February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Grades 5-8 Fiction | October 2013

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarHOPKINSON, Deborah. The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel. 256p. Knopf. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-84818-6; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-94818-3; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-449-81819-0. LC 2012032799.

Gr 5-8–This story of the 1854 cholera outbreak in London is told through the eyes of a 13-year-old orphan. Among other jobs, Eel works as an errand boy at the Lion Brewery, cares for Dr. John Snow’s animals, and moonlights as a “mudlark,” scavenging the Thames for scraps of coal and other things to sell. Eel struggles to survive as he is falsely accused of stealing by his boss at the brewery, tries to stay clear of his evil stepfather, and watches his neighbors fall ill and die. In desperation, he turns to the only man he knows who can help: Dr. Snow. Weaving historical personages such as Dr. Snow and the Reverend Henry Whitehead with fictional characters, Hopkinson illuminates a pivotal chapter in the history of public health. Dr. Snow believed that cholera was spread by contaminated water, not by bad air or “miasma,” which was the popular theory at the time. With the help of Eel and his friends, he convinces an emergency committee that the water from the Broad Street pump is responsible and has the handle removed, thereby curtailing the outbreak. Although detailing a dire period in history, Eel tells his story in a matter-of-fact and accessible manner, making his story palatable and entertaining.–Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY

redstarROSOFF, Meg. Picture Me Gone. 256p. Putnam. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25765-0. LC 2012048974.

Gr 7-10–Rosoff is back with another young protagonist trying to navigate the confusing adult world. Mila, a middle schooler with a knack for tapping into others’ secret thoughts, travels to New York state from London with her father. Their original plan had been to visit with Matt, the family friend who once saved her father’s life, but he disappeared two days before their arrival, creating tension between Mila’s father, Gil, and Matt’s wife, Suzanne. Gil and Mila leave Suzanne and her young son behind as they search haphazardly around northern New York, looking for clues about Matt’s whereabouts. Along the way, Mila exchanges several texts with him and wrestles with keeping them secret from her father. As more characters are introduced, Matt’s reasons for leaving become even more clouded, and Mila’s father is implicated as an accomplice in the disappearance. Mila must keep her wits about her to get to the bottom of this complicated scenario. With strong characters and a well-articulated plot, Picture Me Gone is a welcome addition to any collection. The author accurately captures this mature adolescent’s view of adults without condescension or judgment, a feat worthy of praise. Complex issues are dealt with, and, true to the novel’s trajectory, a tidy ending would have been out of place. Rosoff does not disappoint.–Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT

redstarRYLANT, Cynthia. God Got a Dog. illus. by Marla Frazee. 48p. S & S/Beach Lane. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-6518-3. ebook available. LC 2013005577.

Gr 5 Up–An award-winning author and illustrator team up to create a lyrical celebration of where the divine meets the mundane, and ultimately what it means to be human. In this small book of poetry, God decides to “try out” different activities and experiences of humanity, and the results are by turns thought-provoking and inspiring. Each of the 15 poems is coupled with a quietly incandescent illustration that supports the text but doesn’t overwhelm it or diminish its impact. Taken from the author’s longer collection God Went to Beauty School (HarperCollins, 2003), this slimmed down, repackaged version brilliantly captures its sweetness and substance but provides a simpler progression and arc. Selections alternate pronouns for the deity, with God referred to as He or She in each poem. In “God Got Arrested,” his anger “erupted like/the wrath of…/Oh, right./Never mind.” While this title might be controversial and potentially inappropriate for some religious institutions, it will appeal to a wide audience of both children and adults. This is one book that’s easy to pick up, but hard to put down again.–Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library

For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our new Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers.To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict ProToday.Don’t know if you have an account with us? It’s easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.

The following titles are reviewed in this month’s print issue.

Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

ALMOND, David. The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas. illus. by Oliver Jeffers. 256p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6169-4. LC 2012947721.

AMATEAU, Gigi. Macadoo of the Maury River. 179p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3766-8; ebook $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5661-4. LC 2013931459.

