June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa & James Parks | SLJ Review

COSTA, Ben & James Parks. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399556135; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399556142.

Gr 6 Up –Rickety Stitch is a skeleton minstrel who travels throughout the fantasy realm of Eem with Goo, his jiggling cube of a sidekick. Unlike the other reanimated skeletons in this world, Rickety retains his personality, but he has no memory of who he was when he […]

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner | SLJ Review

RENNER, Benjamin. The Big Bad Fox. tr. from French by Joe Johnson. illus. by Benjamin Renner. 192p. First Second. Jun. 2017. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781626723313.

Gr 3-6 –The proverbial fox may be a menace to the henhouse—but not the hero of this work. The titular character lacks gumption, guile, or cunning, and the chickens send him running each time he ventures into the farmyard. Taking pity on the fox, the wolf proposes playing the long game: stealing eggs and […]

Real Friends by Shannon Hale | SLJ Review

HALE, Shannon. Real Friends. illus. by LeUyen Pham. 224p. First Second. May 2017. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781626724167; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781626727854. POP

Gr 3-6 –Hale revisits her elementary school years in this insightful exploration of the ups and downs of friendship. Young Shannon meets her BFF Adrienne in kindergarten, and the two bond until Adrienne moves away. When Adrienne returns, Shannon is thrilled—until Adrienne joins a clique. In over her head, Shannon copes with feelings of inadequacy as she […]

NewsPrints by Ru Xu | SLJ Review

XU, Ru. NewsPrints. illus. by Ru Xu. 208p. ebook available. Scholastic/Graphix. Jan. 2017. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780545803113; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780545803120.

Gr 4-7 –In a world where only boys can be newsies, Blue poses as a boy in order to live in the communal house and hawk papers each day. What seems like a familiar setup quickly takes strange and delightful turns in this graphic novel by new artist and author Xu. Blue’s city is at war, and the […]

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan | SLJ Review

Phelan, Matt. Snow White: A Graphic Novel. illus. by Matt Phelan. 216p. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763672331.

Gr 4-8 –Spanning the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Phelan’s noir-esque adaption of the classic fairy tale is atmospheric, clever, and touching. Samantha White, affectionately called Snow White by her ailing mother, is sent off to a boarding school as her father, the King of Wall Street, grieves his wife’s death by marrying the dazzling Queen […]

Grab Them with Graphic Novels

Featuring concise narratives, vivacious artwork, and page-turning comic book formats, these recently published graphic novels make compelling choices for encouraging and empowering young readers.

Compass South by Hope Larson | SLJ Review

Larson, Hope. Compass South. illus. by Rebecca Mock. 224p. (Four Points: Bk. 1). Farrar. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300432. POP 

Gr 4-8 –In this fast-paced, high-energy tale, 12-year-old twins Alex and Cleo Dodge find adventure—and trouble—as they search for their father and, at times, each other. The siblings join the Black Hook Gang, but Alex is soon arrested for stealing. The twins leave town, yet there’s still more excitement to come. Has the key to […]

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier | SLJ Review

Telgemeier, Raina. Ghosts. illus. by Raina Telgemeier. 256p. Scholastic. Sept. 2016. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780545540612; pap. $10.99. ISBN 9780545540629; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780545540674. POP 

Gr 4-8 –Catrina and her family have just moved to Northern California. Bahía de la Luna is different from Cat’s hometown—for one thing, everyone is obsessed with ghosts—but the sea air makes it easier for Cat’s younger sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis (CF), to breathe. Carlos, a new friend and neighbor, […]

Little Dee and the Penguin by Christopher Baldwin | SLJ Review

Baldwin, Christopher. Little Dee and the Penguin. illus. by Christopher Baldwin. 128p. Dial. Apr. 2016. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9780803741089; lib. ed. $17.99. ISBN 9781101994290. 

Gr 4-6 –Hilarity ensues when Paisley the penguin, far from her native Antarctica, recruits a sarcastic vulture, a dim-witted dog, and a kindhearted bear to take her home. Along with them is Dee, an orphan girl who inserts herself into the adventure. Dee never says a word but always manages to get […]

Love: The Tiger by Frederic Brremaud | SLJ Review

Brremaud, Frederic. Love: The Tiger. illus. by Federico Bertolucci. 80p. (Love: Bk. 1.) Magnetic. 2015. Tr. $17.99. ISBN 9780991332441. 

Gr 4-6 –This wordless story is the first in a series of wildlife books that each focus on a day in the life of a different wild animal in its natural habitat. A full-page panel of the jungle setting framed by lush limbs and vines gives readers a view that puts them into the action from the […]

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova | SLJ Review

Tolstikova, Dasha. A Year Without Mom. illus. by Dasha Tolstikova. 168p. Groundwood. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781554986927.

Gr 5 Up– In this fully illustrated novel, 12-year-old Dasha lives in Moscow and is unhappily surprised when her mother decides to spend a year in America, leaving her with her grandparents. Especially since her father moved to Los Angeles, she has really depended on her mom, and the absence of her actual parents is both freeing and painful […]