April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

Publisher’s description Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and […]

Book Review: P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy

Publisher’s description A heartbreaking—yet ultimately uplifting—epistolary novel about family, religion, and having the courage to be yourself.   Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie […]

Book Review: One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock

Publisher’s description Welcome to Daniel Boone Middle School in the 1970s, where teachers and coaches must hide who they are, and girls who like girls are forced to question their own choices. Presented in the voice of a premier storyteller, One True Way sheds exquisite light on what it means to be different, while at the same […]

Book Review: One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock

Publisher’s description Welcome to Daniel Boone Middle School in the 1970s, where teachers and coaches must hide who they are, and girls who like girls are forced to question their own choices. Presented in the voice of a premier storyteller, One True Way sheds exquisite light on what it means to be different, while at the same […]

Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani DasGupta

Publisher’s description MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER (Only she doesn’t know it yet.) On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey . . . until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns […]

30 Realistic & Historical Fiction Books with Black Main Characters

A bevy of 2018 YMA winners and forthcoming 2018 middle grade and YA titles to excite readers.

Book Review: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Publisher’s description Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them? One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the […]

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) […]

18 2018 Middle Grade Books to Have on Your Radar

Like many of you (I’m guessing), I keep multiple reading-related lists. I keep track of what I read each year. I keep track of what ARCs I’ve gotten and hope to read. I keep track of what books I either want to get when they come out or hope to track down as ARCs but haven’t […]

Review: ‘Swing It, Sunny’

Sunny Side Up, the story loosely based on the lives of sister-and-brother team of Jennifer and Matthew Holm, wrapped up so well that it never occurred to me there would be a sequel. But lucky for me, there is! Although the story will be better understood by those who have read the first volume, this […]

Review: All Faire’s in Middle School

Newbery Honor winner Victoria Jamieson is back with another middle grade graphic novel that is sure to please a growing fandom of middle grade students who just can’t get enough. Readers who are loving Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward and Brave and Raina Telgemeier’s titles will be thrilled to pick up this latest addition to the middle-grade […]

Haunted Places

We are working on getting through books in the maximally efficient way, which sometimes means more fanciful pairings, and other times means groups that play with each other in interesting ways as we discuss them. Today we have the second option, a trio of books that mingle together in engaging ways as we consider the […]

Book Review: Sparrow by Sarah Moon

Publisher’s description Sparrow has always had a difficult time making friends. She would always rather have stayed home on the weekends with her mother, an affluent IT Executive at a Manhattan bank, reading, or watching the birds, than playing with other kids. And that’s made school a lonely experience for her. It’s made LIFE a […]

25 Terrifying Horror Novels for Kids and Teens

From totally innocuous through safe scary, all the way to “holy moly!”, the following fiction titles offer a scary experience for a range of readers and their comfort levels.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Striking a Chord: 20 Exceptional Books on Music for Young People

The following fiction and nonfiction titles demonstrate the world-changing power of music, from the birth of the blues to today’s top 40.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Review of the Day: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

The First Rule of Punk By Celia C. Perez Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-425-29040-8 Ages 9-12 On shelves now They don’t warn you in library school. They’ll tell you about all the cool children’s books you’ll get to read. They’ll stress how you’ll be able to make a difference in […]

23 YA and Middle Grade Books To Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

A mix of fiction and nonfiction titles from such stellar talents as Daniel José Older and Margarita Engle. And, as a bonus, professional reading picks for those serving Latinx communities.

Book Review: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Publisher’s description Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! The Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl is back with a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the Renaissance Faire. Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a […]

Book Review: Boy Seeking Band by Steve Brezenoff

Publisher’s description Great music and great friendships aren’t always in harmony. Terence Kato is a prodigy bass player, but he’s determined to finish middle school on a high note. Life has other plans. In eighth grade, he’s forced to transfer from a private arts school to a public school, where the kids seemingly speak a […]

Middle Grade: New Titles from J.K. Rowling, Margarita Engle, & More | August 2017 Xpress Reviews

Mysteries abound in this month’s middle grade reviews! Sherlock’s creator gets a tween-aged overhaul in Robert J. Harris’s new novel, and Susan Vaught’s super sleuth Max solves mysteries when she’s not drag racing in her wheelchair.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.