March 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Blogs

Recent Posts:

Loom: Screencasting and sharing so simplified!

I am thrilled to discover Loom, a free screencasting tool available as a handy Chrome extension. Loom offers three recording options: screen and camera, screen only and camera only.  You may record your full desktop or just a tab using the familiar Cancel, Pause or Finish commands. I love that you can drag the circular camera screen around as you record […]

My friend Louise

Please never think that I am unaware of the privilege being a white guy in children’s books  has afforded me. But it was women who gave me a career, and here in honor of Women’s History Month and #kidlitwomen, I would like to tell you about five lady librarians whose impact on my life has been […]

Friday Finds: March 16, 2018

This Week at TLT Book Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about Why I DNFed MUNMUN by Jesse Andrews and Won’t Be Recommending It Book Review: Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado, a guest review by Callum (age 11) What’s […]

This Week’s Comics: Sci-Fu Shoes

Highlights from this week’s list of new releases include a new Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Volume 7 Unicorn of Many Hats. Archie Comics finds a new foe for Cosmo in issue #3, while Lion Forge introduces a new superhero, Encounter, an alien who can change shape and fights crime on Earth. The List: ACTION LAB […]

Review of the Day – Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing by Nancy Churnin

Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing By Nancy Churnin Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez Creston Books $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-939547-44-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves May 1st Patriotism is subjective. Until recently I might have thought myself somewhat immune to its charms. I like my country quite a lot, but I’ve a low-tolerance for […]

Teens, Graphic Novels, and Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Jennifer Jenks

I recently wrote an article on graphic novels and mental health for School Library Journal, and one of the people I spoke to while researching it was Dr. Jennifer Jenks, MD, a psychiatrist who treats teenagers as well as children and adults. She had many interesting things to say about the broader issues of teens, […]

Book Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Publisher’s description Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit. With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to […]

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2018

Lot of good-looking books coming out here in the next three months. Here are ten that caught my eye. Picture Books The Town of Turtle by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Catia Chien HMH | April 10 | Grades K-2 Funny and sweet. That’s what I’m expecting with this story about a lonely turtle who ends up […]


Our Russell reviews A Wrinkle in Time based on a viewing the Horn Bookers took in together last week, in the legendary Before Time when one could get out of the house. The walking distance to a good movie theater is a definite perk of our location, and I do love these reserved movie seats you […]

New and Forthcoming New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

Books, books, and more books! All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom libraries of friends, to my own school, or in giveaways. I can’t read/review every book I get, but it’s fun to be able to sift through boxes and […]

Books on Film: SENDAK!

Why was Maurice Sendak the star of his own 80s sitcom? He wasn’t – it just looks like it from this title screen.
Shout out to for another blast from the past with a children’s literature legend.

‘I just want to delight kids’ – Candace Fleming Visits The Yarn

Travis: During the 2017 NCTE conference Colby talked with Candace Fleming about Ben Franklin’s in My Bathroom, the first book in her new middle grade series. It turns out Colby actually played a part in how the series came to be. We hope you enjoy the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here […]

Insufficient Nostalgia Milking, or, Why The Three Investigators Aren’t Voltron

A couple weeks ago I was asked to interview screenwriter and podcaster John August at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago. John has a new middle grade fantasy series coming out called Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire which is basically Boy Scouts plus magic. It’s not half bad, actually. Since John is best […]

Why I DNFed MUNMUN by Jesse Andrews and Won’t Be Recommending It

Please Be Aware: SPOILERS abound in this discussion Last summer I went to ALA and picked up an ARC for a book called MunMum by Jesse Andrews. After reading the back copy, this was the book I was most excited to read, but I wanted to wait closer to release date. This past weekend I […]

A guide to the Black Panther comics for fans of the Black Panther movie

If you saw Black Panther in theaters last month—and, based on the film’s box office haul to date, there’s a pretty good chance you did—then you may find yourself wondering how closely the Marvel comics that the film is adapted from reflect that experience and, more importantly for our purposes here, which of those comics […]

Book Review: Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado, a guest review by Callum (age 11)

Publisher’s description Claudette is back AGAIN, and she’s ready to kick major monster butt! She’s fought giants, clobbered dragons, and now Claudette faces her biggest challenge yet… herself! Well, that and a gang of vile monsters. It all begins when Claudette’s town hosts the annual Warrior Games. After some sneaky maneuvering, Claudette manages to gets […]

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA March 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 […]

A Great Big Creativity Project Giveaway!

It’s May of 2016. I’m with Colby Sharp interviewing Dav Pilkey for The Yarn podcast. During that interview, Colby got an idea for a book. But I didn’t know that. A couple weeks later, I got a message from Colby that went something like “Oh, hey, I have a literary agent now and I have an […]

Transcript: A Discussion of Little Black Sambo in Three Different Books

A hearing impaired reader of my blog recently pointed out to me that at this point in time we produce no transcripts of my podcast. She wondered if one might be made available from our Little Black Sambo episode. Kate then took the time to type up the entire discussion. After that I went through […]

2018 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award: La Princesa and the Pea

2018 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award Winner La Princesa and the Pea Written by Susan Middleton Elya and Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2017 ISBN 978-0-399-25156-6 Grades PK – 4   Book Review This retelling of the classic tale “The Princess and the Pea” has South American flair and a unique […]