February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Book Reviews

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Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –French cartoonist Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse; California Dreamin’) offers 29 compelling biographies of renowned female artists, scientists, athletes, explorers, activists, and warriors.

American Panda by Gloria Chao | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Mei Lu is out of place at MIT and everywhere else in her life.

Book Review: Flight Season by Marie Marquardt

Publisher’s description From Marie Marquardt, the author of Dream Things True and The Radius of Us, comes a story of two teenagers learning what to hold on to, what to let go of, and that sometimes love gets in the way of our plans. Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi […]

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Narrated by 17-year-old Marvin Johnson, this novel gives readers a glimpse into the life and the tragic death of his identical twin Tyler.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –McAnulty (Brave) makes a big splash with this series opener. Twelve-year-old Lucy, a.k.a. Lightning Girl, has been homeschooled by her grandmother since she was eight; she’s been a math genius ever since she was hit by lightning and survived.

I Got It! by David Wiesner | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 3 –Set against the backdrop of a pick-up baseball game, Wiesner’s nearly wordless picture book expertly layers elements of relatable emotion, boundless imagination, eye-popping action, and out-and-out fun.

Photographic by Isabel Quintero | SLJ Review

Quintero and Peña have set a new standard in artist biographies.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –Tamaki’s picture book debut explores color and the seasons in a lyrical, philosophical way that is rooted in a child’s sensibilities.

Book Review: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Publisher’s description Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them? One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the […]

Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Publisher’s description Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion […]

Americanized by Sara Saedi | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Readers will laugh, cry, and empathize with Saedi’s adolescent journey as an undocumented Iranian immigrant living in the United States.

Islandborn/Lola by Junot Díaz | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –When Ms. Obi asks her students to draw a picture of the country they are originally from, the children are excited. All except for Lola, “What if you left before you could start remembering?”

Jazz Owls by Margarita Engle | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Set during the Zoot Suit riots, this novel in verse tells a fictional account of a dark time in American history.

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You by Marley Dias | SLJ Review

Gr 5 Up –Dias pens an eminently readable and nuanced personal narrative of her #1000BlackGirlsBooks campaign and her tips, tools, and strategies for effecting positive change in the representation of Black girls in children’s literature and beyond.

Book Review: Still Here by Rowan Blanchard

Publisher’s description Hollywood rising star and passionate humanitarian Rowan Blanchard shares her beloved personal scrapbook with the world. Featuring art and writing from her favorite photographers, poets, and friends alongside her own journal entries and snapshots, STILL HERE is an unedited look at Rowan Blanchard’s inner life—and a poignant representation of teen life in general. […]

Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –The day before 13-year-old drummer Melly heads to Camp Rockaway, her parents drop a bombshell: They’re getting divorced.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Slavery comes to a halt when the dead on Civil War battlefields begin to rise and eat their compatriots.

Spring Holiday Roundup | Reviews

The first of a series of quarterly seasonal roundups, featuring a variety of fiction and nonfiction books about all of the various holidays, festivals, and cultural celebrations that come across our desks.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Trash Revolution by Erica Fyvie | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Using the contents of an average kid’s backpack as a starting point, the author explores the production, use, and eventual end of products involving water, paper, food, plastic, clothing, metals, and electronics.

8 Nonfiction Series from Smaller Publishers

Smaller publishers dominate this latest nonfiction series update.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.