June 23, 2017

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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. […]

‘March’ Wins the National Book Award

March: Book Three, by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, has won the National Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category. This is the first time a graphic novel has won a National Book Award. Publisher’s Weekly senior editor Calvin Reid was there, and he described Lewis’s tearful response, as he recalled […]

YA Xpress Reviews | November 2016

Cindy Pon follows up Serpentine with the deeply satisfying Sacrifice, Jo Knowles delivers a “realistic and sensitive depiction of a family in crisis,” and Edward Stanton explores Polynesian history.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

YA Xpress Reviews | October 2016

From Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom to Gaby Triana’s latest, October’s online-only reviews include works for teens in a variety of genres—fantasy, realistic fiction, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Review: ‘Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars’

Indeh: A Story of The Apache Wars Writer: Ethan Hawke Artist: Greg Ruth Grand Central Publishing; $25.00 Shortly after the turn of the millennium, there was a sizable swathe of comic books being produced that seemed to have been pretty obviously created in the hopes that a Hollywood studio would swoop in, scoop up the […]

Review: ‘Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields’

Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields Writers: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher Artists: Babs Tarr, Bengal and others DC Comics; $16.99 Rated T for Teen This is the third and final collection of the 18-issue run on DC’s Batgirl by the writing team of Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and primary artist Babs Tarr, a run that […]

Interview: John Allison on ‘Bad Machinery’

John Allison’s Bad Machinery is a cheeky, funny story about English schoolchildren who solve mysteries, and now it’s coming out in a new, easier-to-read format. Bad Machinery started out as a webcomic, and you can still read the original in its entirety at Allison’s site (start here, and set aside some time). Then Oni Press […]

Interview: Cecil Castellucci and Jose Pimienta Hit the Road in ‘Soupy Leaves Home’

Cecil Castellucci, the writer of The Plain Janes, The Year of the Beasts, and Odd Duck, announced her newest project last month: Soupy Leaves Home, a YA graphic novel about a Depression-era girl who runs away from home and completely reinvents herself, disguising herself as a boy and riding the rails as a hobo. I […]