April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

10 to Note: Fall Preview 2016

Here’s how these previews work: I look at all the books. I pick 10 that jump out to me. I share them with you. Here we go – this batch will all arrive in September, October, and November. Picture Books A Well-Mannered Young Wolf by Jean Leroy, illustrated by Matthieu Maudet October 3, 2016 | Eerdmans […]

Review: Dory and the Real True Friend by Abby Hanlon

Dory and the Real True Friend By Abby Hanlon Dial (Penguin) ISBN: 9780525428664 $14.99 Grades 1-3 Out July 7, 2015 *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Why review a particular book? I was asked this recently and my answer was pretty simple: I like to review books I’m excited about. […]

Review: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl By Victoria Jamieson Dial Books (Penguin) ISBN: 9780803740167 $12.99 Grades 4-8 Out Now *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Before I begin this review, let me set the right tone: That’s better. Sometimes you can find a lot of truth in unexpected places. Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl takes […]

Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’

Former literary agent Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film version.

New Books from Alex Award Winners — The Reviews

Last week Mark put together a terrific list of current books by past Alex Award winners. Today, we offer two reviews from that group. We begin with the second book by Lisa O’Donnell, Closed Doors. O’Donnell’s debut, The Death of Bees, won an Alex Award just last year. Our reviewer called The Death of Bees a […]

Pets Do the Strangest (and Most Wonderful) Things: Books for Young Readers │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Having a pet―no matter what it is―can inspire some amazing stories. The following selections of pet tales are no exceptions. Check out these critter-filled picture books selected by Junior Library Guild editors.

The Debut: Bethany Hagen Talks About ‘Landry Park’

Bethany Hagen’s day job is in teen services for Johnson County (KS) Library; she can now add debut novelist to her resume. Her book, Landry Park, which pits the gentry against the poor, has been referred to as “Gone with the Nuclear Wind.”

Pick of the Day: Extraordinary Jane

In a world full of competition for kids to be the fastest, smartest, and best at everything, this story’s message is a worthy one.

Pick of the Day: Here Comes the Easter Cat

The combination of witty text, plentiful white space, and brilliant images make this a truly winning book, especially for libraries looking to expand their Easter collections.

Snowy Tales for Wintry Days │ JLG’s On the Radar

Snow has already fallen across the country, and now that the calendar page has turned to December, kids have winter on their minds―no matter where they live. The following selections chosen by the editors at Junior Library Guild are just the ticket for cold wintry days.

Pictures of the Week: Rundell and Almhjell Cross the Atlantic to Launch New Kids’ Books

London-based writer Katherine Rundell met with librarians and booksellers in New York City this week to chat about her middle grade novel, Rooftoopers. Illustrator Ian Schoenherr and Norwegian author Tone Almhjell celebrated the release of Almhjell’s debut fantasy novel, The Twistrose Key.

Pick of the Day: Counting by 7s

When her parents are killed in an accident, 12-year-old Willow is taken in temporarily by her friend Quang-ha’s mother, who must stay ahead of Social Services, and becomes a catalyst for change..

Pick of the Day: Secret Pizza Party

Wearing stilts and a trench coat, Raccoon absconds with a stolen pizza.

Pick of the Day: The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

A tale about a secret animal society, set against the background of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

Pick of the Day: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

For fans of creepy mysteries

Pick of the Day: Colorful Dreamer

PARKER, Marjorie Blain. Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse. illus. by Holly Berry. 32p. further reading. CIP. Dial. Nov. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3758-7. LC 2011035446.
Gr 2-5
–This picture-book biography covers Matisse’s entire life but focuses on his career aspirations and achievements. The straightforward text takes a lighthearted approach by including details such as young Henri’s dream of becoming a magician and his skill with a peashooter. Berry’s illustrations are the star of the show; dignified black-and-white drawings […]


Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Dial Books, May 2012
Reviewed from an ARC
I should probably be honest: I read this book as a fan first. I enjoyed Graceling and was impressed by Fire; I was more than curious about Cashore’s new book. Once I stole borrowed — with total intent to return! Someday! — Karyn’s copy, I read […]

Penguin to Launch Kathy Dawson Imprint Targeting Middle School, YA Readers

Keep an eye out for a new imprint that aims to deliver novels and series with hard-hitting issues that reflect the real lives of middle schoolers and young adults. Kathy Dawson, who was vice president and editorial director at Dial Books for Young Readers, is launching her own imprint, which will center around “emotionally-driven” books from various genres that focus on the human condition.