September 25, 2017

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Review: ‘Cici: A Fairy’s Tale,’ Vols. 1-3

A lot is changing in Cici’s life: Her parents are separating, her wacky abuela is moving in, and on her tenth birthday, she wakes up with fairy wings! With the wings also come magical powers that Cici must learn to use and control as she sees her family and friends as they truly are and […]

The Stars So Far: Tween Picks

A list of recent starred reviews hand-picked for tween readers.

The Bee Book | 30-Second Booktalk

A mini booktalk about one of our favorite new nonfiction titles, The Bee Book.

Gaby, Lost and Found/Gaby, Perdida y Encontrada | 30-Second Booktalk

Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez booktalks Angela Cervantes’ touching middle grade novel, Gaby, Lost and Found/Gaby Perdida y Encontrada in English and en español.

Six Tips to Combat Tween Summer Slide

Middle school librarian Christina Keasler offers simple tips to keep tweens engaged over the long summer months.

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell | SLJ Review

RUSSELL, Rachel Renée. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero. illus. by Rachel Renée Russell. 320p. Aladdin. Jun. 2016. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781481460019.
Gr 4-6-From the creator of the “Dork Diaries” comes a new series starring a lovable new hero. Max’s transition from home schooling to public school is rocky, especially since he has asthma and an irritable bladder triggered by social anxiety. His plight deepens when a stereotypical bully, Thug, harasses Max and locks him in his locker—twice. The first […]

Gutsy, Funny, and Flawed: Angela Cervantes on Crafting Strong Latina Characters

Middle grade author Angela Cervantes talks about her inspirations, her research process, and how she crafts authentic—and very funny—Latina characters.

Shadow Magic | 30-Second Booktalk

Giant bats, dark magic, necromancy, and non-stop action fill Joshua Khan’s debut middle grade fantasy, as explained in a super short booktalk.

Staying in Touch with Their Inner Tween: Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan on “Save Me a Seat”

Co-authors Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan discuss the challenges of middle school and how they tapped their inner tweens for their humor-filled new novel, Save Me A Seat.

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review

REYNOLDS, Jason. As Brave as You. 410p. S. & S./Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481415903.
Gr 5-8–Reynolds’s engaging middle grade debut stars 11-year-old African American Genie Harris, an inveterate worrywart who considers Google his best friend, and his older brother Ernie, who is well on his way to being a cool dude (sunglasses and all). The born and bred Brooklynites are to spend a month with their grandparents in rural Virginia while their parents take a long overdue […]

Amazing Marble Run Mazes | Programming Cookbook

Librarian and programming expert Holly Storck-Post offers a foolproof program recipe for fun—and educational—marble runs.

The Dreamer/El Soñador by Pam Muñoz Ryan & Peter Sis | 30-Second Booktalk

Dr. Rodriguez from the Latin@s in KidLit blog shares a 30-second booktalk for Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sis’s The Dreamer in English and en Español.

Two Voices, One Stirring Tale: Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee on “Maybe a Fox”

Librarian Kathy Kirchoefer chats with authors Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee about their unusual collaboration on the middle grade novel Maybe a Fox.

The Door By the Staircase | 30-Second Booktalk

A super short booktalk of Katherine Marsh’s delightfully creepy middle grade fantasy, A Door By the Staircase.

Read It, Make It: Low-Tech Maker Projects and Titles | Nonfiction Notions

Librarian Jennifer Wharton recommends several cheap, easy, and low-tech maker activities paired with books that offer step-by-step instruction.

11 Great YA Middle School Titles Out This Month

Newly published YA titles perfect for those tricky middle school readers in grades six to eight.

How Tia Lola Came to Stay/De como Tía Lola vino a quedarse | 30-Second Booktalk

This month’s 30-second booktalk—which is presented in both English and Spanish—comes to us from Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez. She recommends Julia Alvarez’s fantastic middle grade novel, When Tia Lola Came to Stay.

And the Winner Is…a Mini Mock Caldecott | Programming Cookbook

Many mock Caldecott programs take months of planning and can last an entire school year, but for librarians tight on time and budget, a mini Mock may be just the thing to ignite rich discussion of text and art with middle graders.

Inspiring Reluctant & Struggling Readers with Sharon Creech’s “Love That Dog”  | In the Classroom

How a classroom teacher used Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog to effectively engage even her most reluctant readers.

Middle Grade Author Mike Jung on Adolescence, Suburbia, and the Impact of WNDB | Under the Covers

Librarian Karen Yingling chats with middle grade author Mike Jung, whose latest work, Unidentified Suburban Object, comes out in April.