April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Reviews To Debut “Popular Picks”

PopularPicks_TN3SLJ Popular Picks, a list of must-have new titles for kids and teens selected by SLJ’s book review editors, debuts in the April 2016 issue. Chosen from among the works reviewed each month, the list will be printed on the page preceding SLJ’s coveted starred reviews.

“We hope that this monthly list will be a helpful collection development tool that children’s and YA librarians and media specialists can use to stock their libraries with the books we anticipate won’t remain on the shelves for long,” says Shelley Diaz, SLJ reviews manager.

The “Popular Picks” will include a mix of nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, middle grade, YA, and graphic novels. They will be chosen for their kid appeal, author reputation, and, of course, potential popularity with readers. “These are the works that we think might be the next Red Queen (by Victoria Aveyard) or The Day the Crayons Quit (by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers). In short, books you definitely want on your shelves—perhaps even multiple copies,” adds Diaz.

Could a single title be both an SLJ Popular Pick and a starred review? Yes, says reviews director Kiera Parrott. “There are certainly books that are both hugely popular and well regarded by teachers and librarians. But there are also great books that, while they likely won’t win any big medals, distinguish themselves by encouraging kids to read for pleasure. This is a way for us to highlight these titles for our readers,” Parrott explains.

Leading up to the unveiling of the April Popular Picks, the SLJ reviews team will also be announcing selections from the January 2016 to the March 2016 issues, starting on Monday, March 21, with the January popular picks; Monday, March 28, with the February selections; and Monday, April 4, with the titles from the March issue.



  1. So what is the difference between a “Popular Pick” and a “Star”?