February 22, 2018

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SLJ Fiction Reviews

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Written by Derrick D. Barnes and Illustrated by Gordon C. James Published in 2017 by Bolden, Agate Publishing ISBN 978-1-57284-224-3 Grades 1 – 6 A 2018 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction Recommended Title Book Review “You came in as a lump of clay, a blank, canvas, a […]

Last Licks, or ALL the Books

Today, we’re covering all the books! Ok, not all — but the last of the big hitters that we’re covering. (Note that as always, we didn’t get to everything. And this year, which has been an astoundingly rich year, that may just mean we didn’t even get to the winner, because there is SO MUCH […]

Morris + Printz?

In our frantic dash to the finish line, we’re taking today to look at the Morris finalists. A Morris nod has nothing really to do with the Printz slate, though there’s been overlap in years past. And a lack of a Morris nod doesn’t rule any author out for the Printz, either. They’re not correlative. […]

What a Treat: Guest Reviews

Back in November, we asked if any of our readers wanted to toss a “nomination” or two into the ring. Well, we have three! We are lucky to have wonderful readers and commenters, and even luckier to have three of them plugging their favorite books. Each review considers the book in light of its Printz […]

Graphic Novel Roundup

It hasn’t been an outstanding year for graphic format works with Printz potential — but a handful of books either have some buzz or have some potential, even if none of them are likely to be serious contenders. So read on for an alphabetical listing of graphic novels that might maybe could (but probably won’t) […]

Divergent Dystopic Visions

Not Divergent divergent, but diverse, unexpected, small press books diverging from the post-apocalyptic formula of yesteryear: that’s what we’ve got for you today. The Marrow Thieves won both the Kirkus Prize and the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award, and has shown up on the year-end lists for Kirkus and School Library Journal — not bad […]

Daughters

Sisters. Parents. Family. Children of immigrants. Starred reviews. National Book Award recognition. These books have quite a bit in common, not least in terms of love and buzz and people talk-talk-talking. Both novels examine generational expectations, both examine daughters who long to be artists, and both novels illustrate how daughters and their parents move around each other […]

More Previous Winners, with a Side of Uh-Oh

Two books today, both fantasy. All the Crooked Saints technically belonged in last week’s previous winners cluster, as Stiefvater received an honor for 2012’s The Scorpio Races, but it ran over the word count. And That Inevitable Victorian Thing seemed like a good book to pair with it; Johnston, like Stiefvater, loves to play with old stories in new forms, […]

Previous Winners, Part Two

And here is part two of our previous winners posts! Again, we’re looking at past winners, honorees, and generally lauded authors who have a new book out this year, and again we’re wondering if lighting can strike twice (or, if you’re Marcus Sedgwick, four times). Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart Delacorte, September 2017 Reviewed from ARC; 5 […]

Previous Winners, Part One

As the year turns, we thought we’d spend a few days looking back at previous winners, musing about the probability of a repeat medal for an author on this prestigious (and long!) list. Splitting the list alphabetically (which started with already 2-time winner M.T. Anderson last week), we get a couple of series entries, as well […]

Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. Anderson Candlewick, September 2017 Reviewed from ARC; five stars It’s not fun to lose, and as readers, we don’t usually take pleasure in witnessing our protagonists suffer and fail at every challenge they face. Yet we also know that failure, yes failure, can be highly instructive and valuable. In Landscape with Invisible […]

When I am Through with You

When I am Through With You, Stephanie Kuehn Dutton, August 2017 Reviewed from a final copy Today I get to talk about one of my favorite authors, Stephanie Kuehn. She has a new title out this year, When I am Through With You, and it got some comment-love earlier in the season as one to […]

Jane, Unlimited

It’s time for another joint conversation about a book. We had a great time last time, and are hoping to have just as much fun again. These are the times this blog feels most like committee work, where we’re all at the table (metaphorically), and all ready to talk about the same book — but […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Fantasy You Don’t Want to Miss, a Two-fer

Let’s talk about heart books. Because today I want to call your attention to two books that are long shots at best, but which I loved them dearly as a reader. More than that, despite the flaws that I predict will ultimately sink them, these are strong books that deserve close attention. Both are contemporary fantasy, […]

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura HarperTeen, May 2017 Reviewed from a final copy So today we have a realistic coming of age/first love story, and it’s sweet and especially earnest. With one star review, this isn’t a book that’s making major waves; but it’s important to remember that starred reviews aren’t really […]

Midnight

I’ve been dragging my feet with this one. I have plenty of excuses: the holiday weekend, my son’s (minor) surgery, major new unit coming up at school that I need to plan for. But those are just hot air; I have managed to write up books under far less ideal circumstances. Really it was that the posts […]