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August 29, 2015

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Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz | SLJ Review

Lizard

Schmatz, Pat. Lizard Radio. 288p. ebook available. Candlewick. Sept. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763676353.

Gr 8 Up–All great heroes begin with mythical origins. Fifteen-year-old Kavali is no exception. When she was a baby, she was abandoned on a sidewalk, swaddled in a T-shirt with a lizard printed on the front. Since then, she has questioned her true identity. Is she a boy or a girl? A lizard or a human? This work is set in the not-too-distant future, in which the […]

Review of the Day: Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall

Mars Evacuees By Sophia McDougall Harper Collins $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-229399-2 Ages 9-12 I’ve a nasty habit of finishing every children’s book I start, no matter how dull or dire it might be. I am sort of alone in this habit, which you could rightly call unhealthy. After all, most librarians understand that their time on […]

The Thrilling Possibilities of AI and YA Sci-Fi: Mark Alpert on “The Six”

Mark Alpert

Mark Alpert, contributing editor at Scientific American, explores the definition of humanity, the cost and benefits of scientific research, and teen angst in his debut YA novel, The Six.

From the Stacks to the Shelf: How This Reader Became a Librarian and an Author, a guest post and giveaway by TRACKED author Jenny Martin

From the Stacks to the Shelf:  How This Reader Became a Librarian and an Author, a guest post and giveaway by TRACKED author Jenny Martin

Like Star Wars? Speed Racer? The Fast and the Furious? What if I told you there was an awesome new science fiction title coming set in the future and featuring a female racer . . . Pretty awesome, right? Jenny Martin is a school librarian who is about to have her first book, TRACKED, published. […]

Before and After the Apocalypse

Before and After the Apocalypse

Two science fiction thrillers on review today, from two new Simon & Schuster imprints that highlight speculative fiction: Saga Press and Simon451. Lee Kelly‘s debut, City of Savages, could easily have been published YA. It alternates two YA narrators, sisters, as they survive post-WWIII Manhattan. This is a good post-apocalyptic novel, and readers experience the war itself […]

YALSA GGNT Top Ten Manga: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Volume 1-3

YALSA GGNT Top Ten Manga: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Volume 1-3

Mankind has moved out into space, populating huge colonies called Sides that have orbited Earth for over half a century. In the year 0079 Universal Century, one such colony, Side 3, calling itself the Principality of Zeon, declared independence from the Earth Federation, and war broke out. In just over a month, the fighting killed […]

Red Rising and The Bone Season continue

Red Rising and The Bone Season continue

Two of 2014′s stand-out debuts continue! Pierce Brown’s Red Rising was on our Best of the Year list. The second book of the trilogy is even better. EW posted a great interview with the author (mind those spoilers!) and you can see the cover of the trilogy finale, Morning Star, on Brown’s website. The Mime Order is the […]

Mort(e)

Mort(e)

Here we have a new kind of apocalypse, one in which humans are at war with ants, joined later by cats, dogs, and more. Just what is going on?? Robert Repino’s debut lands somewhere between Animal Farm and those B-movie sci-fi thrillers with giant, mutated insects. Give this to teens looking for something different. Maybe Grasshopper Jungle fans […]

Drugged by Love?

Drugged by Love?

Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC So, I think I made it pretty clear last year that I really like Alaya Dawn Johnson’s style. She’s smart and she writes books that appeal to me as a reader. But if you dismiss this as just another fangirl […]

Three Debuts

Three Debuts

One of my favorite reader’s advisory tools is Amazon’s “Customer’s Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature. I know, I know, Amazon’s a big evil company engaged in a fight against the absolutely tiny publishing firm of Hatchette (note: Hatchette is not tiny), but what can I say? The algorithm they use is great. You […]

Magical Trilogies

Today we review the first books in three new speculative fiction series. Let’s begin with Charlie Holmberg‘s The Paper Magician series. We review the first, The Paper Magician, Holberg’s debut, published in September. The second in the series, The Glass Magician, is already available. Both are published by Amazon’s fantasy, science fiction and horror imprint, […]

Lockstep & Goodhouse

Lockstep

Two excellent science fiction titles today, both featuring teen male protagonists. Lockstep is a hard SF romp that, despite its sophistication, could have been published for a YA audience. Karl Schroeder is a well-known and respected Canadian science fiction author whose output is entirely adult, so his publishers probably did well to keep him in […]

The Final Book in the Southern Reach Trilogy

The Final Book in the Southern Reach Trilogy

You can’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve been raving about Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy all year, and promising a review of the final volume. So here it is. VanderMeer once again takes readers into the heart of his mysterious Area X (after merely skirting around it through the middle volume in the trilogy), […]

SLJTeen Speaks with the Wizard of Kazam, Jasper Fforde

Eye of Zoltar

How does Jasper Fforde come up with the magnificent characters, creatures, and settings in his “Chronicles of Kazam” series? He relies on “stuff—the exciting smorgasbord of weird stuff that happens to us, around us, and in us.”

Preapocalyptic Time-Travel, Turn-of-the-Century California, and High School Drama | YA Fiction Series Update

SLJ1409w_FicSeries-TN

SLJ presents the latest updates in YA fiction series and the conclusions of some trilogies you won’t want to miss. Your teens won’t want to miss these series continuations, from dystopic science fiction to realistic high school stories to historical fiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Lock In

Lock In

John Scalzi’s Redshirts was one of my favorite books of 2012 to recommend–fun and funny, Science Fiction but easily accessible to non-SF readers. Now he’s back with another high-concept Science Fiction title, Lock In. A disease called Haden’s Syndrome leaves its victims completely paralyzed–”locked in”–but with their mental facilities fully intact, calling for a series […]

Why Can’t the English?

Why Can’t the English?

We saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night–ehh. Some the intra- and inter-species encounters were quite moving and dramatic but the plot was on automatic and the fabulously watchable Judy Greer was wasted (she could have been completely blotto given that all she had to do was lie there with a suffering […]

The post Why Can’t the English? appeared first on The Horn Book.

Language in Speculative Fiction

Language in Speculative Fiction

Today we review two speculative novels in which language plays an important role. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is all about language and the ways that technology changes words and communication. For teens who are as attached to their devices as to most of their actual body parts, this is ideally relevant literary fiction. (Slate titled […]

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

Is Melanie a monster or a prodigy? The title of this post refers to the first of our thrilling reads of the day, The Girl with all the Gifts, in which one character, Sergeant Parks, thinks of Melanie as “the nightmare-that-walks-like-a-girl.” He’d rather deal with blood-thirsty zombies than with something that walks and talks like […]

Best Books of the Year so far, 2014

Best Books of the Year so far, 2014

Presenting the best adult books for teens that were published between January and June 2014. Science fiction and historical fiction made a big splash in this list created by reviewers of the AB4T blog.