BACHMANN, Stefan. The Whatnot. 421p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-219521-0. LC 2013015023.

BACON, Lee. The Nameless Hero. Bk. 2. illus. by Brandon Dorman. 304p. (Joshua Dread Series). Delacorte. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74186-6; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99028-1; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98722-9.

BARRON, T. A. Atlantis Rising. 384p. Philomel. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25757-5. LC 2012044037.

BATES, Ron. How to Make Friends and Monsters. illus. by André Jolicoeur. 352p. Zonderkidz. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-0-310-73607-3.

BRAHMACHARI, Sita. Mira in the Present Tense. 336p. Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-5149-3. ebook available.

BRODIEN-JONES, Christine. The Glass Puzzle. illus. by Charles Santoso. 336p. Delacorte. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74297-9; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99087-8; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97993-3.

BRUCHAC, Joseph. Killer of Enemies. 368p. Lee & Low/Tu. Oct. 2013. RTE $19.95. ISBN 978-1-62014-143-4. ebook available.

CODY, Matthew. Will in Scarlet. 272p. Knopf. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86895-5; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96895-2; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-89980-5.

COUSINS, Dave. 15 Days Without a Head. 312p. Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7387-3642-6. LC 2012048953.

CURTIS, Vanessa. The Haunting of Tabitha Grey. 298p. Egmont UK. Nov. 2013. pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4052-5721-3.

DOWELL, Frances O’Roark. The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away. Bk. 3. 240p. (The Secret Language of Girls Series). further reading. glossary. illus. S & S/Atheneum. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3289-5. ebook available. LC 2012030308.

EDDLEMAN, Peggy. Sky Jumpers. 288p. illus. Random. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-307-98127-1; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-307-98128-8; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-307-98129-5. LC 2012027037.

ELSE, Barbara. The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A Tale of Fontania. illus. by Sam Broad. 328p. Gecko Press. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-8775-7949-3.

ERSKINE, Kathryn. Seeing Red. 352p. Scholastic. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-46440-6; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-57645-1.

FITZGERALD, Sarah Moore. Back to Blackbrick. 208p. S & S/McElderry. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8155-8; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8157-2.

GAIMAN, Neil. Fortunately, the Milk. illus. by Skottie Young. 128p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-06-222407-1; ebook $8.99. ISBN 978-0-06-222409-5.

GANTOS, Jack. From Norvelt to Nowhere. 288p. Farrar. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-37994-0. ebook available.

GOBLE, Paul. Custer’s Last Battle: Red Hawk’s Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. illus. by author. 44p. further reading. notes. Wisdom Tales. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-937786-11-3.

GREENWALD, Tommy. Jack Strong Takes a Stand. illus. by Melissa Mendes. 240p. Roaring Brook. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-836-1.

HILL, Kirkpatrick. Bo at Ballard Creek. illus. by LeUyen Pham. 279p. Holt. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9351-3; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9894-5. LC 2012046055.

HOBBS, Valerie. Wolf. 128p. Farrar/Frances Foster. Oct. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-374-31575-7.

IBBOTSON, Eva. The Abominables. illus. by Fiona Robinson. 272p. Abrams/Amulet. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0789-6. LC 2013005159.

JONES, Rob Lloyd. Wild Boy. 304p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6252-3; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6769-6. LC 2013931467.

KACER, Kathy. Shanghai Escape. 240p. photos. reprods. Second Story. 2013. pap. $16.95. ISBN 978-1-927583-10-4.

KEPHART, Beth. Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent. illus. by William Sulit. 198p. photos. Temple University Press. 2013. pap. $15.95. ISBN 978-0-9840429-6-8.

KESSLER, Liz. North of Nowhere. 272p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6727-6; ebook $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6910-2. LC 2012954327.

KUPPERBERG, Paul. Kevin. 156p. Grosset & Dunlap. 2013. Tr $9.99. ISBN 978-0-448-45852-6.

LARSON, Kirby. Duke. 240p. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-41637-5; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-57644-4. LC 2012046636.

