April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for September 2012

The Disenchantments

The Disenchantments, Nina LaCour
Dutton Books, February 2012
Reviewed from ARC

What does it say about a book when as a reader, I’m far more engaged by its themes and the questions it explores than the story or main characters? Or does it say more about me? This is what I’m grappling with as I complete my second […]

Game and Music Reviews from Young Adults

End of summer means less outside time, more indoor time, so make sure you have the latest video games on your shelves to share with your teen patrons. Our reviewers recommend ​Darksiders​ and ​NHL 13 as excellent distractions. And if you’ve been wondering what Pink has been up to, give a listen to ​The Truth About Love.

Evolution of an SLJ Cover


The inspiration for SLJ’s September cover may be obvious, but it was a bit of a process—an adventure, if you will—to arrive at the finished product.

After considering the lineup of feature articles, as we do each month for the print edition, the editors selected the cover story: a first-person account of a school ereader program by Travis Jonker.

An elementary school librarian, Jonker has been documenting his foray into bringing digital readers to his students in a series of posts on […]

Tech Tidbits from the Guybrarian: Are You Flipping?

So, what’s the buzz on supporting online instruction?

Like many of you, several of our teachers started the new school year wanting to broaden the way they instruct their students. Here are a couple of examples of teachers who have successfully flipped their classrooms or used online techniques to give their students feedback.

Black Hole and Moonbird

Quick!  Name all the science-themed nonfiction books in the Newbery canon.  VOLCANO by Patricia Lauber.  One?  Yes, you read that right: there is only one science book in the entire canon.  Perhaps that will change as there are several excellent science books this year.
We could spend quite a bit of time with THE MIGHTY MARS ROVERS […]

Preview: Garfield #6

It’s time for some Halloween silliness: Garfield #6 will be out next week from BOOM! Studios, and this issue kicks off in a museum of Egyptian antiquities. What could possibly go wrong?

An Interview with Jerry McGill, the author of Dear Marcus

On a recent trip to Portland, OR, I made sure to leave time to meet Jerry McGill, the author of Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me (iUniverse.com, 2009). I discovered this memoir a few years ago while browsing iUniverse, and now it’s a contender for the Alex Award, which honors books that have been written for adults but also have teen appeal. McGill was only 13 when he was shot in the back while walking home on New Year’s Eve, and the attack left him a quadriplegic. On a gorgeous late-summer day, much to my surprise, he rolled up to our meeting place under his own power, and joined me to talk about his book.

Colorado Media Specialist Takes Library Fight To The Road

When it comes to advocacy, school librarian Mike McQueen plays it big—wrapping his RV with stickers and signs to encourage his community of Jefferson County, CO, to vote in favor of two bond measures and save school libraries.

Are Dewey’s Days Numbered?: Libraries Nationwide Are Ditching the Old Classification System

Pushing between snack time and reading group, Zack, a third-grade boy, ducks into our school library while another class is beginning to check out books.

Beneath a Meth Moon

Beneath a Meth Moon, Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books, January 2012
Reviewed from final copy
Remember how we talked about stars and the way a book can deserve a star for reasons that in no way correlate to Printzliness?
Beneath a Meth Moon could be Exhibit A to illustrate the gap that can exist between stars and the gold. […]

Pictures of the Week: The 2012 Eric Carle Honors Gala

SLJ contributing editor Rocco Staino and children’s book expert Anita Silvey at the Eric Carle Honors Gala in New York City on September 20. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art honors several authors and illustrators every year.

Pick of the Day: The Fairy Ring, Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World (CD)

The Fairy Ring, Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World. By Mary Losure. 2 CDs. 2:26 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4558-5194-2. $49.97.
Gr 4-8–This is the true tale of Elsie Wright, 15, and Frances Griffith, 9, who concocted a fairy hoax in the early 1900s that grew well beyond their expectations. Tired of being teased by their parents for their stories, Elsie painted and then cut out detailed illustrations of fairies. The girls photographed the “fairies” with themselves in the […]

All ages comics and manga for 9/26/12

Now that Fall is officially here, thoughts can now move toward the autumn holidays, with Halloween coming up first! Bongo Comics has the yearly tradition of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, with the new issue coming out this week. Archie Comics has the gang going to an “old-fashioned” Halloween party. Find out what that means […]

Pitch Perfect—and a Roundup of Reads about Divas, Virtuosos, Rockers, and Other Music Mavens

Perfectly pitched to fans of TV’s Glee and reality competition shows such as American Idol, The Voice, and X Factor, this musical comedy from Universal Studios opens nationally on October 5. Set in the fascinating—and surprisingly bodacious—world of collegiate a cappella singing, Pitch Perfect (PG-13) harmonizes crowd-pleasing acoustic production numbers with plenty of sassy and brassy girl-power attitude and ribald humor (hence the tagline—“Get Pitch Slapped”). The film is inspired by Mickey Rapkin’s nonfiction title, Pitch Perfect (Gotham, 2008; Gr 10 Up), which has been re-issued with an eye-catching movie-poster cover.

School Librarian Lisa Von Drasek Leaves Bank Street to Head the Kerlan Collection in MN

Lisa Von Drasek, a children’s librarian at the Bank Street College of Education and director of its Center for Children’s Literature, has taken a job as curator at the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Literature Research Collections.

Bill Moyers Joins ALA’s Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out

Award-winning journalist Bill Moyers has joined the American Library Association’s (ALA) Virtual Read Out campaign with a three-minute video on book banning and the dangers of censorship.

Thom speaks

Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards chair Thom Barthelmess talks to Nina and Jonathan over at Heavy Metal. Thom and his fellow judges (Lauren Adams and Megan Lambert) will be in town Friday for the Awards and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium. I think it’s a lot more work being a BGHB judge than it was when […]

Touch and Go: Countdown to an Election

Given that this is the first U.S. presidential election since apps have made their way onto most electronic devices, you might think there would be dozens of worthwhile products available on the topic designed for students. Think again.

Sure, there are plenty of apps devoted to November’s election, there just aren’t that many that explain the process to those too young to cast a ballot. Those listed here should get the conversation rolling about how we elect a President and the men who have held that the office.

Romney Doesn’t Support Fed Dollars for Common Core

What can we expect if Mitt Romney’s elected the next president? More school choice, absolutely no federal money devoted to helping implement the Common Core Standards, and an A to F grading system for all K-12 schools.

One Breath Away

Heather Gudenkauf’s latest novel of suspense, about a nearly unspeakable subject, grabs the reader from page one. This is Gudenkauf’s third novel, after The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden, both very successful. She has a fun article, “The Rules for Suspense Writing,” up on Publishers Weekly.
GUDENKAUF, Heather. One Breath Away. 370p. Harlequin. 2012. pap. […]