February 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for December 2011

Holiday Memories 2011

Enjoy our sixth annual holiday memories series from some of your favorite children’s books authors and illustrators. Share your holiday memories with SLJ on Twitter, using the hashtag #HolidayMemory.

Richard Peck has written more than 20 novels and received SLJ‘s Margaret Edwards Award for his body of work in 1990. He became a National Book Award finalist in 1998 for A Long Way From Chicago (Dial, 1998) and won the Newbery Medal in 2001 for A Year Down Yonder (Dial, 2000). […]

Fish of a Different Color: Pat Schmatz’s novel ‘Bluefish’ features some unforgettable characters | Under Cover

Thirteen-year-old Travis can’t read. To make matters worse, he’s moved to a new town far from his beloved woods. But when he meets good-hearted, outgoing Velveeta, his life takes an unexpected turn. It’s a perfect story for you to write, given that both your parents were reading teachers.

My father grew up struggling with reading. He was an outdoors guy, and all he cared about was the woods and the swamp. As a […]

SLJ Best Books 2011 Nonfiction

In This Article

Picture Books
Adult Books 4 Teens


ADOFF, Arnold. Roots and Blues: A Celebration. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Clarion. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-23554-7.
Gr 5 Up–This aptly named collection honors the tradition of blues music and its foundation in African-American history. The rhythmic poems take readers on a melodious journey from a slave ship in “Chained” to a Chicago train station in “Muddy Waters Steps Down.” The accompanying vibrant […]

Celebrations and Festivals: A Calendar of Holidays | Focus On

Kids love holidays. Any kind of celebration or festival brings a break in routine, an excuse for a party, perhaps a chance to dress up. Multigenerational family gatherings and the enacting of annual rituals bring a sense of continuity, and sharing celebrations with the greater community enhances a sense of belonging. Whether the festivities are based on personal rites of passage, religious traditions, or historical events, the key is togetherness. Celebrating together strengthens the bonds among people and reaffirms […]

The Best Is Yet to Come: Spread the word—our top picks of the year are here | Editorial

Call me clueless. I’ve worked at SLJ for more than a decade, and I still have no idea how our review staff comes up with its best books list. From the outside looking in, it’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. It’s like electing a new pope or trying to anticipate Lindsay Lohan’s next move—something that defies an easy explanation.

What I can tell you is that when Trev Jones, our […]

Audiobooks and Learning: Epic Audio | Listen In

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production, named for Homer’s epic poem, celebrates the oral tradition of storytelling. Now in its fifth year and jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the Odyssey Award puts the focus on audio production—the quality of narration, the use of sound effects and music, the technical engineering skill—to provide students with a total listening experience.

While […]

SLJ Best Books 2011 Picture Books

In This Article

Adult Books 4 Teens

We are pleased to present this year’s 65 choices for the Best Books of 2011, chosen from the more than 6000 books reviewed this year. Novels were a standout, particularly those for teens, with themes of leadership, coming-of-age, and facing tough situations presented in powerful narratives with memorable characters. Fantasy and science fiction genres made a strong showing for middle grades and YA, featuring taut page-turners and […]

SLJ Best Books 2011 Adult Books 4 Teens

In This Article

Picture Books

The “Adult Books 4 Teens” blog is designed to replace the “Adult Books for High School Students” print column. It launched on the School Library Journal website in October 2010, and has offered four or five book reviews each week ever since. The purpose of AB4T is to help librarians learn about the best books published for the adult market that also have appeal to teen readers, including books in […]

‘Tis the Season: A wonderland of new games for classrooms, libraries, or just for fun | The Gaming Life

Meeples in colors and boards that are linen.

Bright flashy game bits and knowing I’m winning.

Unopened game boxes tied up with strings.

These are a few of my favorite things!

The winter season is filled with a special atmosphere and traditions: holiday decorations, hot cocoa with panetone, the Riverbottom Nightmare Band, and holiday shopping. Just like the retail market unveils their best items during the months […]

SLJ Best Books 2011 Fiction

In This Article

Picture Books
Adult Books 4 Teens


BEDFORD, Martyn. Flip. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-73990-0; PLB $19.99. ISBN 978-0-385-90808-5; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-89855-6.
Gr 7 Up–Alex, 14, wakes up one day in the body of another teen and must adjust to a new family and surroundings while he tries to figure out what happened and how he might reverse the switch. This engaging, often funny, and at times poignant story grabs readers […]

The Way We Wore: Clothing and hairstyles throughout history make for excellent booktalks | Nonfiction Booktalker

It’s all Louis XIII’s fault. When the 23-year-old French king started going bald in 1624, he hid it under a long, curly wig. Wealthy men in England and France sought to imitate royalty and began wearing huge hairpieces—even if they had hair—which is why so-called rich and influential folk are still called big wigs, according to Kathleen Krull’s Big Wig: a Little History of Hair (Scholastic, 2011).

Aristotle had his own cure for […]