Girls on the edge

kuderick_kiss of broken glass

The protagonists of these pull-no-punches YA novels experience the dark side of adolescence, from mental illness to abuse to trauma to religious intolerance to the death of a loved one — but each one is given what she needs to overcome her challenges. After she is caught cutting herself in the school bathroom, fifteen-year-old Kenna, […]

Back-to-school basics

shea_dinosaur vs school

Kids going back to school — or just starting out there? Here are a variety of picture books, from imaginative and funny to historical and serious, to help ease the transition from the lazy days of summer. “Roar! Roar! Roar!” The diminutive red dinosaur from Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs. Bedtime faces its newest foe in […]

Review of The Twins’ Little Sister

yum_twins' little sister

The Twins’ Little Sister by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author Preschool    Foster/Farrar    40 pp. 8/14    978-0-374-37973-5    $17.99 Those strong-willed sisters from The Twins’ Blanket (rev. 9/11) are back, having successfully transitioned from one shared bed and blanket to two beds and two blankets (one yellow and one pink, reflecting each twin’s decided color preference). […]

Review of Pom and Pim

landstrom_pom and pim

Pom and Pim by Lena Landström; illus. by 
Olof Landström; trans. from 
the Swedish by Julia Marshall Preschool    Gecko    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-877579-66-0    $16.95 Pom is a small child with sparse orange curls, clad in a long purple sweater; Pim is Pom’s inanimate sidekick of indeterminate species: a dirty pink, with two eyes and four […]

Cathleen Daly on Emily’s Blue Period

daly_emily's blue period

In the July/August 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Martha Parravano asked Emily’s Blue Period author Cathleen Daly about the dual focus of this innovative picture book. Read the starred review of Emily’s Blue Period here. Martha V. Parravano: Your book beautifully incorporates details about a particular artist (Picasso) and the young girl who’s inspired by him […]

Review of Emily’s Blue Period

daly_emily's blue period

Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly; illus. by Lisa Brown Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 6/14    978-1-59643-469-1    $17.99 Young Emily is an artist — a fact thoroughly established, visually, from title page on. She draws and she paints; she pores over art books. In school, she is learning about Pablo Picasso, and his work and […]

Caldecott 2014: The Year in Pictures

locomotive

Welcome to Las Vegas! City of lights, city of sin; of excess, exploitation, and glitter. It may be an unlikely spot for a library conference, but its unofficial slogan makes it an apt one: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I’m referring here not to mayhem and debauchery (although…feel free) but to the famed […]

YA is the new black

prison library

As we fans know, the Netflix original Orange Is the New Black is set in Litchfield Penitentiary, a federal prison for women in upstate New York. This prison is clearly underfunded. It’s falling apart. Its limited resources are being siphoned off by despicable assistant warden Fig. The sewers are backing up into the drains in […]

Of purple suits and such: The Art of The Wind Rises

art of the wind rises

If you are looking forward to seeing Roger at ALA wearing a lavender-colored suit (as promised recently on Facebook) — this blog post is for you. With The Art of The Wind Rises (April 2014), VIZ Media of San Francisco has published a visually stunning companion to Japanese director Hayao Mikazaki’s visually stunning animated film. Those who have seen the […]

Bummer summer

lockhart_we were liars

Who says summer reads have to be all beaches and rainbows? Four emotionally resonant YA novels explore love and grief, families and friendships. Cadence Sinclair Eastman, eldest grandchild of a wealthy but dysfunctional clan, tells readers about an accident that happened during her fifteenth summer on her family’s private island, leaving her with debilitating migraines […]