A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Knopf, April 2014 Reviewed from final copy JOHN BROWN TAKE THE WHEEL is probably not how you expected this review to start, but let’s embrace the unexpected and just go with it. With four stars and some rave reviews happening, Albert Marrin’s [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Derek McCulloch’s Gone to Amerikay was one of our favorite books of 2012. In fact, I even (incorrectly) predicted an Alex Award for it. So I was very excited to see that he was out with a new graphic novel, this time illustrated by Anthony Peruzzo. Like Gone to Amerikay, Displaced Persons has an epic [...]
In case you missed the news when it was first announced, or the recent news of the finalists, Kirkus Reviews now offers a really excellent writing award — it’s monetary, to the tune of $50,000, which for many authors probably represents a lot more time to write. The nominee list — all the star reviews [...]
A mystery that takes place during a high school music festival set in an old resort hotel during a snowstorm? The Bellweather is certainly less terrifying than The Overlook of The Shining fame, but it holds its own secrets–especially room 712. In the introduction to her novel’s playlist on Largehearted Boy, Kate Racculia shares that she played the bassoon [...]
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 [...]
Today we have two very different novels that feature the lives of the uber-wealthy. I love Jamie Watson’s reference to Brideshead Revisited in her starred review of The Last Enchantments. I was completely obsessed with that novel when we read it in senior year English, and I think the fact that I never fully understood [...]
Hey all! Before I dive into the oddities of the world in which we live, I just wanted to give a bit of a shout out to two distinct groups that allowed me to sprawl my librarian self all over their respective gatherings. First up, credit and love to Nancy Castaldo and all the folks [...]
The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, May 2013 Reviewed from ARC If you stop doing the thing that defined you and made you special for most of your life, who are you and can you ever move on? The Lucy Variations is a meditation on the classic young adult themes of [...]
Gavin Extence’s debut novel earns today’s starred review. This is a unique book, which will be especially popular with the many fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and with Kurt Vonnegut readers. Every year, when I booktalk to my students, they bring up Haddon’s novel. It is still a widespread [...]
I don’t know about other librarians, but when it comes to book reviews, I find it easy to get bogged down in the world of the library journals and book blogs by fellow librarians. So today I decided I wanted to take a look at what the rest of the world is saying about some [...]
Check out SLJ’s Stars list. From Julia Donaldson’s “The Highway Rat” to Gail Carriger’s “Etiquette & Espionage.” There’s something for everyone.
The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Incidentally, this is also our annual special issue; the theme this year is “Different Drummers” with a ground-breaking (for us, anyway) cover by Paul Zelinsky (whose absence from the recent Caldecott announcement marks a Dark Day in that award’s [...]
Preschool to Grade 4
AHLBERG , Allan. The Goldilocks Variations . illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. Candlewick. p. 74.
BROWN , Don. Henry and the Cannons . illus. by author. Roaring Brook. Jan. 2013. p. 89.
BRYANT , Jen. A Splash of Red . illus. by Melissa Sweet. Knopf. Jan. 2013. p. 89.
HALPERIN , Wendy Anderson. Peace. illus. by author. S & S/Atheneum. Jan. 2013. p. 92.
HELQUIST , Brett. Grumpy Goat. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2013. p. 78.
JEFFERS , Oliver. This Moose Belongs [...]