May 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood | SLJ Review

Gr 4-7 –It’s 1940, the beginning of the Blitz, and 13-year-old Kenneth Sparks is selected to go to Canada as part of a program to send British children to the safety of the U.K.’s overseas dominions

Real-Life Drama: Kate Messner on Her New Novel, “Breakout”

Messner discusses the real-life inspiration behind Breakout and how she collaborated to craft thoughtful, authentic characters.

24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling | SLJ Review

Gr 5-7 –Thirteen-year-old Gus is a white boy from Nowhere. Literally. Nowhere, AZ: population depressed, poverty-stricken, and stagnant.

Review of the Day: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl By Stacy McAnulty Random House Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 9781524767570 Ages 9-12 On shelves now The world would have us believe that the left brained and right brained amongst us can never see eye-to-eye. Think about it. How many times have you heard a perfectly intelligent person say […]

Refugee Stories, Magical Adventures, & More | May 2018 Middle Grade Xpress Reviews

A mix of genre fiction and stirring realistic tales for middle grade readers.

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

The House That Lou Built by Mae Resipicio | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –Lou Bulosan-Nelson’s dream is to build a tiny house—a structure of only 100 square feet—on a plot of land that she inherited from her deceased father, who passed away before she was born.

Endling by Katherine Applegate | SLJ Review

Gr 4-7 –Byx has always thought of herself as last: last-born sibling, the youngest in her whole family, and least adept at all the skills valued by the caninelike “dairnes.”

Starring Tween Introverts | SLJ Spotlight

These three new middle grade titles shine a light on the quieter kids in class.

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

Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Five years ago, Livy left her friend Bob, who she describes as a zombielike creature, in the closet of her grandmother’s house in Australia without saying goodbye.

Middle Grade: Two Takes on Sports Fiction & Magical Realism | April 2018 Xpress Reviews

A young baseball player loses his lucky charm but gains an important lesson; Smibert’s magical middle grade exploration of WW II–era Appalachia.

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

Front Desk by Kelly Yang | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –Mia Tang and her parents expected to work hard when they came to the United States, but they had no idea how difficult things would be.

Ebb and Flow by Heather T. Smith | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –This touching verse novel begins with Jett headed to the East Coast to stay with his grandmother for the summer.

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –The lovable robot, Roz (The Wild Robot), was last seen being ripped away from her goose son, Brightbill, and hauled unwillingly back to the factory for the Makers to repair and reassign her.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Seventh grader Aru should never have lit the ancient lamp.

Nightbooks by J.A. White | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –A spine-tingling dark fantasy about the power of facing down fears and choosing your own fate.

Review of the Day: The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Journey of Little Charlie By Christopher Paul Curtis Scholastic Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-15666-0 For ages 9 and up On shelves now I don’t know Christopher Paul Curtis personally, but if I had to harbor a guess I’d say he’s the type of author that doesn’t like to make things too easy for himself. That’s […]

3 Quirky Middle Grade Titles on Bullying, Pizza Rats, and Beetles | March 2018 Xpress Reviews

Beetle Boy returns to save the day; the “Pizza Rat” meme for middle graders; and a bilingual title about a fourth grader with a heart of gold.

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

Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –When 12-year-old Della finds her mom digging black seeds from a watermelon in the middle of the night, she worries that the schizophrenia that put her mom in the hospital several years ago is back.

Granted by John David Anderson | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –Magic isn’t what it used to be.

Breakout by Kate Messner | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –Nora and Lizzie have grown up in Wolf Creek, a small town where Nora’s father is superintendent of the maximum security prison.