February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Esther Keller

About Esther Keller

Books in Brief: Unicorns, Bears, and Indian Wool (Pashminas)

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson ISBN 978-1-4494-7791-2 $9.99 pbk Amp Kids, c2016 Unicorn Crossing: Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure ISBN 978-1-4494-8357-9 $9.99 pbk Amp Kids, c2017 If young readers haven’t found Phoebe and her best friend the Unicorn, they have been missing out. Snarky, glib, and just plain fun, Phoebe and her best […]

DC Comics Reveals 2 New Imprints for Young Readers

This weekend, the New York Times reported that DC Comics will be starting two new imprints aimed at young readers. DC Zoom will be geared to middle school readers and DC Ink will focus on stories for young adults. The first books in each imprint will be released in the Fall of 2018. While regulars […]

Books in Brief: Sand, Swine, and Shadows

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel ISBN 978-1-101-93586-6 $18.99 hc Random House, c2017 The first in a presumably five-part series, Sand Warrior creates a unique and colorful world. Oona’s sister was destined to light the ancient beacon to restore their planet and make it healthy again, but Oona is unable to control her […]

Review: Anne of Green Gables

I’m pretty sure I read at least the first volume of Anne of Green Gables. I certainly caught much of the PBS series. But while I was growing up, the dreamy red-headed girl was part of pop culture, even if she was a classic when I read her. I wonder if today’s young girls know […]

Review: Tyrannosaurus Ralph

Dinosaurs! Gladiator-like fighting! Aliens! A fabulous combination that will have elementary-age readers banging down the library or bookstore doors for more. Tyrannosaurus Ralph By Nate Evans. Nick Evans AMP! Comics for Kids. 2017. ISBN 9781449472085 PBK, $9.99. 180pp. Grades 3 and up When Ralph meets his nemesis, his bully, in the park, he is saved […]

Review: Dream Jumper 2

It’s been a while since I read the first volume of Dream Jumper, but the story starts off at a fast pace. It doesn’t really fill in what happened before, so readers will benefit from a quick re-read to appreciate the nuanced details. Dream Jumper: Curse of the Harvester By Greg Grunberg. Lucas Turnbloom Graphix. […]

Review: Dream Jumper 2

It’s been a while since I read the first volume of Dream Jumper, but the story starts off at a fast pace. It doesn’t really fill in what happened before, so readers will benefit from a quick re-read to appreciate the nuanced details. Dream Jumper: Curse of the Harvester By Greg Grunberg. Lucas Turnbloom Graphix. […]

Review: ‘Swing It, Sunny’

Sunny Side Up, the story loosely based on the lives of sister-and-brother team of Jennifer and Matthew Holm, wrapped up so well that it never occurred to me there would be a sequel. But lucky for me, there is! Although the story will be better understood by those who have read the first volume, this […]

Review: Graveyard Shakes

Released in time for Halloween, Graveyard Shakes was an excellent choice to help get the spook on. But though Halloween is gone for another year, horror is always in high demand in my library! Graveyard Shakes By Laura Terry. Graphix. 2017. ISBN 9780545889544 PBK, $12.99. 204pp. Grades 4 and up Sisters Katia and Victoria both […]

Review: Brave

Middle School is brutal. I know. I’ve been there for the last 15 years. (They won’t let me graduate!) Watching the ups and downs of my students is a real eye opener, and though it’s been a long time since I was really that age, it’s hard not to remember that sometimes lonely and confusing […]

Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

I have to admit, I didn’t exactly remember all the details of where I had left off in volume 1 of the Mighty Jack series. But it didn’t make a difference. While this is a solid volume 2 that doesn’t exactly stand on its own, it’s easy to pick up the pieces and move on […]

Review: All Faire’s in Middle School

Newbery Honor winner Victoria Jamieson is back with another middle grade graphic novel that is sure to please a growing fandom of middle grade students who just can’t get enough. Readers who are loving Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward and Brave and Raina Telgemeier’s titles will be thrilled to pick up this latest addition to the middle-grade […]

Review: The Wendy Project

I particularly adore when authors (and artists) take a (classic) work and they tear it apart and create something new—but recognizable. There’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, countless fractured fairy tales, and this year I read a dystopian version of Peter Pan. So picking up a copy of The Wendy Project was a natural choice […]

Review: Knife’s Edge

After reading volume 1 of the Four Points series, I was left hanging. So were my students. One student, Albert* (Name changed), asked me when volume 2 was coming out. I told him the wait was a while, and he asked me to let the author and artist know that he was willing to help […]

Interview: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham on ‘Real Friends’

I’m a sporadic social networker. On the rare day, when I have a few minutes of down time, I will go online and try and catch up on either Twitter or Facebook. So the other day, when I had a few minutes (read: procrastinating), I realized that the release date of Shannon Hale and LeUyen […]

Review: Snow White

I’ve always had a soft spot for retold or fractured fairy tales. I marvel at the ingenuity of an author to take an existing story, keep it recognizable, and give it a unique spin. There’s a long history of fractured fairy tales from Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted to Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Just Ella. And […]

Review: ‘Olympians, vol. 9: Artemis’

It feels like yesterday that I was hearing about a new graphic novel series featuring the Greek gods in comic form, and now we’re up to number nine in a planned series of 12. And still it doesn’t disappoint! I admit, I’ve been negligent with this series and have missed a couple of titles—I keep […]

New York Times to Eliminate Graphic Novels Best Seller List

Thursday’s news of the shrinking of the New York Times graphic novel best seller lists was quickly eclipsed by other events in the news. So, in case you missed it, New York Times Book Review editor, Pamela Paul, announced that a number of the New York Times best seller lists will be discontinued. Among the […]

March v. 3 sweeps the ALA Youth Media Awards

In the last few weeks, John Lewis has garnered much media attention for his boycott of the 2017 Presidential inauguration. But today, Lewis is in the news for the multiple awards for the third volume in the March trilogy. This morning, in Atlanta, Georgia the 2017 ALA Youth Media awards were announced the ALA YMA and […]

2016 Good Comics for Kids Holiday Gift Guide

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, and perhaps you’ve finished most of your holiday shopping, but there’s always the last minute gift or the small “stocking stuffer,” you want to get. So here are our suggestions for the 2016 Holiday Season for the book lover and/or comic fan in your life. Fruits Basket Collectors […]