March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

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.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –McAnulty (Brave) makes a big splash with this series opener. Twelve-year-old Lucy, a.k.a. Lightning Girl, has been homeschooled by her grandmother since she was eight; she’s been a math genius ever since she was hit by lightning and survived.

Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –The day before 13-year-old drummer Melly heads to Camp Rockaway, her parents drop a bombshell: They’re getting divorced.

An Interplanetary Middle Grade Paradox | February 2018 Xpress Reviews

A adventurous middle grade debut centers an super-galactic heroine in this month’s Xpress.

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

Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –When her mother passes away from cancer, middle-schooler Wavie B. Conley comes under the care of Samantha Rose, the cruel aunt she’s never met.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –Nisha writes to her Muslim mother, who died giving birth to her and her twin brother, Amil, in a diary she receives on their 12th birthday.

Live in Infamy by Caroline Tung Richmond | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –The Allied powers have lost World War II. The United States, now sliced into pieces held by Japan, Italy, and Germany exists under strictly enforced racial and social hierarchies.

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta | SLJ Review

Gr 5-7 –On her 12th birthday, Kiranmala gets a lot more than she expected: a rakkhosh (an Indian demon) roars onto her home, wanting to eat her; even more surprising, a set of handsome princes arrive to help her escape.

Strange Star by Emma Carroll | SLJ Review

Gr 5 Up –Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Clare Clairmont, and Dr. John Polidori are all sitting around the fireplace on a stormy night. The goal of the night’s assemblage is to “tell a ghost story that will terrify the assembled company.”

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes | SLJ Review

Gr 4-8 –The Towers Falling author once again tackles a timely yet difficult subject.

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis | SLJ Review

Gr 5-8 –Oversized like an ox, 12-year-old Charlie Bobo and his sharecropper parents eke out a living on the Tanner Plantation deep in South Carolina in 1858.

Stella Diaz Has Something To Say by Angela Dominguez | SLJ Review

Gr 3-5 –When Stella was a baby, her family moved from Mexico City to Arlington Heights, near Chicago, where Stella still lives with her divorced mother and supportive older brother.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –A sweet story of a first crush and being stuck in the middle.