June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Reviews

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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 […]

Pass Go and Collect $200 by Tanya Lee Stone | SLJ Review

Gr 1-4 –Readers are treated to a colorful historical account of a well-known board game, and the socioeconomic factors that affected its development.

Fred Rogers Returns in ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ | SLJ Movie Review

Morgan Neville’s wistful documentary focuses on the landmark work—and ideas—of Fred Rogers.

The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –Donovan “Turn” Turner is in a coma after being critically injured in a hit-and-run. Bee, Turn’s girlfriend, is by his side and determined to figure out what happened.

Book Review: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Y’all…y’all…this book is balm for your soul. Are you looking for a fun read where you invest in the characters and their circumstances without being worried that the world might end? Then this book is for you. I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump for the past several years (I know, it’s […]

Animal Sanctuaries to the Rescue! | SLJ Spotlight

Four new titles encourage conservationism and animal research for the elementary set.

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

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –Amal is an inquisitive young girl living with her family in a Punjabi village in rural Pakistan.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –In her latest, which cleverly combines multiple perspectives, Peñaflor provides a psychological study in how the shallow and the profound coexist within the human psyche to foster self-deception.

Review: ‘Jim McClain’s Solution Squad’

Jim McClain’s Solution Squad Written by Jim McClain, art by various Solution Squad LLC, $19.99 For grades 4-6 Jim McClain, a middle school math teacher, loves comics, so he made his own super-team to teach mathematical concepts. The first comic story introduces the team members: La Calculadora – fast computation and team leader Absolutia – […]

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –Brynn Harper had a cute girlfriend and a spot on the school newspaper, both of which she loved, but she began having troubles concentrating on either after her brother died.

Review: ‘Silver Spoon’ Vol. 1

Silver Spoon Vol. 1 Writer/artist: Hiromu Arakawa Yen Press; $15 Rated T for Teen Phenomenal success can present difficult challenges. For example, say you created a manga series that ran for nine years, filled 27 collected volumes and was adapted into a pair of television shows, two feature-length animated films, a live-action film, a handful […]

The Great American Read and its sweet by-products

I was mesmerized by the two-hour launch of PBS Great American Read campaign.  While I believe choosing one book is impossible and not actually the point of this celebration,  I was enchanted by one compelling little book talk after another.  And it was delightful to listen to people talk with such passion about their books. Yesterday, I discovered When […]

New Shoes by Chris Raschka | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –Who doesn’t love getting new shoes? This simple joyous celebration of a trip to the shoe store is narrated by an anonymous young child.

Review: ‘One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything’

One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything Written by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb First Second, $17.99 Ages 4-8 Almost no subject is too much for a children’s storybook, with the right approach, and One Day a Dot is proof. It tackles the formation of the […]

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 […]

Review of the Day: The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge By M.T. Anderson Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin Candlewick Press $24.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9822-5 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 25th In my job I read a lot of books written for kids and middle schoolers. To guide this reading I take into account a lot of professional reviews from sources […]

The Itchy Book! by Mo Willems & LeUyen Pham | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –This book combines two of children’s favorite fixations—“Elephant & Piggie” and dinosaurs—into a funny story that plays around with a relatable problem.

Beat Boredom by Martha Sevetson Rush | SLJ Review

Every dedicated educator knows the feeling of spending hours creating just the right assignment to pique the interest of students. But what happens when students don’t respond as expected?

The Promised Neverland: Vol. 1 by Kaiu Shirai | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –Grace Field House is home to 38 children and a cheerful matron whom all the kids call “Mom.” The children must follow rules and take a test every morning in place of formal schooling, but overall, they’re a big happy family.

I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout with Jenn Abelson | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –For Prout, being accepted into the exclusive St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire was meant to be a source of stability; however, by the end of her freshman year, the 15-year-old was in turmoil.