LONG, Susan Hill. Whistle in the Dark. 192p. Holiday House. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2839-7. ebook available. LC 2012034507.

MACLEOD, Sue. Namesake. 230p. Pajama Press. 2013. pap. $14.95. ISBN 978-1-927485-29-3.

MCNICOLL, Sylvia. Dying to Go Viral. 252p. Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-55455-271-9.

MASS, Wendy. The Last Present. Bk. 4.246p. (Willow Falls Series). Scholastic. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-31016-1.

MULL, Brandon. Wild Born. Bk. 1. 202p. (Spirit Animals Series). websites. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-0-545-52243-4. LC 2013932302.

MURDOCK, Catherine Gilbert. Heaven Is Paved with Oreos. 208p. photos. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-62538-6. LC 2012039969.

PAQUETTE, A. J. Paradox. 240p. Random. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86962-4; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96962-1; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98438-9. LC 2012006431.

PENNELL, Christopher. The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root. illus. by Rebecca Bond. 224p. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-79263-7. LC 2012039968.

POBLOCKI, Dan. The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe. 288p. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-40270-5.

REEVES, Amy Carol. Renegade. Bk. 2. 360p. (Ripper Series). Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7387-3262-6.

RIMES, Raleigh. Dinosaurology: The Search for a Lost World. illus. by G. Blythe et al. 30p. (Ologies Series). map. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6739-9. LC 2012954330.

ROCK, Jonathan. Out of Bounds. Bk. 1. 272p. ISBN 978-1-86230-965-4.

––––.Search & Rescue. Bk. 2. 256p. ISBN 978-1-86230-966-1.

ea vol: (Survival Squad Series). Red Fox. 2013. pap. $8.99. ebook available.

SEVEN, John. The Alchemist War. Bk. 1. illus. by Craig Philips. 160p. (The Time-Tripping Faradays Series). Stone Arch. 2013. Tr $9.95. ISBN 978-1-62370-011-9; lib. ed. $18.99. ISBN 978-1-43426-028-4; pap. $5.95. ISBN 978-1-43426-438-1.

SHERMAN, M. Zachary. Heart of War. 240p. (Bloodlines Series). illus. Capstone. 2013. pap. $7.95. ISBN 978-1-62370-002-7.

SHOEMAKER, Tim. Back Before Dark. 376p. (Code of Silence Series). Zonderkidz. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-310-73499-4. ebook available.

SIROIS, Regina. On Little Wings. 432p. Viking. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-670-78606-0. LC 2012033130.

STAUNTON, Ted. Who I’m Not. 208p. Orca. Oct. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4598-0434-0. LC 2013935300.

STEVENSON, Sarah Jamila. Underneath. 336p. Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7387-3596-2.

TAYLOR, Chloe. Ready to Wear. Bk. 1. illus. by Nancy Zhang. 176p. (Sew Zoey Series). S & S. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7934-0; pap. $5.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7933-3; ebook $1.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7935-7. LC 2013935204.

TOFFLER-CORRIE, Laura. My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush. 352p. Roaring Brook. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-733-3. ebook available. LC 2012034263.

VANDERWAL, Andrew H. Death of a King. 280p. Tundra. 2013. Tr $19.95. ISBN 978-1-77049-398-8; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-1-77049-399-5. LC 2012947607.

WALLACE, Carey. The Ghost in the Glass House. 240p. Clarion. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-544-02291-1. LC 2012051330.

WHEELER, Patti & Keith Hemstreet. Botswana. Bk. 1. 154p. ISBN 978-1-60832-585-6. LC 2013933149.

––––.Great Bear Rainforest. Bk. 2. 160p. ISBN 978-1-60832-588-7.

ea vol: (Travels with Gannon & Wyatt Series). map. photos. websites. Greenleaf. Oct. 2013. Tr $12.95. ebook available.

WILSON, N. D. Empire of Bones. Bk. 3. 448p. (Ashtown Burials Series). Random. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86441-4; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96441-1; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-89574-6. LC 2013015916.


This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.