because of personal reasons, not so much because I was ready […]
At the Printz Award Ceremony and the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet, the authors’ acceptance speeches ranged from moving to side-splitting, and the enthralled audience was dressed to the nines.