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December 19, 2014

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Top 20 Books of 2014: 15-11

Top 20 Books of 2014: 15-11

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1 15. Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton [Candlewick Press | Grades PreK-1] Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read. With its combination of suspense and broad humor, Shh! We Have a Plan plays like the best Chuck Jones Merrie Melodies cartoon that never happened. You can practically […]

Old Friends and New at Random House | Spring 2015 Preview

Dovekeepers

At the Spring 2015 Random House Preview, rich and unusual stories were abound: a man without a leg who bicycles across Ghana; Leontyne Price, one of the first African-Americans to perform at the Metropolitan Opera; and a dessert’s journey across time and four families.

Mystery & Truth

Mystery & Truth

As we launch head-first into the busy holiday season, two family mysteries begin our week. The ever-popular Jodi Picoult is back with another title that mixes animal behavior and human drama. (I say “another” given 2012′s Lone Wolf, which we recommended here.) Leaving Time focuses on elephant research and a mother’s disappearance. Diane Chamberlain is […]

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, Candace Fleming Schwartz & Wade, July 2014 Reviewed from ARC Six stars. It seems like everyone is talking about The Family Romanov*. Let’s set aside those stars though, because a discussion of what it means when a book earns full marks, ahem, stars, should be […]

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham

Today I review two books that have the potential to be wildly popular with teens–and wildly challenging for school librarians. Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham are media forces, women who excel in professions dominated by men. They both succeed through the sheer force of their personalities, and to some extent through their willingness to say […]

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Tin Stars and Clear Days

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 […]

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling, Lucy Frank Schwartz & Wade, August 2014 Reviewed from final copy I’m old. This year, it has really come home to me that I have been doing this for a while, with the following exchanges: Me: Oooh, a new one from Cecil Castellucci! Joy: You mean the LA Review […]

Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish By Jennifer L. Holm Random House ISBN: 9780375870644 $16.99 Grades 4-7 Out Now Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library *Best New Book* In terms of stuff humans are fascinated with, the concept of a “Fountain of Youth” ranks right up there. With the The Fourteenth Goldfish, Jennifer L. Holm enters […]

On the Road

On the Road

All We Had is a road trip novel that follows a mother and daughter from Los Angeles to the East Coast. In Lucky Us, a family moves from Ohio to Hollywood, then back East to New York. There are two main appeal elements in these road novels. All We Had exemplifies the first–grappling to survive and […]

Fabulous Debuts

Fabulous Debuts

It’s the end of August, and we still have quite a few reviews of summer books to share with you. So don’t let this somewhat clumsy grouping at all diminish your regard for the following three debut novels. I start with 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas because, well, great title! And it really does […]

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2014

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2014

You never know how these preview things are going to turn out. Sometimes there’s a bunch of lesser-known books that jump out, other times it’s stuff that’s already been building some buzz. Today is more latter than former. What follows are 10 books for the summer season that look promising. Picture Books Peanut Butter and […]

Review of the Day: Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson

Boys of Blur By N.D. Wilson Random House Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-449-81673-8 Ages 9-12 On shelves April 8th. I like a kid’s book with ambition. It’s all well and good to write one about magic candy shops or goofy uncles or simpering unicorns or what have you. The world is big and […]

Mackin Educational Ups Its Game with an Additional 2,000 Ebooks

VIA for SLJ

Mackin Educational Resources announces the inclusion of DK Publishing ebooks—adding 2,000 ebooks to its offerings.

Family Drama and Mental Illness

Family Drama and Mental Illness

Today’s books are about family, relationships, secrets, and coming-of-age. Both move back and forth in time, and include characters suffering from mental illness. Sarah Cornwell‘s debut novel, What I Had Before I Had You follows a mother’s memories back into her own turbulent adolescence. The thread that connects past and present is bipolar disorder, which […]

Lorax Spruce Up Your School Grant Program

Lorax Spruce Up Your School

How would you use $2500 to give your school a makeover? Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. have established the first annual Lorax Spruce Up Your School Grant Program to provide necessary funds to school employees to beautify their surroundings.

Review: Untold

Review: Untold

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan. The Lynburn Legacy, Book 2. Random House. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: In Unspoken, seventeen year old Kami Glass learned the truth about her village, Sorry-in-the-Vale. Short version: sorcerers are real. Kami’s family may not be sorcerers, but they have the potential to be something just as valuable: a source, […]

Roundup: All the Books

Roundup: All the Books

Okay, not all the books, but three books for the price of one post: The Golden Day, Winger, and The Midnight Dress. (It was going to be four books, because I stayed up way too late reading More Than This the other night, but I think I need to sit on that for another day […]

A Message of Hope: Patricia MacLachlan, Steven Kellogg on ‘Snowflakes Fall’

Snowflakes_Fall_book_cover

Acclaimed kid lit creators Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg chat with SLJ about their new picture book Snowflakes Fall, a celebration of life and a lyrical message of hope for children and their families following the tragic events that took place in Newtown, CT, in December 2012.

Family, for Better or Worse

Family, for Better or Worse

“Today we review three very different novels about families, none of them easy. The families, that is!,” writes Angela Carstensen on the Adult Books 4 Teens blog.

Review of the Day: Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry

Review of the Day: Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry

Written in Stone By Rosanne Parry Random House $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-375-86971-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Finding books of historical fiction for kids about Native Americans is an oddly limited proposition. Basically, it boils down to Pilgrims, the Trail of Tears, the occasional 1900s storyline (thank God for Louise Erdrich), and . . . yeah, […]