November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Vietnam War | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 9 Up –Filmmakers Burns and Novick invested 10 years in making this documentary series, which clocks in at over 18 hours, including extras.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor | SLJ Review

Gr 5-7 –Calvin Chumsky, a brilliant seventh grader and the only friend of Mason Buttle, says, “The Universe is amazing. It knows what we want. And sometimes… it hands it over like a gift.”

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Maya Aziz should be on top of the world. She got accepted into film school at NYU, and the cute boy she has been spending time with seems to be into her. The only problem is, she’s been hiding all of this from her loving but very traditional Indian American parents.

Let’s Go to the Farm! by Caryl Hart | SLJ Review

Toddler-PreS –Bee and Billy are two children who meet at a farm. They both enjoy an exciting trip as they meet farm animals, witness an egg hatching, and play with friends.

Be a King by Carole Boston Weatherford | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –In this book inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Weatherford and Ransome offer advice to a new generation of change-makers.

The Pond by Nicola Davies | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –The first thing one notices about this picture book is the black pages, sometimes appearing as solid backgrounds, at other points layered with textured, mixed media compositions. A relatively rare choice in children’s books, but one that supports the despondency and rage a boy experiences when his dad dies.

Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 7 Up –Taking photographs of rare animals and habitats that might become extinct is the focus of this three-part program.

Becoming Kareem by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Raymond Obstfeld | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, traces his path to becoming a basketball superstar and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Freedom Over Me | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 4-6 –Ashley Bryan takes readers back to the brutal reality of American slavery, using primary source documents from an 1828 estate appraisal as his launching point to bring the 11 enslaved people listed to life.

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

Gr 6 Up– Makepeace is raised in a strict Puritanical environment by her single mother in 17th-century England at the brink of civil war.

Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day.

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –When Lola the armadillo spills juice all over her family’s white chair, she hastily decides to run to the library, since “they have books and bathrooms,” and hide there till she’s a grown-up.

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Passengers on a train, Ammy and Noah, are heading to different places but end up sitting next to each other.

Feather by Cao Wenxuan | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Wenxuan has created a picture book that tells the hopeful tale of a single feather as it embarks on a journey to find out where it came from and where it belongs.

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Amor y Azúcar Panadería (Love and Sugar Bakery) is bustling on the eve of Dia de los Muertos, and all Leonora Logroño wants to do is help.

Impact! by Elizabeth Rusch | SLJ Review

Gr 4-7 –Opening with the dramatic story of a fourth grade class’s experience of the 2013 asteroid that landed in Chelyabinsk, Russia, this installment in the celebrated series tells of the study and the effects of asteroids in our solar system.

Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –This absorbing graphic memoir offers an insider’s view of the rapid cultural changes that beset Iraq in the latter half of the 20th century.

How To Find an Elephant by Kate Banks | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –An imaginative, elephant-loving young explorer goes on an adventure to find one in the wild.

Four Futuristic Finds for Teen Readers | SLJ Spotlight

These four YA sci-fi picks are great recommendations for Doctor Who and Feed fans.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Five Fables | SLJ DVD Review

Five Fables. 2:25 hrs. Dreamscape. 2017. $24.99. $199.99 (PPR). ISBN 808506020329.

Gr 2 Up –These five fables are part of a project in which Irish poet Seamus Heaney was engaged at the time of his death. Heaney discovered the writing of medieval Scots poet Robert Henryson and was enchanted by his treatment of Aesop’s fables, so he translated Henryson’s work into modern English. The two-dimensional animation employs watercolor, oil, gouache, and acrylic, and the lush portrayals of nature are inviting. Heaney’s […]