August 20, 2017

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Interview: School’s Out for ‘Gotham Academy’

Gotham Academy is one of the few truly young adult comics published by DC; a boarding-school story set in the Batman universe, it revolves around a group of teenagers who were unique to this series, especially Olive Silverlock, who comes into her second year with a dark secret and an unsolved mystery, and her younger […]

Review: ‘Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Vol. 1—Riri Williams’

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Vol. 1—Riri Williams Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Stefano Caselli Marvel Comics; $24.99 Rated T+ for Teens and Up Thanks to his prominence in the Marvel Studios movies, Iron Man Tony Stark has become one of the pillars of the modern Marvel comics universe, one of several centers at the middle […]

YA: Quirky Romance, Tough Decisions, & a Timely “Tick Tock Man” | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

This month’s YA web-only reviews feature a new voice in gritty contemporary fiction, a teenage spin on Yoruba folklore, the psychological push-pull of social media mind games, and more.

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

Review: ‘Champions Vol. 1: Change The World’

Champions Vol. 1: Change The World Writer: Mark Waid Artists: Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba Marvel Entertainment; $15.99 Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos have been making comics since I was a teenager, so they likely wouldn’t be among the first names to pop into my mind if you asked me who might be best qualified […]

SLJ’s Guide to Pride: 20 Titles Spotlighting LGBTQA+ Experience

A bevy of YA fiction and nonfiction reviews, author interviews, and resources to to round out Pride Month.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle | SLJ Review

FOWLEY-DOYLE, Moïra. Spellbook of the Lost and Found. 368p. Penguin/Kathy Dawson Bks. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525429494.

Gr 9 Up –This lush and deliciously twisty contemporary Irish novel, set in Balmallen, County Mayo, population 2,400, has just a hint of the supernatural. It takes the form of the red, leather-bound Spellbook of the Lost and Found, which three friends find when their diaries go missing just before the town’s annual early May bonfire. The temptation to call for […]

Funny YA Favorites | SLJ Spotlight

Not all of young adult literature is dark and cry-inducing.

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton | SLJ Review

HUTTON, Keely. Soldier Boy. 336p. Farrar. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374305635.

Gr 9 Up –A compelling tale that recounts the story of former, real-life Ugandan child soldier Ricky Richard Anywar. Told in alternating chapters that focus on Ricky’s past and the present-day story of Samuel, this brutally honest novel will have readers struggling to move through the often gruesome initiation of kidnapped children into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Ricky is consumed by fear and desperation as he […]

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee | SLJ Review

ORMSBEE, Kathryn. Tash Hearts Tolstoy. 384p. S. & S. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481489331.

Gr 9 Up –Seventeen-year-old Kentucky filmmaker and Tolstoy superfan Tash Zelenka’s summer takes an unexpected turn when her web series, Unhappy Families (a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina) goes viral. The newfound fame causes tension between Tash and her best friend Jack, who also works on the series. Tash is easily caught up in the increased social media attention, her fans’ expectations, and the […]

How To Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat | SLJ Review

ROAT, Sharon Huss. How To Disappear. 384p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062291752.

Gr 7 Up –Vicky Decker relies upon her best friend, Jenna, to shield her from stressful social situations. That is, until Jenna and her family move away and Vicky’s social anxiety is cast into sharp relief against Jenna’s seeming ease at making new friends. To cope with her jealousy and loneliness, Vicky Photoshops herself into one exciting social setting after another and uploads the images […]

Interview: Pénélope Bagieu on ‘California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & the Papas’

She is probably best known by the name Mama Cass, or perhaps by Cass Elliot, but the little girl who grew up to take on those names was first named Ellen Cohen by her parents. It is Ellen, and her journey to become Cass and one of the Mamas in The Mamas & The Papas […]

YA Xpress Reviews | April 2017

The second installment of Michael Grant’s “Front Lines” series, a debut about a 17-year-old who can’t feel pain, and the conclusion to Kevin Waltman’s “D-Bow’s High School Hoops” series.

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

Review: ‘Fire Force’ Vol. 1

Fire Force, vol. 1 Writer/artist: Atsushi Okubo Kodansha Comics; $10.99 How exactly does one follow a super-successful manga series like Soul Eater? Well, with a spin-off series, like Soul Eater Not. And, once you’ve finished with the spin-off series, how do you follow that? Well, if you are Soul Eater creator Atsushi Okuba, you would […]

Review: ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ Vol. 1

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, vol. 1 Writer/artist: Akira Himekawa Viz Media; $9.99 Rated T for Teen The big news regarding the world of Hyrule is the release of the new Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for the new Nintendo Switch game system. This month also sees the release of the […]

Review: ‘Jughead’ Vol. 2

Jughead, vol. 2 Writers: Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North Artist: Derek Charm Archie Comics; $17.99 Rated Teen The first collected volume of the new Jughead comic proved to be a perfect companion title to the new Archie comic, discarding the romance and teen drama to focus exclusively on the jokes and gags, as befits a […]

Review: ‘Road To Riverdale’

Road To Riverdale Writers: Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes and others Artists: Fiona Staples, Erica Henderson, Hughes and others Archie Comics; $14.99 Rated Teen The title of this special trade paperback collection suggests that its contents are the inspiration for the CW’s fairly bonkers new television series Riverdale, a sort of sexy teen noir […]

Review: ‘Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman’

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason Art by Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez and others DC Comics; $16.99 Rated T for Teen The now twice-monthly Superman title is maybe the all-around best book of DC Comics’ 2016 “Rebirth”-branded relaunch initiative, in which they renumbered all their […]

Review: ‘Supergirl: Being Super #1′

Supergirl: Being Super #1 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artists: Joelle Jones and Sandu Florea DC Comics; $5.99 Rated T for Teen The tagline for the original Superboy comics, which featured young, school-age Clark Kent in Smallville, was “The Adventures of Superman When He Was A Boy!” Based solely on its first issue, it would seem that […]

Review: ‘Supergirl: Being Super #1′

Supergirl: Being Super #1 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artists: Joelle Jones and Sandu Florea DC Comics; $5.99 Rated T for Teen The tagline for the original Superboy comics, which featured young, school-age Clark Kent in Smallville, was “The Adventures of Superman When He Was A Boy!” Based solely on its first issue, it would seem that […]

Review: ‘Tetris’

Tetris: The Games People Play Writer/artist: Box Brown First Second; $19.99 In this follow-up to his winning 2014 biography, Andre The Giant: Life and Legend, cartoonist Box Brown tackles another great subject, and another one that everyone knows of, but relatively few actually know the story of: Tetris, the surprisingly simple, surprisingly addictive video game. […]