June 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Celebrating Seven Years of TLT: A look back at favorite posts

The older I get, the more I think the passage of time is the fastest, most puzzling thing ever. Where do the days go? Where do the years go? Multiple times a week, my husband will exclaim, “How is it 8:00 already?” and I will almost always follow that up with, “How are we in […]

Book Review: Tsu and the Outliers by Erik Johnson

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews which originally appeared in the June 2018  School Library Journal.   Tsu and the Outliers by Erik […]

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA June 2018

It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents), as well as anthologies that include LGBTQIA+ stories. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a […]

Book Review: I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

Publisher’s description How do you deal with a hole in your life? Do you turn to poets and pop songs? Do you dream? Do you try on love just to see how it fits? Do you grieve? If you’re Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt […]

The top 25 children’s titles at my school this year

It’s almost the end of the school year (hooray!). I didn’t need to run a report to see what our most popular books were, since I watch them go in and out of the elementary library every day, but I thought I’d verify my guesses. As our top 25 list shows, graphic novels were hot […]

The top 25 children’s titles at my school this year

It’s almost the end of the school year (hooray!). I didn’t need to run a report to see what our most popular books were, since I watch them go in and out of the elementary library every day, but I thought I’d verify my guesses. As our top 25 list shows, graphic novels were hot […]

Planting Books, Growing Readers, a guest post by Liesl Shurtliff

  In the beginning of writing my first fairytale retelling, Rump, I thought the story would focus solely on Rumpelstiltskin, isolated from any other fairytales. That didn’t last long. Midway through my first draft, I developed the character Red and very quickly realized she must be Little Red Riding Hood. Of course! She has a […]

Book Review: Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Publisher’s description From the New York Times bestselling author of Rump, comes the true story behind another unlikely hero: a grumpy dwarf who gets tangled up in Snow White’s feud with the wicked queen. Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed “Grump”) has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home […]

Book Review: All Summer Long by Hope Larson

Publisher’s description A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling Hope Larson. Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting […]

#ReadForChange: Get Really Real with Lilliam Rivera’s The Education of Margot Sanchez, a guest post by Marie Marquardt

Teen Librarian Toolbox is excited to be partnering with Marie Marquardt for her #ReadForChange project. Hop on over to this post to learn more about the initiative. Today, she and Lilliam Rivera join us for a conversation about gentrification, taking action, writing a novel that is just one voice of the many unheard voices in the publishing industry, and her excellent book […]

Post-it Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

Now that I work in an elementary library, I’m reading a lot more titles for younger readers. Rather than review all of them like I usually do, I’m stealing Karen’s Post-it note review idea and sharing the titles with you that way. It’s been super interesting to me to see what the students (grades K-5) […]

Post-it Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

Now that I work in an elementary library, I’m reading a lot more titles for younger readers. Rather than review all of them like I usually do, I’m stealing Karen’s Post-it note review idea and sharing the titles with you that way. It’s been super interesting to me to see what the students (grades K-5) […]

Book Review: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher’s description For readers of Girl in Pieces and The Way I Used to Be comes an emotionally gripping story about facing hard truths in the aftermath of sexual assault. Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really […]

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018 Showcase and Giveaway

Beyond the people I work with and the people this blog has led me to get to know, by far the best aspect of blogging for TLT is the constant influx of books. All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom […]

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018: Mental Health in YA Literature Presentation

Saturday, May 12 was Twin Cities Teen Lit Con, a wonderful yearly event that I have now had the honor of speaking at for the past three years. This year it took place at Chaska High School, an absolutely stunning (and giant!) school. If you’re unfamiliar with Teen Lit Con, it’s exactly what it sounds […]

Michele Bacon’s Empathy Challenge

Today author Michele Bacon joins us to talk about travel and opportunities to develop empathy. Her new book is Antipodes, out now. For Amanda’s review, hop over here.    Each year, my daughter’s school hosts Roots of Empathy, an international program that provides empathy-based education for children. Roots of Empathy provides each participating class with […]

Book Review: Four-Letter Word by Christa Desir

Publisher’s description Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. And a night that will ruin them all, in this high stakes gripping story of manipulation and innocence lost, from the author of Bleed Like Me. Chloe Sanders is ready for a change. She’s tired of watching her best friend Eve turn away from her for the […]

Book Review: We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

Publisher’s description Luke and Toby have always had each other’s backs. But then one choice—or maybe it is a series of choices—sets them down an irrevocable path. We’ll Fly Away weaves together Luke and Toby’s senior year of high school with letters Luke writes to Toby later—from death row. This thought-provoking novel is an exploration of friendship, […]

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA May 2018

It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents), as well as anthologies that include LGBTQIA+ stories. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a […]

Book Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, a starred review, which originally appeared in the May 2018  School Library Journal.     A Quick […]