April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Multimedia Reviews

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –Jude Duarte, her twin sister Taryn, and her half-fey, half-human sister Vivienne are taken to be raised in Faerieland by Vivienne’s father, Madoc, after he kills their parents.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 10 Up–Olga was always the good girl. She stayed home after high school, got a job as a receptionist, took classes at the local college, and always helped her family—until she died in a car crash.

Very, Very, Very Dreadful by Albert Marrin | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 7 Up –The influenza pandemic of 1918 directly killed or contributed to the deaths of 50 to 100 million people worldwide, and not only the very old and very young.

34 Can’t-Miss Titles from SLJ’s April 2018 Issue

From stellar sophomore offerings by Kelly Loy Gilbert and Tiffany D. Jackson to the latest collaboration by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, check out SLJ’s April 2018 starred picks.

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

Books on the Big Screen: “A Wrinkle in Time” & “Ready Player One” | Movie Review

Two big-screen extravaganzas by award-winning directors take on two popular novels with mostly with positive results, though one filmmaker had arguably a higher mountain to climb.

Democracy in America | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 8 Up –This series contains many primary source documents including images of period maps, political cartoons, paintings, and newspaper headlines.

Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | SLJ DVD Review

K-Gr 5 –This DVD contains two picture book adaptations that highlight the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to the civil rights movement: March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Dr. Christine King Farris and Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, with art by Bryan Collier.

Education, Inc. | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 9 Up –Filmmaker Brian Malone presents cautionary evidence of the stealth privatization movement of public schools across the country.

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 4-8 –A teacher discounted young African-Puerto Rican student Arturo Schomburg’s heritage, stating, “There were no Negro heroes worth noting.” Rather than discourage him, that comment spurred his lifelong quest for the facts.

Deej | SLJ DVD Review

Gr 9 Up –David James Savarese, or Deej, was adopted at age three after his abandonment by his birth mother.

Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México | SLJ DVD Review

Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México. 22 min. Dreamscape. 2017. $38.99. ISBN 9781520081144.

Gr 2 Up –Animation brings to life Duncan Tonatiuh’s biography of Amalia Hernández, the talented dancer and founder of the Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh’s distinctive art style is combined with the different folkloric dances of various regions of Mexico. The vibrant illustrations leap off the screen as Hernández begins to learn ballet and travels through Mexico to study the histories and dances of the regions. […]

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –This first in a companion series to Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy introduces listeners to a familiar world through the eyes of Malcolm Polstead, an innkeeper’s son in Oxford.

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Morris and Brown share the story of their daughter, 12-year-old Maddie, a charming young lady who loves mustaches, potatoes, and performing on stage—especially while wearing a mustache!

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 7 Up –After the sudden death of her Aunt Magnolia, 18-year-old Jane is orphaned, directionless, and alone.

Refugee by Alan Gratz | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 3-7–The term “refugee” is constantly in the news. In direct response, Gratz gets personal with desensitizing statistics, policies, and politics by giving names, families, and histories to three tweens fleeing three countries during three time periods.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –Eighteen-year-old Marin is paralyzed with grief. Following the unexpected death of the beloved grandfather who raised her, Marin flees California to New York and college, abandoning her support system.

School’s First Day of School | SLJ DVD Review

K-Gr 2 –School has just been built and he is looking good. However, now that it’s the first day of school, he’s a bit nervous. What’s going to happen?

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –An immigration story spanning three generations of women is told in moving ways through multiple perspectives.

The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 4-6 –When their grandmother ends up in the emergency room, 11-year-old Ivy and her 14-year-old brother Seb are whisked into a secret underground city called Lundinor hidden beneath streets of London.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –While high school jock Rafe is okay with being gay, he’s tired of being the go-to LGBT celebrity in his supportive Colorado town.